Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On a move…

I had a seminary colleague who ended every email, letter- heck, even conversation sometimes!- with the phrase, “On a move…” For him, Christian living was a perpetual motion endeavor. That makes sense to me. One fundamental metaphor for faith is discipleship. Which is to say, a relationship between us and Jesus where Christ leads and we follow.

And this month at Plymouth Creek, it seems that movement will be happening. Several initiatives are in the works that I’m excited to take part in, or just follow others in service of Christ. For starters, Sunday School returns, later than normal I admit. Having spent the summer on a move around southeastern Europe, I put fall planning on a back burner. Now that I’ve returned, however, I’m anxious to get started again, as I mentioned last week. The plan will be to integrate our worship experiences with our Sunday learning experiences. We’re exploring classic scripture stories all fall, ones I first learned as a child. Encountering them again as adults, I suspect, will yield fresh insights and inspirations. So while I preach on, say, Noah’s Arc or Paul’s conversion, we’ll reflect on Creation Care or mental health. Plus, intern Lyle will lead adults before service in Lectio Divina (sacred reading), using those scriptures. This form of spiritual, prayerful conversation is quite powerful, I’ve found. I hope you will too. But I’ll be leading youth and children through these stories in other ways. So join us at 9 and get on a move before service begins.

So that…after service, we can do more exciting ministries and fellowship activities. Like on October 13, when said intern Lyle will offer a Pet Blessing service to our members and neighbors. Bring your pets to church, or if that’s too hard or you’ve lost beloved animal friends, feel free to come with pictures. After service, he’ll gather us on the north lawn outside our sanctuary and celebrate before God these wonderful relationships. I think this activity entirely appropriate for a community whose values include, “friendly, intimate community.” For many of us, pets are primary companions. God honors the joy we receive through them, I believe. So invite neighbors and friends, and/or ask Lyle how you can help. Let’s make this another great ministry moment! I mean, if you’ve ever had a pup like my crazy Fawkes, you know that life with them is often on a move too…

Then, the next weekend, we’re moving again, beginning Saturday morning, 8:15 at church. Chana Weaver has organized a trip to Feed My Starving Children where we’ll pack food for international people in need. The bus leaves from church then, or if you’d prefer, meet us at FMSC in Coon Rapids at 9am. Let me or Chana know you’re coming. Movement towards serving sounds very Christian, amen?!

And finally, the next day at church - October 20- I’m betting my hair on your ability to invite neighbors to experience grace. I’ve said before, and I’ll throw down the gauntlet again: if we get 100 folk in worship, I’ll shave my head! Part of that is simply about us doing what we ought, which is reaching out to others. But it’s also a way to include more people in after-church activities that day. We’re hosting a chili cook-off; members bring their favorite chili, and anyone who comes can eat for free. However, if they want to “vote” on which chili is the best, they’re encouraged to donate money- most cash raised wins! After the cook-off, people can bid to purchase a variety of goods and services donated by church members. My offering will be five pounds of homemade sausage, whatever variety preferred by the highest bidder. Funds raised will go to support the church and our various ministries together.

So how’s that for movement, Plymouth Creek?! Learning, service, fellowship, fun. There’s still time, of course, for more fall ministry offerings, if you’re feeling spunky and creative. The point is that we followers of Jesus, though appreciative of occasional moments to stop and smell God’s roses, can also show our devotion to our great champion in heaven working and moving and striving, together!

Grace and Peace,

P.S. - I’m leading a day trip on October 9 to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to explore their new exhibit, “Sacred,” a collection of art reflecting on that theme. Leaving from church at 10am. Let me know if you’re coming

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