I recently wrote a post for the CRC’s Network blog addressing some of the changes ahead for deacons following this year’s historic decision by Synod.
Instead of functioning largely as “lone rangers”, the approved changes invite deacons to equip and provide opportunities for members of the congregation to participate in diaconal work. . . . Read more at: What Changes for Deacons? | The Network
I think this rendition of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah, as sung byKarin Bergquist of Over the Rhine to be truly inspirational.
I loved reading this book! I felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop with the author as she honestly told me me about who she is, her journey from addiction to recovery and what led her to become a Lutheran pastor of a very unconventional congregation in Denver. Rarely have I read something from a Christian author that is as transparent, vulnerable and authentic as Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Her story is a refreshing gift for anyone with or willing to have an open mind to not only what she has to share but the earthy yet authentic way she tells it. If you are familiar with 12 step recovery meetings and know how raw and real the sharing can get at times, and how God’s loving presence is at times palpable in the midst of such meetings, reading Pastrix is much like that. If you are easily offended by or have difficulty getting past the use of profanity and graphic language, this could be a challenging book for you to read. Even so I encourage you to make an honest effort to read this powerful testimony about God’s mercy and redemptive love to the very end. Whether you are a Christian, skeptic, agnostic, seeker, from another faith tradition or simply spiritual, I am fairly confident you will appreciate Nadia’s story of hope, love, acceptance and redemptive healing.
View all my reviews
Posted in alcoholism, Church, community, diversity, Grace, recovery
Tagged church, diversity, ELCA, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix, reconciliation
“We all need community but we also need to realize that in this world community is to bring us to a place where we are in full communion. That is possible only with God.” — Henri Nouwen (from an interview in October 1989 by David Hardin of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club)
Too often, well intended church members and leaders engage in community outreach operating on their own assumptions about the community in which they are located or want to serve. The truth is that we often know little, if anything, about “the community” we are in and/or want to serve. Our assumptions are too often part and parcel of our own cultural biases and uninformed opinions about people who we perceive as “needy” and in need of our help. Unfortunately, the kind of help that churches often provide is anything but (Read When Helping Hurts or Toxic Charity for more on this topic)
One of the first things we should do before we either begin or even to evaluate any type of community ministry is to educate ourselves about the community. “Community Study Guide” developed by Heidi Unruh of Baylor Univeristy is a user-friendly, practical manual that guides church leaders through the basics of conducting a community assessment for ministry. If you are in a position of ministry leadership at your church or engaged in some form of diaconal or community ministry, I strongly encourage you to review and consider using this resource. You can view and download by clicking on Community Study: A Guide to Understanding Your Church’s Context for Ministry.