Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Old Shall See Visions and Young Shall Dream Dreams

'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
I'm in the last days of a week-long retreat entitled CREDO, which is a week-long retreat which gives some space for people to reflect, dream, and plan for the future--spiritually, relationally, vocationally, and financially. As I've done such reflection, one of the things I've come to realize is what a great opportunity we have at St. Edward's to really think about what we want the new St. Edward's to be. There is no longer a "way we've always done it" anymore. That is a great gift! It means that we can choose our own adventure, seek after God's vision, and move forward confidently into the future.

We're in the midst of doing that, and I've blogged about this before, but I ran across the following presentation recently done for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. It talks about radical welcome and what that might look like.....

Bishop's Conference Keynote Presentation by Stephanie Spellers from Episcopal Diocese of Northern Ca on Vimeo.

We have the opportunity to essentially rebuild our church from the ground up with a core value of radical welcome. Our first Core Value is that desire to welcome all. What would that mean for us? How do we build a church of radical welcome? Something to think and talk about in the coming weeks. I look forward to that conversation!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Craving Church

In a recent blog entry on Sojourners Online, the blogger interviewed Julia Duin, author of Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to do about It. One of the most interesting quotes from that post occurs at the end, when Ms. Duin says
You go to church today and people just sit there like they’re going to a movie. People will crave church when the Holy Spirit is so evident in the body. The praying church in the 1970s is when the Holy Spirit really moved. They didn’t care whether you were single or married or what. You had churches like St. Paul’s in Darien, Connecticut, that just went on for like three hours and you didn’t care because God was moving in incredible ways.
As we begin the days "after Pentecost" in the church calendar and continue the hundreds of thousands of days since the first Pentecost, it is worth asking: Do we crave church? Do we come to church expecting that the Holy Spirit will not only show up, but will stir our hearts and minds? Do we, as we invite the Holy Spirit to bless bread and wine and make them the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ also invite, encourage, and expect the Holy Spirit to bless us with both power and direction? If we do not, why not? If we do, can anyone tell by looking at us?