Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This is a busy week because we have our General Assembly for the WHOLE CHURCH in Columbus Ohio.  It is fun, inspiring, challenging, God filled and kind of tiring!

Some of my convention activities have included helping Marsha pick up some of the VIP's at the airport, helping organize our race Sunday at Sharon Woods, helping with the service at Camp Christian on Sunday and being available for communion in the evening.  All of these things have involved working with people I love and just being part of it all.  This is what I love.

I also love seeing people from my past and I sure do here.   Friends from various churches, colleagues in ministry, folks from  Chautauqua, from camp, and even Audrey's friends who have become friends to me. Lots of faces of people  who were important to me in my faith journey and who I touched along the way.  It is heart warming and awesome to consider all the companions along the way.

I also have received in so many ways - going to worship, attending the business sessions, and the GLAD banquet and hearing some really inspiring sermons.  The Disciples of Christ is - like most mainline churches - in decline and so that is almost a subtext of the convention.

The scripture that we are using for the theme is from Isaiah 40 and I love these verses:

 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,
    and strengthens the powerless.Even youths will faint and be weary,
    and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings  (SOAR) like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint

I know this is a CHURCH convention and the temptation is to concentrate on the church - our business, our programs, our workshops, etc.  What I see, however, after 35 years as a Disciple of Christ (at one point I was a newcomer to this denomination!) is God working through us.  That is the benefit of my years in ministry.  I have seen God's power that strengthened, inspired and transformed
people and churches.  And I trust that power to be at work - not only in and through this time in Columbus - but in the next few years as the church learns to be the leaven in the loaf and the light in the darkness.

In the 90's I would go to workshops and hear people talk about the end of Christendom when our culture encouraged Christianity.  The years when more people went to church  and the schools would not dare to schedule programs on Sunday.   And we even had prayer in schools.  But those years are over and we are called to be what the church was during the time of Jesus and the early church- a subversive group of believers who were operating on a different value system and sense of community. They were people who trusted God and really loved each other. (not without tensions and squabbles of course).

And so, now we gather - not the large numbers as in the "good old days" -  but new and old Disciples who know that following Jesus through the church leads us to the abundant life.  And I experience it this week in many, many ways and trust that "waiting for the Lord" and trusting in the Lord will lead us into someplace new and - in its own way - in a new way - wonder  full.

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