Just a thought…

This month we will celebrate the 501st anniversary of the Reformation. One of the thrilling aspects of the reformation is to engage the changing church. For so long the church was focused on being a place to gather. A time when success was driven by butts and bucks (how many people were in worship and how much money was in the offering plate each week).

I think we are past the time of the church simply being a place to gather. No longer can we simply judge the “success” of a congregation by these measurements. The idea of “if you build it, they will come” is no longer a reality.

Phyllis Tickle wrote in her book, The Great Emergence that “every 500 years, the church goes through a rummage sale, and cleans out the old forms of spirituality and replaces it with the new ones.” In essence, the church goes through a massive reformation.

This happens to be that time. While the church can still exist within the walls of a building, it has the capacity for so much more. We can be a church that both gathers and scatters. We can bring the Good News of Christ wherever we go…the places we work, eat, and drink.

That is one of the exciting things about having my ordination take place in a brewery. It continues to live into the changing church and our capacity to reach out to people in all kinds of unique places.

It is also why our offering will go to the Live On Endowment Fund. This fund continues to support seminary students, campus ministries, new missions, and redevelopments (like Celebration). They are empowering leaders to think about doing church differently.

We are continuing to be made new through a God that is alive and active in the world and in us. While being made new we will continue to celebrate Christ, Care for Others, and Serve the World. It is an exciting time friends!
 
God’s Peace,
Ryan Dockery

Just a Thought

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

 

Blessing of the Animals
Blessing of the Animals

So, we just had two fun ministry events this month- the joint Blessing of the Animals we did collaboratively with Messiah and Covenant, and the Reformation Beer & Hymns fundraiser at St. Arnold’s Brewery.

The Blessing of the Animals brought together about 40 folks with their pets to give thanks for the gift of companionship. Several folks walked up from the dog park to have their dogs blessed. In the end, this Blessing was for the community, and people invited friends to join them.

The Reformation Beer & Hymns fundraiser brought together more than 140 people to sing songs, sip some brews and raise money to support the Lutherhill’s new Zion Retreat Center in Galveston. We were able to raise over $5000 for Lutherhill! Although many of us from Celebration attended and had a blast, this event was not for us, but for the sake of others.

Beer & Hymns
Beer & Hymns

 

While the Beer & Hymns was going on, some folks from the church went downtown to join A Simple Thread in providing needed resources to the homeless community as we move into the colder time of year. Again, this ministry wasn’t about us, but about those in need.

This is what we mean when we say in our Guiding Principles that It’s Not About Us. Because it isn’t. It never was. When our life and values become Christ’s life and values, then it is no longer about what we want, what we like, or what we expect. It’s about God and God’s desire for others to know and experience Christ in their own lives.

Because encounters with Christ change people.  And  that’s what it’s all about.

This Sunday is All Saints Sunday. It’s the day in the Church year when we specifically remember our loved ones who have died in the past year. So, think about your friends, co-workers and neighbors who may have lost someone this year. What if you invited them to join you on Sunday to help them honor the ones they love? Maybe it’s an invitation that will change their life.

 

Because, it’s not about us.

And, it’s just a thought.

+pax et bonum
pc