Ok – this is not another one of those emergent pastors trying to defend the great emergence of Christianity. I want to just reflect on this conference I attended at Columbia Seminary in GA.
Phyllis Tickle began the time together with a history of Christianity in the last several thousand years in 45 minutes. What I gained from this is that change happens whether we want, like or not. It is happening and what is sad is that the Church(or some in the Church) are digging their heels to keep it business as usual within the buildings and rituals of their communities. I not for getting rid of rituals but couldn’t they transform into something that brings both the near and dear and the new and exciting?! Hard stuff.
Tony Jones helped with a reinforcement of the emergence is not-especially that it is not trying to do away with denominations. Authentic living as followers of Christ, being Christ to the world comes to mind for me. And I believe that is what we, aren’t we? Not perfect, not holier than thou but servants to the other and messengers of the gospel (good news) of Christ.
How this looks for me is to work on my relationships with those I ma in contact with everyday. Being present to them, listening to their stuff and share my stuff. For if I want to build trust I have to be transparent. Really hard stuff.
So how will tis look in the context I am in? Don’t know – yet. Just beginning a new ministry in the Denison area. New worship service, reaching out to a demographic of under 40’s that may not want to have anything to do with the Church. It is going to be an interesting and exciting journey.
Well – I need to write more but have hard a day of information that needs to be processed. I will say it was good to have Phillip Clayton, who brought the emergence within the science and sociological communities. And I only thought the Church was feeling the pangs of change! Not being schooled and actually hating chemistry in high school – I was caught up in what Phillip shared because he was excited and enthusiastic about the discoveries in the area of physics and chemistry.
My Moderator(I am PCUSA) of our General Assembly, Bruce Reyes-Chow was equally engaging. He shared what the community he pastors looks like and how they have been engaging. He emphasized that this worked in his context but probably wouldn’t in another part of the country. And that is what I have understood about this whole emegence is that it is same but different depending on what the issues and needs of the people involved have. There is no magic formula or program and it isn’t an outreach to reach the unchurched.
Well, that is it for now –
-until later, remember to look for Christ in everyone you meet and be Christ to those who need it.