We have all learned much during the past 12 weeks:
We are tempted to address the discomfort and resistance we may feel with quick fixes and nostalgia for the way things were. We would be wiser stewards to spend time together asking how we got to this moment? What narratives drive behaviors and attitudes in the Church? Which ones are worth keeping? Which ones need to go? How do we find better narratives that will guide us where the Holy Spirit may be leading?
Over the past twelve weeks, a group of pastors and lay leaders has met on Tuesday afternoons at 3 pm by Zoom. This was originally widely promoted. We began with prayer, checked in with each other to offer mutual encouragement, and then began to examine the attitudes and assumptions that have shaped our congregations responses to what Rev. Dr. Rodney Williams calls the triple pandemic of COVID 19, racism, and poverty. Some responses have been outstanding. Sadly, some have betrayed a latent confusion between civil religion and consumer culture and what Jesus meant when he said to his first disciples (and now to each of us): “Follow me.”
All the positive narratives are rooted in the wisdom of the Bible. Loving God, loving neighbors, making and equipping new disciples, welcoming strangers, offering worship, building racial and economic equity, sharing what we have, etc.
Sharing resources, we discovered, was a narrative that many congregations are now more ready than ever to lean into. It may be a starting point for a broader discussion that includes other, better narratives.
This Tuesday at 3 pm, we will continue the conversation and stream it on Facebook so that more people will be able to participate. Our hope is that more leaders from the wide diversity of our Region will take part. (That is another, better narrative – that we more intentionally work more closely together in mutual respect when thinking theologically and acting as the Spirit leads.)
To find out how to access the Zoom meeting, click here.
9401 Johnson Drive, Merriam, Kansas 66203