What Is Mission First All About?

  At the 2015 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Columbus, Ohio, those gathered heard about a new initiative being rolled out called Mission First.  Mission First seems to be a way to retool the denomination for the 21st century.  A central part of this initiative is to have Mission Gatherings in 2016.  My region is having its Mission Gathering later this month. While the website for Mission First has some background on the idea, a certain question keeps coming to the fore: what is this all about? I get that this is kind of a … Continue reading What Is Mission First All About?

Sermon: Make Me Wanna Holler

Habakkuk 1:1–4, 2:2–4 and 3:17–19 First Sunday in Advent November 30, 2014 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN My dad was always concerned whenever I did something with one my white female friends. I never really understood what was the deal. I had no interest in dating them, just hanging out with them. I went to a Catholic high school in Michigan that was predominantly white and it so happened that a lot of the people I knew were white women. A few years out of high school, I started to understand what Dad was getting at. My friend Cherie and … Continue reading Sermon: Make Me Wanna Holler

Volunteers Needed: Church Launch/Re-Launch Team

First Christian Church of St. Paul is looking for the curious, the energetic, the adventurous and others who are interested in relaunching this Mainline Protestant congregation as well as launching a preaching point somewhere in the St.Paul area. The Re-Launch/Launch Team is the group of people who are simply saying I want to be a part of what God is doing in and through this church. It’s a group of people willing to walk with those already here and see what God is doing. You don’t need any special gifts or skills but an attitude that says I will do … Continue reading Volunteers Needed: Church Launch/Re-Launch Team

The Landscape for Mission (and Theology)

One of the things that my denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is trying to do better is helping people understand the context in which they are to be church.  An initiative, the  Landscape for Mission has come out that helps people explain the changing society that we find ourselves in and insight on what we can do.  I like the production value and I like that the four videos tell some hard truths about the denomination, something that a number of Disciples refuse to admit. Where I think it falls short is in the area of theology.  I … Continue reading The Landscape for Mission (and Theology)

God Is A Concept.

When I was in journalism class in high school, I remember seeing a poster in the teacher’s classroom that caught my attention.  It was one of those posters that shows something like a big sky or the stars at night.  At the bottom of the poster were these words: “God Is A Concept.” I really didn’t know what it meant.  I originally thought it was nice to talk about  God.  I remember talking to the teacher about it and while I can’t remember the words she said, the point was made that we didn’t have the same view of God.  … Continue reading God Is A Concept.

What’s Missing?

For the last few months, I’ve been following a blog called Via Media Methodists.  The purpose of VMM is: 1.”To offer an alternative beyond the current polarization in The United Methodist Church; 2. To raise the level of discourse within The United Methodist Church; and 3. To practice what we preach.”  After a few bit of chatter with one of VMM’s curators, Drew McIntrye, he suggested I write a post about my own tradition.  I wrote the blog post and it now appears on the blog.  Please read it when have the chance. Fellow Disciples pastor Brian Morse was able … Continue reading What’s Missing?

Jesus of Suburbia

It’s coming up to a year since I’ve been at First Christian of St. Paul which is in Mahtomedi, MN.  One of the things that was kind of hammered home to me in seminary is to learn to do ministry in a certain context.  And with this call, context matters, at least to me. I’ve shared before that I’m a city kid that grew up with an antipathy towards the ‘burbs.  So as my mentor Bob Brite has said, “the Holy Spirit, the practical joker that she is” has me preaching at a church in the suburbs. And I don’t … Continue reading Jesus of Suburbia