A Big Task

This Sunday we finally got back together. At long last we were able to worship in the same place rather than scattered all over the community and beyond. It was something wonderfully new in a season that has gotten pretty stale. Appropriately, then, we started a new teaching series. For the next few weeks as we rediscover what it means to be the church, we are going to immerse ourselves in the story of the very first church to see just what wisdom we can glean from their experiences for our own. In this first part we are reminded of just how big the task before us really is. Fortunately, that’s not the only reminder we get. Read on to find out about the next one.

A Big Task

When the first Frozen movie came out a few years ago, it was an unexpectedly big hit. The mixture of compelling storytelling, classical Disney animation, not one, but two new Disney princesses for young girls to idolize, and truly terrific music (“Reindeers are Better than People” was my personal favorite) turned out a film that became one of the most successful animated films of all time. As a matter of fact, only one animated film has done better than it did in terms of box office receipts: Frozen 2.

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Loving One Another

After four months worshiping together from a distance, this coming Sunday we will finally open our doors once again for in-person worship services. We are as excited as can be to see each other, but this doesn’t mean we’re really ready for it. Last week we started a conversation about how we can hit that mark together. This past Sunday morning we finished that conversation and I shared our guidelines for worshiping together safely in light of the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Here’s what I had to say.

Loving One Another

One of the most effective ways that storytellers keep their audiences coming back for more is with the use of a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger, of course, is a story that ends at a moment that is decidedly unresolved thereby inviting you to come back to find out what happens next. For superhero fans, consider the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. The bad guy accomplished his main goal, wiped out half the life in the universe with the snap of his fingers, and sat peacefully on a distant planet enjoying a beautiful sunset. Three hours of movie-watching and the bad guy wins after 10 years and 22-films worth of build up?!? Of course, I’m coming back for the sequel! What’s that? You want $100 per ticket? I’ll take a dozen just to make sure I don’t miss anything.

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Differences of Opinion

Something good is on the horizon. After nearly four months apart, we are finally going to be able to get back together for live, in-person worship services starting July 5. Having been gone so long, though, and having been so profoundly changed by what we have experienced–even in ways we don’t fully understand–we need to get ready for what’s to come in some equally profound ways. This week and next we are having a conversation about what we need to know and what we will be doing to make our regathering both satisfying and sustainable. Thanks for tuning in here for part 1.

Differences of Opinion

I want you to imagine something with me this morning. This may stretch your imaginative capacities a bit, so do the best you can. I want you to imagine a church. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, imagine—and here’s where things may get tough—that this church is dealing with some internal conflict about something that from the outside looking in seems trivial to most passersby. Take a breather for a minute if you need it, I know that was pretty challenging.

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