Skip to main content

Annual Conference Reflections, Part 2

still here at Annual Conference.

This morning for worship our guest preacher was retired Bishop Dan Solomon. I heard him preach most recently at the 2004 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, and he was excellent, and his time with us this morning at AC proved no less inspiring.
Bishop Solomon preached on 1 Peter 3:13-15, "The Reason for Our Hope." He gave us three 'handles':
1) Respond to the awesomeness of God. He asked, "are you more occupied with the weakness of the church than you are with the greatness of God?" He said that we tend to do plenty of blaming, but he asked, "is God able? God is able. If God is able, I am willing."
2) Redefine our being. Solomon said our personhood is redefined by Jesus Christ, and we are to be representatives of Christ in the world. He told a story about a church member who went on and on about how excited he was about the mission statement his church had spent a year creating. Solomon told us, "I've never seen a mission statement that comes with batteries included." Jesus' mission statement was simple and clear: found in Luke 4:18.
3) Reclaim a mission passion. Solomon preached that churches do not spontaneously spring up - they are born of mission. Jesus taught that we must lose our life to save it, and save it to lose it. Churches aren't losing, Solomon said, they are hoarding. "Surprise for a Christian is faithlessness."
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed his style and his message. Luckily, he's preaching again tomorrow morning at closing worship!


Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been