Liberation is not easy. Liberation is not pain free. Liberation often involves difficult battles and suffering. It may well be liberating to swim naked in an ocean but true liberty is the freedom to be ourselves; to accept and love ourselves for who we are.
I share this story as a simple lesson in unconscious bias. As pastors in training we demonstrated our own prejudice. No doubt we demonstrate such prejudice every day without thinking as we did in the comfort of our classroom. Prejudice is sin; prejudice is a deep rooted sin in the church and we need to reflect, acknowledge and repent of our sin.
I will admit I can find it somewhat pretentious to talk about the prophetic. I think it comes from the experience of preachers claiming to be prophetic, having prophecies or claiming a title of Prophet and making bold claims that God is speaking to them about specific issues of the future. Frequently these claims are broad brushstroke type claims that really say very little and come across a bit like a horoscope. The prophetic church empowers the disempowered, speaks to the places of power and acts with integrity and humility for and with those who are powerless because these are the ways of God.
A few years ago I was doing some research about the eucharist or communion for my own understanding of the different beliefs people have about what happens. The different beliefs lead to a variety of ways of sharing the bread and wine, who is authorised to serve the elements and who is permitted receive them. … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Inclusive
It is fairly common to refer to the church as a body. This stems from the writing in the New Testament attributed to Paul which refers to the church as the 'body of Christ' (Ephesians 4:12). The church is a body. It is not perfect and nor should it be. It is broken and it can be beautiful when we accept its gifts, diversity, fragility, disabilities and scars.
Family is a wonderful analogy. I suppose the image that people usually have when they talk of 'family' in relation to church is that we are to be close in relationship, sharing life together, looking out for one another, supportive, encouraging, loving, and so on and so forth. What people tend to forget when using family as an analogy is the pain, suffering and hurt experienced within families.
It was an honour to hear first-hand from men and women who had survived the holocaust. A few years from now there will be no more survivors; their generation will have passed on from this life. As he spoke Peter said, “Try not to hate; hatred gets you nowhere.” I want to learn the strength and power of the decision to love.
It was insightful, honest, challenging, gripping and inspiring. Rev. Gondongwe articulated the theology, thoughts and practices I have had as meandering ideas but he expressed them with clarity and in a succinct manner. Rarely do I hear Christians speak about the faults and mistakes of the church as well as its successes and positive contributions. It was excellent.
It is great to hear the music, the sound of a few simple instruments and the beauty of the singing.
I have been enjoying the snow during the past few days. There has then the joyful whoops of excited children pulling back the curtains and seeing the world turn white. Explorations of snow and ice – the sound as is crunches under feet, how it feels in our fingers and even how it tastes. It … Continue reading Snowy Community