A church that seeks to engage in meaningful ministry will invariably introduce initiatives that disrupt the status quo and stir anxiety for at least some. One response, says Gilbert R. Rendle, is to “subject every decision and action to an evaluation based on whether people are happy.” This approach, says Rendle, who is a senior consultant to churches at Alban Institute, will never lead to “dynamic ministry that takes seriously the needs of the community in the light of the Holy Spirit’s calling.”
Instead of doing things to make everyone happy, which is an impossibility, Gilbert Rendle and his colleague, Alice Mann, suggest a congregational planning process that they call “holy conversation.” I like their idea. It’s biblical.
Holy conversations involve dialogues in various meetings, boards and committees where we actively invite the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts and sincerely seek what is good. In a holy conversation, we open ourselves to Christ-like love for one another and the community around us. When we are sensitive to the tender love of Jesus in our conversations, the space beneath us becomes holy ground. Anyone who walks into a room where we are in conversation, should see the presence of the living Jesus at work.
Furthermore, as we communicate with a consciousness that the ground at church is holy, we are better prepared for the holy ground beneath us to expand into our homes and work places, so that we find ourselves on holy ground wherever we go. Every conversation is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to guide us and for people to see Jesus in us. It can start at church
Once again this year the Redlands Area Interfaith Council is hosting the Redlands Mayor's Breakfast. It will be held on Thursday May 4, 2017 at the U of R Orton Center. The cost is $12, a continental breakfast will be served at 7 a.m.
If you'd like to go with me, drop me a line or give me a call. Please respond by April 26.
Many of us have longstanding relationships that have gone over the years and through the woods to places where our lives have been impacted, our attitudes shaped, and our destiny directed.
Simon Peter had the start of such a relationship with Jesus. Then Jesus was killed.
The Bible says that on the third day after Jesus was executed, he rose from the dead. Then he “presented himself alive to Peter, to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time” (I Cor 15). The active presence of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ in the daily activities of Peter and the other early followers of Jesus, transformed their lives for good and forever.
It is my prayer that our church will increasingly experience the living presence of the resurrected Christ who appeared to the early followers and that this reality will become the defining relationship of our lives.
Join us for our final installment in our second annual Lenten Organ Recitals, Thursday April 13th at 11:30 a.m. Where you have an opportunity to listen to some of our region's finest organists. After a Lenten scripture reading we will listen to some sacred music offered by talented artists.
This week we will have the pleasure of listening to Dr. Kimo Smith. Dr. Kimo Smith, organist and pianist, is an associate professor of music at La Sierra University. He began his association with LSU in 1973, when it was known as Loma Linda University Riverside and then continued as a member of the faculty when LSU was established as a separate school in 1990. Since that time he has served as Director of Keyboard Studies and Director of the University Studies Program, as well as music department chair (2003-2010). He also serves as organist at Loma Linda University Church in nearby Loma Linda and at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, where he also serves as associate director of music. He has served at both churches for over thirty years and was honored in 2009 on the 30th anniversary of the beginning of his service at the LLU Church.