Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life Together

As posted on Christ the King Wilbraham's website:

It’s been another amazing week of growing and learning at Christ the King! Worshiping, participating in adult forum, and talking with everyone over coffee hour this week helped me get to know many of you, I can’t wait to continue getting to know everyone better over the next couple months. While I learned a great deal about many of you individually, I also discovered some great things about CTK as a whole. First, whether its the bread at communion or the cookies at coffee hour, baking is definitely a gift that obviously apparent in your congregation! On a slightly more serious note however, I’ve continued to be amazingly impressed by quality worship experience at the Christ the King. Many folks tend to think of worship as more of a performance to watch, something to only passively take part in. At CTK at least, worship is much much more: it’s a genuine expression of Christian community, with everyone actively participating and contributing their own unique spiritual gifts to the fellowship.

Outside of my time at CTK, I’ve spent some time this week reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, which is an amazing portrayal of Christian community. There’s one quote in the book that particularly struck me:

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them.

One reason I think worship at Christ the King is so great is it's conversational in tone; everyone seems to be very in tune with each other's needs. When we listen to each other, we tend to support one another. As we continue to explore different varieties of stewardship during Lent, it'll be a great opportunity to mutually listen and support each other in discovering new ways to use our spiritual gifts in the wider community and beyond! God's peace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does Not Wisdom Call?

 My first immersion experience reflection on Christ the King Wilbraham's website:

After only four days at Christ the King, the following passage from Proverbs strikes me as particularly relevant:
Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?  On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; besides the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.  O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it.  Hear, for I will speak noble thing, and from my lips will come what is right…” (Prov. 8: 1-6)
For much of my life, but particularly over this past year, I’ve been actively, and (I hope) prudently discerning my call to ordained ministry.  While my discernment process has already helped to affirm my sense of call, I know there’s still so much learning to do!  Much like the passage above illustrates, wisdom and opportunities to learn abound… and they’re certainly here at Christ the King.

As I start my immersion experience at CTK, I’m at a crossroads in life: after two years out of school, I plan on attending seminary this fall and I’ll also return to work at Camp Calumet this summer.  At this point I’m trying to discern what strengths I’ll bring to ministry and what areas need some work.  Learning opportunities have constantly presented themselves over the past few days: I found the care taken in music & worship planning this past Sunday afternoon truly inspirational, and hearing how many of you have uniquely contributed to God’s work at CTK has been an amazing experience as well.

While I find great opportunity for my own learning at CTK, I’ve also seen great opportunity for your congregation.  Working through the upcoming construction project will be a great time to be even more out connecting with the community for instance, and Lent is always an excellent opportunity for stewardship and spiritual growth.  Many thanks for all of your warm welcomes this past Sunday, and I look forward to spending more time with you over the next couple months.
God’s peace,