One of these days, I’m going to write a book revealing all my struggles and my triumphs. My story is a story of faith and perseverance. A high school dropout that took the GED and now holds a doctorate degree. A guy who has so many interests and came through many dangers, toils and snares. I suppose if I were a good Presbyterian, I’d say it was all Providence!
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2019/10/eugene-zaycev-FT0sspZRF-I-unsplash.jpg11522048Layton Williams/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLayton Williams2019-10-17 18:12:562019-10-19 10:07:08Multiple Memberships on a Journey of Faith and Perseverance
It’s just the case that many people are not “joiners.” I suspect that wariness is a symptom of a larger suspicion of institutionalization in general. Curiously, I am finding that many people are not commitment-avoidant when it comes to showing up, pitching in, and even supporting with time or money. But, becoming a “member” seems to be another matter.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2017/09/featured-church-community-chapel.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2019-10-03 06:11:522019-10-03 10:25:14Talking Membership… in a Join-Averse World
In the African-American community, we have embraced the concept of SANKOFA, from a West African proverb. SANKOFA teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward.
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We should expect tension in our communities and learn how to face it with more confidence. In fact, we should learn how to introduce it in constructive ways that shift the burden and the opportunity of leadership off the pastor(s) and onto more leaders and potential leaders in the congregation.
What I realized through this conference is that we as Christians need to do a better job of understanding our own issues, before pointing our fingers at others’ religious issues. At the beginning of one of our table discussions, each participant was asked to share a personal story involving our encounter with a religion that was different than our own. This is the story I shared.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2017/12/featured-candle-ceramic.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2019-09-25 05:59:512019-09-18 16:04:35Re-post: Wrestling with Christianity's Issues
People need a place to give voice to truth, before God and everybody, and know that they are held in safety and love. Whether in or out of a church building, we need a community where healing and reconciliation mean more than appearances and convention, even if it goes off script . . . and especially if it challenges our expectations of what we paid to see.
Perhaps I have a simplistic view of the objections, but I believe it mostly boils down to a sense that “that was then and this is now – why should I take responsibility for the crimes committed by people who lived hundreds of years ago?” Here are some responses to that question.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2019/09/featured-mclaren-conference.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2019-09-22 06:46:232019-09-18 15:52:34Re-post: What?!? You Don’t Want To Take Responsibility for Centuries of Christian Oppression, Pogroms, and Genocide? I Can’t Imagine Why Not!