In a day and age when so many people have chosen to write a “Dear John” letter to the church, the ministry of NEXT Church seized the opportunity to write the Sarasota Statement that actively demonstrated what it means to include one another and to seek out the alien and stranger.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2017/04/featured-tasha-group-table.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2017-04-27 09:09:592017-06-28 19:39:21Making Room at the Table
When I was invited to help compose this statement of faith and action, I immediately felt a sense of apprehension. I wanted to be certain that I could bring my whole self to the occasion. It was also vital that the communities in which I hold membership and those I care for see themselves, their struggles, and passions voiced here.
Perhaps the most countercultural posture the church can proclaim and seek to embody is one of confidence and hopefulness. Such a way of faith and action may demand that we live and act counter to our own preferences at times.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2017/04/featured-communion-gathering.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2017-04-20 11:58:572017-06-28 19:40:45The Kingdom of God Is
The reason we dare to imagine what things should look like in this world (in the Sarasota Statement and beyond) is because God has made us stupendous promises. God’s Kingdom will come to earth as it is in heaven, we confess.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/11/featured-lewinsville.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2017-04-18 14:14:372017-06-28 19:41:44The Stupendous Promises of God
There is something special about the Sarasota Statement – and also nothing special about it at all. But it points beyond itself, inviting and challenging all of us to do the same, in our place, in our time, right here and now.
At one point, I told one of my colleagues on the team that I had never been so aware of both my privilege and lack thereof as I was during this process. My race, gender, and sexual identity combined with my traditional Presbyterian education and my untraditional non-parish job placed me uniquely and intensely in the midst of the various identities represented in the group.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2017/04/featured-sarasota-table.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2017-04-10 09:50:112017-06-28 19:43:33Called To The Uncomfortable Place