As we began this new year of 2021, I shared a message with the church inviting us all to imagine who we must be as a new church showing up for this new world.
Cognitive theorists will tell you that the human brain works best to help us reach our goals when we can tie the goal to a clear vision or picture of what it will look like. But even more importantly, how we will feel,
how we will experience the new world that results when we have achieved our goals.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to ask ourselves, if we are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, not only what does it look like, but what does it feel like? How will we see this in the practices of local congregations, our regional ministries and general church? And if we are indeed an anti-racist, pro-reconciling church, what are we doing? What does it look like? What do our churches look like?
And more importantly, what impact are our churches having in the world and in the communities that we serve? How is anti-racism manifest, not only across our church but even in the communities that we serve?
So, as we continue this conversation, we will need to reflect on our life together as a covenantal church. How do we interact with one another? What are our responsibilities and obligations? Not only what does it look like, but what does it feel like?
And when we walk into a local congregation, how will we experience this movement for wholeness, this anti-racist church? What is the story or wider narrative that we as a church tell that aligns us with our call to bear witness to the limitless love of God? What is the story your congregation tells? What is the story your ministry seeks to live into and what will it look like for your church? How will you show up in your community? How will you experience this new world where you are?
And what tools do we need to make this all work? What will you need? How will we build and maintain the necessary spiritual disciplines to undergird and make such ministry possible? And make it not only possible, but authentic, and relevant, on the ground, where we live and serve?
Well, in the coming weeks we’ll be asking these questions and a lot more and imagining together with Disciples across our whole church, to see how we can live into our call to imagine God’s limitless love.
What does it look like for us to be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world? And who will we be and how will we act and serve if we are indeed becoming an anti-racist church?
These are important questions, Disciples, and I pray that we’ll keep thinking and reflecting and praying together, imagining together what it looks like for us to be church together in this new world.
Let’s keep imagining what it would look like, and feel like for us to be the church we say we are.
I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks for some important conversations.