Hello Brothers & Sisters,
The sun is out and melting all the snow. It’s turning out to be a nice day. I hope you can get outside for a few minutes and enjoy it.
If you missed the sermon on Sunday, we continued our Roots series with core value #7 on service with a message entitled, Serving Compassionately (7 of 10). As always, you can listen to the sermon on our website or via iTunes. If you’re a part of a small group, you can find the discussion questions under Worship Resources.
This coming Sunday we are excited to have author, pastor, and theologian Greg Boyd speaking in a combined Learning Community (C8-10) at 9:00 a.m. on his book, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Politics is Destroying the Church (2005), and in our worship service at 10:30 a.m. Greg will be speaking in worship on core value #8 that states: “We value all human life and promote forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation, and nonviolent resolution of conflict.”
I’m excited that Greg will be addressing this value for our congregation. Greg, like myself, adopted Anabaptism later in life. So, I think you will find he brings fresh insight and a contagious passion for Christ and his upside-down Kingdom. Whether you’re already a committed pacifist or you’re still unsure or unconvinced that non-violence should always be the response of a Christian, I know that you will be encouraged, energized, and challenged by Greg’s message, Pursuing Peace (8 of 10).
I first read Greg’s best-selling book about 10 years ago. For me, it came at a time when I was becoming an Anabaptist and didn’t know it. I had read a lot of books on the subject, but his evangelical approach to the message connected all of the dots for me. It was soon after reading his book that my world was turned upside-down, along with a new vision of the church and the Kingdom of God. The next seven years was a journey of discovering a new (or old) way to be Christian, as well as rediscovering my call into vocational ministry.
Some of you have wondered about my personal connection to Greg. In short, I wrote a paper in seminary on some of Greg’s views that eventually came to his attention. It was in the fall of 2012 that I began a personal friendship with Greg and he offered to be accessible to me as a theological mentor. He is currently helping many younger pastors who resonate with Anabaptism and want to be a part of a growing movement of churches that have been captivated by the God who looks like Jesus, and has always looked like Jesus.
I have heard Greg say on multiple occasions, and you may hear him say this on Sunday, that he believes God is preparing his church for another reformation, as it would appear that the church experiences a radical shift every 500 years. That would mean that we are due one, since this year marks the anniversary of the 16th century Protestant Reformation.
While this is certainly exciting to think about, a 21st century reformation will come with some challenges we’ve never faced before. And I believe Greg Boyd is among a handful of leaders who can help us navigate the road ahead. Therefore, I hope you’ll join us on Sunday. Please invite your family and friends. Also, we would appreciate you helping to share this event on social media.
If you’d like to hear more from Greg while he is in town, check out the 2017 Annual Shrag Peace Lectures at Messiah College. I’ll be attending these events and would love to see you there.
Finally, remember that you can pick up a free copy of our core values book, Focusing Our Faith, in the church foyer. Our own Harriet Sider Bicksler has written a helpful chapter that nicely summarizes our BIC core value on peace and non-violent resolution of conflict. There will also be copies of Greg’s book available for purchase in the lobby.
May the Lord continue to bless Grantham Church.
Grace & Peace,
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