Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It was a blessing to have Bruxy Cavey with us this past Sunday. Bruxy shared a message entitled, Being a Third Way Family: Cultivating the Radical Love of Jesus in the Church. If you missed the message, please take some time to listen/watch at our website or at our podcast via iTunes. Bruxy described the sort of culture we have been working to create and celebrate at Grantham Church.
Here are several critical points that Bruxy made in his message that I’d like for us to continue thinking about:
Generally speaking, first way is conservative and judgmental (e.g. Pharisees); second way is liberal and accepting (i.e. anything goes/whatever makes you happy); third way says that whether you lean to the left or the right, we strive to make welcoming space for Christians who hold a different opinion/position on a significant issue.
Our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ is not only a spiritual reality given to us by Jesus, but also a relational discipline that we practice as a gift to give back to Jesus. Our unity is both a spiritual fact and a spiritual fight (Eph 2:14-16; 4:3; Rom 12:5). Jesus prayed for our unity (John 17:20-23). Therefore, to disrupt the unity of the church is a sin.
Acceptance does not equal agreement. When we confuse acceptance and agreement, we will tend to withhold acceptance in order to communicate our disagreement.
Let us reject the world’s “call out” culture in favor of God’s “call in” culture. How do we do that? (1) Don’t pretend to agree (that’s false unity); (2) Don’t avoid the issue (that’s weak unity); (3) Do speak well of others, to their face and behind their backs; (4) Do take a learning posture in the relationship. This applies to everyone.
I’m grateful for how Bruxy helped us to take a few more steps forward into being a third way church family, and for how he challenged us to lead out in being a uniquely Christ-centered church, for such a time as this. Let’s press on in our calling to be the difference the world needs to see in the church today.
This Sunday we will be returning to the Gospel of Luke in our Lenten series, and Pastor Kelly will be preaching on the parable of the prodigal son. We will be sharing in communion together at the end of the service. Also, you will receive a bulletin insert that lists our Holy Week services, including times and other important information. I want to encourage you to make every effort to participate in these upcoming events. And remember, if you’d like to sign up to bring food, or to help with set-up and clean-up for our Maundy Thursday meal, please contact the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally, I’m writing this letter from Christian Retreat Center, where I was asked to be a part of a strategic planning retreat for Susquehanna Conference. Please pray for Bishop Bob and our team over the next couple of days, as we reflect on the 20 year history of our conference and prayerfully discern how the Spirit is leading us into a new season of conference life. We’re living in some challenging times, but I am hopeful about the future of our church, our conference, and our denomination. I want to invite you to join me in believing that our best years are ahead.
For the sake of the gospel, may God continue to bless Grantham Church, the Susquehanna Conference, and the entire BIC family.
See you on Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
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