Wednesday, December 14

update

Psalm 37:3-9, 17
3Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4 Take delight in the Lord, *
and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5 Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him, *
and he will bring it to pass.
6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
and your just dealing as the noonday.
7 Be still before the Lord *
and wait patiently for him.
8 Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9 Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
17The little that the righteous has *
is better than great riches of the wicked.


I have been reflecting on thsi psalm for the past week. I found this Psalm encouraging as I prayed the Morning office Wednesday of last week. I find what the psalmist says here about God and appearant success or the lack of it encouraging as we continue to talk with our denominations and on some level need to justify our existence. Not that I believe we are up against the "wicked", but I am aware that we are asked by our denominations to show forth our success. I both understand this and struggle with this thing called success. When I think of our numbers and wrestle with how to move forward with the work God has given us, I am tempted to fret. This psalm reminds us of two things, that if this has been given to us by God than it is God's and not ours, and God will care for us and the work he has given us to do. Second, I am reminded that God measures success in different terms than our corporate captialist world that informs event the church's concept. God's work in the world is often in the small things. Not to say that God is not in the large numbers but where the world might only measure success in a limited way, God is expansive and calls us to other things
We have not sent out updates or posted sermons to the blog in awhile due to the Pastoral teams current limited ability to access the internet. Much is going on.
Last week we met Representatives from each of the administrative regions of our three denominations (Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, ABC-Metro Chicago Region, Central Conference of the ECC) met with Jane and I yesterday. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson Associate Superintedant of the Central Conference hosted the meeting at the Central Conference offices. Rev. Cynthia Hallas Ecumenical Officer of the Diocese of Chicago, and Rev. Larry Greenfield Executive Regional Minister of ABC-Metro Chicago Region was present. We were encouraged to move forward and although it was agreed that it would still be awhile yet before full affiliation with all three denominations could take place that it was possible that an intermediary form of recognition of Reconciler was possible from each of the three denominations. They also asked of us to put together a more concise vision statement and to put together a year "Strategic Plan". As we begin the new year the pastoral team and church council will be about putting together these documents. Also, beginning in the new year Tripp and I hope to begin keeping "office hours" durring the week at some of the neighborhood caffes in order to be present in the areas we are attempting to reach out to. Lastly, we will soon be moving from our blogger page, as we will be getting our own domain name and making use of a format that will among other things allow us to use a callender.
Due to most of the members of reconciler being out of town over Christmas we will not be having any Christmas services and will not have a worship service on January 1st. Our main holiday service will be Epiphany Sunday January 8th.