Tuesday, April 25

Reconciler Weekly Update

I have been thinking lately about the movement of the Spirit. There are so many ways that we often conceive of the Spirit. The Spirit is often appealed to as that which works against the institutional aspect of the church. But if the church was founded by Christ, and the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and the Trinity Father Son and Holy Spirit are three in one, then in fact no such dichotomy can be legitimately employed. However, we as the church, either as individuals or corporately as institution, can resist or be open to the movement of the Spirit. Being of the Spirit neither has to do with being always spontaneous nor does being of the Spirit have to do with guarding every form and rule. The Spirit of God is that which forms the church and us as members of the church. The Spirit is the life of us as persons and of the church which is manifest as institution.

In the past several weeks we have experienced the work of the Spirit as we have joined with Immanuel Lutheran Church and St. Elias Christian Church as we worshiped together on Ash Wednesday and then Holy Week. Pastor Monte Johnson of Immanuel Lutheran Church told me that Immanuel experienced a new joy in worship as we worshiped with them. We also experienced this joy as we worshiped with Immanuel and St Elias. This is the movement of the Spirit in us and Immanuel and St Elias as we joined together seeking the unity of the body of Christ,in worship that also sought to be connected with the church across ages and cultures.
I want to encourage us to awaken to the subtle movements of the Spirit in our midst and in us as we worship together and seek to be church.

As part of this we will begin a Bible study on Ephesians on Wednesday May 3 extending through Wednesday June 28th. We will be meeting at North Shore Baptist Church,5244 N Lakewood, three blocks from the Byrwyn Redline Stop at the corner of Lakewood and Byrwyn. Bible Study will begin at 7PM, North Shore serves supper on Wednesday nights at 6:15. Please contact the church secretary Mae, at 773-728-4200 by Monday of Each week if you wish to join us and North Shore for supper. Suggested donation for the meal is 5 dollars.
We will be focusing on what Ephesians has to say about the unity, life and worship of the church. As a companion to our study of Ephesians we will be reading essays from The Liturgy after the Liturgy, by Ion Bria a Romanian Orthodox priest who is also been a leader in Ecumenical work and the World Council of Churches.
Schedule:
Week 1, Wednesday May 3- Introduction and Ephesians 1
Week 2 Wednesday May 10 Chapter 2 of Liturgy after the Liturgy
Week 3 Wednesday May 17 - Ephesians 2
Week 4 Wednesday May 24- Chapter 3 of Liturgy after the Liturgy
Week 5 Wednesday may 31- Ephesians 3
Week 6 Wednesday June 7 - Ephesians 4-5:2
Week 7 Wednesday June 14- Ephesians 5:3-6:9
Week 8 Wednesday June 21- Ephesians 6:10 to the end.
Week 9 Wednesday June 28- Chapter 7 The Liturgy after the Liturgy
If you do not feel you can make every Wednesday all should feel free to come on the days you can. While we do conceive this a a single course. Each week also will make sense on its own.

Also, a note about our worship. Sunday May 7th Tripp is gone and the Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches-Metro Chicago(ABC-MC) will be our guest preacher. This also gives us a chance to meet and become acquainted with a leader in one of the denominations we are affiliated with.

Also, the artist gathering Reconciler has been coordinating, which began meeting in January, is going strong meeting once a month. It is meeting this Thursday April 27th at Matt and Cindy Newports apartment 4652 N. Beacon #1, near the intersection of Clark and Wilson. Their apartment is easily accessible by public Transportation: three blocks from the Wilson Red Line stop and the #22 Clark Bus runs all night.

Lastly we will be having a meeting of our church council/core group Monday May 8th at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 7pm. If you have been attending Reconciler regularly you are encouraged to attend and participate in the meeting. This is a chance for all to become acquainted with how we function as a church beyond Sunday worship.
May the love of God the peace of Christ and the unity of the Holy Spirit be with you,
In Christ,
Larry