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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Where might this lead?

I suppose, when pressed hard, I might choose Galatians 5.1 "For freedom Christ has set you free" as my favorite verse of scripture...
Although I really like "So if there is anyone in Christ, there is new creation..." (2nd Corinthians 5.17)...
And who can not like "Father, forgive them...they don't have a clue." (somewhere in Luke's gospel, I'm sure).

We all kind of pick and choose favorites from scripture, I suppose, and I don't imagine it's much different for people of any book religion. Christians, like our Jewish and Muslim cousins, are book religion people. We might want God to continually work and live outside the box, but we do love our stories...

Basically, this blog is going to tell the story of where and how this new community the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) prays about is going. As Christians, we pretty much leave the final outcome to God, but there is still a journey to be wandered...

So for a theme song tonight, at least, I've got the Jewish singer Barbara Streisand in mind singing "I Wonder as I Wander." I'm not going to ponder the irony there...

So as the wanderings begin, as we gather around the fire for some stories, around the table for some food and wine, we keep in mind this little ditty, "I wonder as I wander, out under the sky..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Thoughts

We've come to the point of having to blog...
I'm not even sure what that means, but here we go...
Yesterday I talked with a 17 year old exchange student from Germany spending a year abroad in the North Dakota prairies...you can still get by up here if you know a little German...she talked about the Spirit moving her in these revival experiences she has back home...That's what I miss here, she said...
So do I.
I've spent a lot of time in churches in my life...most people have better things to do I guess, but not me...I've dragged friends to some pretty weird things...In high school a friend and I attended an Episcopalian mass, and it was just him and I, two senior ladies with hats, the priest, and two acolytes (the kids who light the candles) for one hour...In college a friend and I attended a local Christian Missionary and Alliance congregation, and the pastor had us stand up and tell everyone how long we'd been married...To their chagrin, we hadn't, we weren't, and we didn't...My wife and I once spent three hours in an American Baptist congregation on the South side of Chicago where we were the only visible minorities amongst the 3000 parishioners...These are are the stories, the people, the places that are part of my journey at the table of our Lord Jesus the Christ.
I've seen a lot of tables...some are bona fide granite altars to bygone days of Christendom...some are wooden characters that have more stories carved into them than I have in me...Some are painted as to be unrecognizable to their owners...some tables are left to the weather, and to the wayfaring stranger who finds their way to them...People have laid out tables for me, and after 40 years of eating, drinking, resting, and sharing, I've laid out a few tables for others too...
Tables are all about refreshment...finding your God, maybe yourself, maybe a community to share beer, wine, food, and a few stories...There's not much more to life than that...at least important stuff.