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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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Help on the Prairie

In January of 2014 I will be at this event. Multiple Area Parishes: Framing Our Unique Ministry.



This should be a good time to gather people who are involved in multiple parishes with one set of leadership for each and all of them. (For those of you who only have one congregation to think about, imagine multiple congregational meetings, events, and worship services each month. You can see why they use the word "unique.") People in these parishes, both leaders and laity, often have to ascertain many different thoughts, opinions, emotions, and feelings with each and every move. It is not easy...

But how great the reward! Imagine being able to see people work together on common ministries for the common good. It's like heaven, but on earth! People work together even if their own interest in ot being served...self-sacrifice, the one thing no one does anymore. I am Looking forward to my time with the folks in the Southwest Minnesota Synod. Nothing like a good conversation on a good winter's day on the prairie...

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And we wonder how heaven is here on earth? Well, if it is, it's because God is here, and wherever God is, is pretty much heaven. When Christians claim Jesus is God's son, they are saying that God is here on earth. And you might NOT believe that...

How can God be around here? Not more than an hour ago a woman came into my office claiming her boyfriend of 6 years has started beating her. True or false, the fact that such a scenario is not impossible seems to indicate we may not be on heaven quite yet. But, an hour before that, a woman came to our pantry in need of a coat (it's a whopping 20 degrees today), and our clothes pantry person was here, and was able to get this woman a coat so she wouldn't freeze at the bus stop. For her, heaven might just have been our basement pantry...who's to say?

The preacher in the book of Hebrews says we should "practice hospitality, lest we entertain angels unawares." Practice...keep trying...don't stop...live as if angels are wandering around in need of help...this is without a doubt a recipe for poverty. Hence, the reason why we are encouraged to practice hospitality.

I suppose there are worse things to practice this time of year. I mean, if the shepherds hadn't practiced hospitality...it would have been a quiet night in Bethlehem for the new family.  (art by George W. Truett.)

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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