As we continue our Fall theme of “Being the Church,” framed by our Priorities & Practices, this week we give our attention to Adventurous Thinking:
Where we’re going is not where we’ve been, so we are to cultivate new ways of being, thinking, and doing — a “God-dominated Imagination” that results in faith-full risk-taking.
I think about Saul the Pharisee after his encounter with the resurrected Jesus—the three days of waiting in blindness (Acts 9:1-19), and the three years of reorienting in Arabia (Galatians 1:11-18)—grappling with the radical shift in his understanding of Jesus, of God’s purposes, of the Scriptures, and of his calling. Where Paul was going now was not where he had been; he needed adventurous thinking.
I think about Peter the faithful Jewish apostle of Jesus after his thrice repeated vision—a descending sheet full of unclean animals and the Lord’s voice declaring, “What God has made clean, do not call uncommon.”—standing in front of the door to centurion Cornelius’ house, at the literal threshold of a radical encounter with Gentiles and the Holy Spirit (Acts 10). Where Peter (and the months-old Church!) was going now was not where he (nor they!) had been; he (and they!) needed adventurous thinking.
I think about a people once called St. Margaret’s, walking down a hillside—leaving behind much more than just a building—and stepping into an unknown future, transitioning into new ways of being, thinking, and doing as a people now called Immanuel. Where they were going now was not where they had been; they needed adventurous thinking.
As we follow Jesus into God’s future for Immanuel, the invitation “is not to try harder but to start a new adventure: to look over Lemhi Pass and let the assumptions of the past go. To see not the absence of a water route but the discovery of a new, uncharted land beckoning us forward—yes, in the face of the uncertainties, fears and potential losses—to learn and to be transformed. What is needed? An adventure that requires adaptive capacity” (Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains).
Life Together Updates
Back to Beville!
A reminder that September 5 is our last Sunday worshiping at Gray’s. September 12, we return to worshiping at Beville Middle School at 10am. I visited the space for the first time last night, and I now understand why so many of us are grateful to return. Remember that our focus that day will be on Immanuel’s Intergenerational nature, and there will be opportunities throughout the service for all members to be engaged in our worship. Families with kids, we want you there, and we have a few special things in mind for you! And we’re inviting everyone to bring a picnic, and join us outside for lunch on the lawn.
We have two opportunities to love our soon-to-arrive Afghan neighbors. As of September 01, Lutheran Church of the Covenant is accepting donations on behalf of Lutheran Social Services on Wednesdays, 10am-1pm and Saturdays, 11am-2pm. Please read this document for details, particularly with regard to the specific items they are requesting.
Additionally, All Saints Anglican Church will be one of the distribution points for these donations. Fr. Scott has invited us to partner with them by providing volunteers to hand out items to our new neighbors. Further details are forthcoming.
Be on the lookout for information about Alpha training, opportunities to pray the Daily Office, and an invitation to participate in a bi-monthly gathering for those interested in learning to lead Life Groups – a form of “small groups/home church” I’d like to introduce to Immanuel in 2022.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday.
Your Pastor in Christ,