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Monday, October 27, 2008

GLOBAL CRISES: What Would Jesus Do?

Back in October of last year, I mentioned Brian McLaren’s book, EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE in my post about 82nd Avenue and the Apocalypse.
(see: )

It’s funny how things work out, but it looks like I’ve been given a venue in which to share some of the ideas set forth in that book. It’ll be at my church during its Fall education promotion – something called Resurrection Alive! It takes place during the next four Sunday evenings. The details, as they are printed in the official church brochure go like this:

Fall 2008 Opportunities
November 2, 9, 16, & 23

5:45pm Dinner is Served!
(donation appreciated)

6:30pm – 7:30pm Learning Opportunities
for all ages

Classes for High School and Adults:

“Change” facilitated by Scott

“Whenever we belong to a group, from a family to a church to a fan club to a political party to a nation, we are under that influence of that group’s framing story.” Brian McLaren suggests that some of our current framing stories are dysfunctional and asks us to reconsider the framing story of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ Do we understand the radical character and hope of Jesus’ good news, or have we confined His gospel to personal ‘spiritual needs’ to the exclusion of the world’s physical and social needs?
A spirited discussion is expected. Bring your Bible if you have one. Consider reading McLaren’s book Everything Must Change ahead of time.

“Poverty” taught by Intern J.J.

What is it? How do class rules affect it? How do we know and not know about it?
This class is modeled from the book What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty by Bill Ehlig & Ruby Payne, along with other sources and resources.
Enjoy group discussions, learning, and sharing as we seek to understand the difference in class, the difference between generational and situational poverty, and the relative definitions of poverty.
Bring open minds and hearts to what will be a learning environment for all people no matter their economic placement.

Class for Adults:

“Healthy Marriages” taught by Pastor Al

Four Subjects Covered in Four Weeks
Week One – “Five Noteworthy Things Martin Luther Said about Marriage.”
Week Two – “Five Ways to Strengthen Marital Communication.”
Week Three – “How to Maintain Your Marriage as You and Your Spouse Change.”
Week Four – “How to Keep Christ at the Center of a Marriage.”

$10 cost per couple for a copy of The Lutheran Handbook for Marriage

Confirmation Class for 6th — 8th Grade
Join Pastor Karl as we explore our faith together

Kids’ Activity Time for Kindergarten — 5th Grade

Join Char J. and Kelley O. for faith activities

Childcare for Newborns — Preschoolers

Responsible and loving care will be given to your children

The address for the church (Resurrection Lutheran) is:
1700 NE 132nd Avenue, Portland Oregon 97230

I first learned about McLaren’s work while participating in my church’s brief flirtation with Post-modern Worship. The driving purpose behind that particular two year experiment is revealed in the language of our original grant proposal. Back in 2001 we said, “"There is a sense of call among leaders and members of the congregation to more effectively engage young adults in the congregation and to reach out to the young adults in our community. This proposal is seeking support to develop a ministry of post-modern worship, outreach, and discipleship."

At the time, McLaren was emerging as a kind of sensitive ambassador for people who were uncomfortable enough with mainline protestant traditional practices that they were going AWOL – looking for other relevant ways to express their spirituality.

Since then, the term Post-modern has kind of fallen out of favor. Come to think of it, the leadership of my church was - and will probably always be - suspicious of upstart splinter factions critical of the status quo.

Even so, it speaks to Pastor Al’s integrity (his willingness to entertain questions) that he made it possible for me to attend a week long function in Minneapolis called Soularize where some of the AWOL gathered to give shape to the stirrings of their intuitions – to listen to the voice in the sheer silence.

Brian McLaren at Soularize - Oct. 2002

Scattered here and there at this table are some of the seeds that have since grown into what is sometimes referred to as the ‘emerging church’. Regrettably, I seem to have turned out to be a thistle.

I guess that’s enough traipsing down memory lane.

The point is… that was six years ago, and Mr. McLaren has been busy all that time writing lots more books and trying to better articulate his ideas. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some of those ideas in the weeks ahead. So, as scary as this is for me, I’d like to invite you to visit my church and contribute to the conversation.


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