Greetings in Christ’s name!
Just this morning, a couple people notified me that they had received emails from email@example.com. To be clear, that is not my email address and you can simply discard any emails that come to you from that address.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote that because of Jesus, there is all kinds of newness. “So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” (2 Corinthians 5.17). Certainly new things have arrived for us this year. We’ve learned new terms like “social distancing” and “Covid bubble.” We’ve learned new technologies like Zoom and new fashions like face masks. We’ve heard people talk about new social realities like super-spreader events and we’ve been taught new goals like flattening the curve. We’ve also had to learn new ways to greet each other, new ways to express affection for one another and new ways to have family gatherings. This year has brought us all kinds of new things.
I’ve been wondering for months now, how all this newness from the pandemic will change the church and how we can be a faithful church in new ways. I don’t yet know many answers to those questions, but I’m encouraged every time I learn about people trying to live out their Christian faith in new ways. Recently, some people from our church have employed a new media platform (well, not brand new) in order to speak about the good news of Jesus in new ways. Kelly Browning recently released the first three episodes of her podcast titled, All at Once. The podcast explores how Christian faith has sometimes been used to harm and shame women and how women can find healing from such experiences. In the first season, Kelly interviews Rochelle Bridges, Cindy Dawson and Laura Porterfield (as well as others) and Molly Baize is one of the producing contributors.
Jason Porterfield was also a recent guest on the Bad Roman podcast, which explores the relationship between the Church and the State. Episode 14, on which Jason is featured, investigates the relationship the early church had with the State, the poor and with violence. I’m thankful for Jason, Kelly and others like them who are finding new ways to live and proclaim Christian faith. And I wonder how what they’ve done might inspire us all on to new and creative ways to be the church during this year of many new things.
This coming Sunday—November 22nd—we need some help immediately after worship to move a few Christmas decorations from Friends Center to the worship room. If you’re willing to stay for 15 minutes or so, we’d be able to knock it all out quickly. If a few would stay for around 30 minutes, we could probably finish all the decorating. If you’d like to help, head over to Friends Center (the gym building) after worship, and Janet Black will direct you to the right place.
Evangelical Friends Mission is the mission sending agency of the Friends Church. Several of the missions we support are administered by EFM. Recently, EFM released a video 3-minute video describing their 5-year strategic goal. It’s informative, moves quickly and is worth the time to view. You can view it here: https://youtu.be/q27QLIPvvsw
Stay connected. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Love your neighbors. And go with God who fuels our hopes and quiets our fears. Always. Everywhere.