Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Railroad tracks near our place in Bannalec

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Minneapolis - Day 2

A very long day today. So you get a very long blog post!

The bus from the hotel leaves at 7:30 am SHARP!

In the AM, Bob attended a seminar on "Effective, Empowering Elder Boards" that seemed to be more about church growth than anything else. I went to a Q & A on the proposed Statement of Faith that was a lot of Q and almost no A but engendered a lot of lively debate centered mostly on the process rather than the SoF itself.

They fed us lunch in the "commons". A salad and a bottle of water. Did I mention that this could quite possibly be the biggest church in the entire world (or, at least in Eden Prarie, MN, home of BIG churches)? This place is HUGE! A sanctuary that holds up to 4,000 people and a choir room that is bigger than our church! They have bathrooms that are bigger than our church! You need a map and a guide to get around. There are said to be hundreds of people who have been lost somewhere in the bowels of this church never to be seen again. They just keep walking around......looking for a way out......around and around......but I digress.

After our salad (did I mention that was our lunch, a salad?), Bob went to a seminar on "Tools and Training for the new SoF". I went looking for solid food (meat), hoping not to end up among the legendary "lost wanderers".

After dinner there was a worship service prior to the speaker. I was blessed by the worship this evening, realizing that I seldom have the opportunity to worship without being concerned about speaking or how the service is progressing. Being able to just stand and worship, giving my full attention to Him and His glory reminded me of the importance of our worship time and how precious those moments are.

The speaker this evening was Dr. Glenn Kehrein. He spoke out of Luke 10 and his subject was "God's Mercy". His message was in theme with the conference and concentrated on the church's tendency to minister to "....Jerusalem (church), Judea (home) and the outer most parts of the world..." while neglecting Samaria and the Samaritans, our closest neighbors. I'm still trying to process these messages. There is a strong emphasis on inclusion and tolerance (both appropriate to a degree) but little mention of how we can realistically minister to the "undesirables" around us without condoning their sin and inviting it into the church. There's a lot of talk about loving addicts, homosexuals, criminals, the poor and the homeless all of which we are called to do. There has been no suggestion as to how we can bring them into the kingdom of God. We have been called to repent from shying away from these types and to ask forgiveness for walking past them. I think I agree with all that but I'm waiting for the rest of the message to resolve itself. How do we minister to them? How do we reach out to these folks in a productive, Christ-like manner? What do we do with those who are unrepentant? I see how we should love them but including them can be problematic.

This is a dilemma in every local church I am familiar with. What do you do about the people who approach us for financial assistance and support. Some are valid and realistic requests. As any deacon will tell you, most are members of a subculture of people in Fauquier County who do not work and get by, month after month, on donations from churches and charitable organizations. No matter how much assistance we give them, they are back the following month for more.

We've heard 2/3 of the entire message. We get the rest tomorrow evening. I pray they give us something solid to bring home.

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