Looking Ahead

Wednesday, September 24th, 6:30pm supper
7:00pm Preparatory meeting for “The Way of Forgiveness” at Galilean Chapel.

October 1, 2014, 6:30pm supper at OSUMC
7:00pm “The Way of Forgiveness,” session 1

Tuesday, November 11, Charge Conference, 7pm.

Notes from the Pastor’s pen…

Active listening is one of the most difficult acts of ministry to do. We often function in our lives and in ministry without the full awareness we need to be able to recognize what is going on in the lives of people to whom we offer ministry. At the same time, we fail to function with a full self-awareness that provides a presence that enriches our ministry.

Attentiveness to the presence of the grace of God is of primary importance as we attempt to listen to others. To listen well, we must be aware of ourselves and know who we are and what we feel as thoroughly as possible. This, of course, requires that we be honest with ourselves. We tend to see ourselves either less than we are or more than we are.

A lack of awareness of ourselves means that underlying concerns for ourselves emerge as we listen and prevent us from hearing someone else fully.

See ya in church.

Wayne

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen . . .

Active listening is one of the most difficult acts of ministry to do. We often function in our lives and in ministry without the full awareness we need to be able to recognize what is going on in the lives of people to whom we offer ministry. At the same time we fail to function with a full self-awareness that provides a presence that enriches our ministry.

Attentiveness to the presence of the grace of God is of primary importance as we attempt to listen to others. To listen well, we must be aware of ourselves and know who we are and what we feel as thoroughly as possible. This, of course, requires that we be honest with ourselves. We tend to see ourselves either less that we are or more that we are.

A lack of awareness of ourselves means that underlying concerns for ourselves emerge as we listen and prevent us from hearing someone else fully.

See ya in church.

Wayne

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen

Lately I’ve been ruminating on ‘forgiveness.’ It is a wonderful characteristic of God and the Scriptures are replete with it. Go online, or one of the rapidly vanishing physical bookstores, and you can find hundreds of books on forgiveness.

What will be more difficult to find, however, are resources for ‘forgiving oneself.’ Our greatest judge is not God, or rather the image of God each one of us creates in our own mind, but ourselves.

In forgiveness we often do not go far enough. If we are spiritually minded and spiritually sensitive we may ask God for forgiveness. If we are personally courageous we may ask forgiveness from someone we have offended. But it is the rare person who forgives himself/herself.

It takes knowledge of self to knowledge the need for self-forgiveness. When you know who you are and whose you are you are at liberty to forgive yourself. When you do you will experience a huge sense of inner relief and total surrender. Personally, it was as if my heart had been held in a cage and that cage had been broken open and I felt free to love and to be loved.

Forgiveness is surrender. How are you doing with that?

See you in church.

Wayne

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen

Richard Rohr, one of my patron saints, notes that people’s lives are divided into two halves. The 1st half is self-centered, ego-driven. The second half is self-emptying, selfless. Rohr states that the vast majority of people never reach the second half of life.
St. Paul understood this. In Corinthians he writes “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I have put an end to childish things.”
As believers and leaders one of the most important questions we can address is: “Am I growing in my love for and knowledge of God?”  “Is my understanding of God the same today as it was yesterday, a year ago, ten years ago?” The danger of not growing is that God is remade in the image of humanity which means that God is constantly being deformed to fit human needs, or what we perceivwe to be our needs.
It matters who we think God is. The first-half-of lifers see God as a flannel-graph, one-dimensional God. Tame, a non-risk taker, playing-it-safe kind of absentee landlord. No surprises here. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever but not in a good way.
The God of the second half of life is the God that Annie Dillard writes of: “On the whole I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping God may wake someday and take offense, or the waking God may draw us out to where we can never return.”
What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something that assaults our imagination and rocks our world. What we need is someone bigger than ourselves and what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God.
See you in church.
In Jesus,
Wayne

Notes from the Pastor’s Pen – May 2014


Many, many years ago when I was in college in Pasadena, Ca. one of my professors, Dr. Rueben Welch, wrote a book entitled, We Really Do Need Each Other. It was a book about relationships, specifically relationships within the church body.


In American culture there is in some people a belief that arises almost to the position of Manifest Destiny. The belief is: Your future is determined only by yourself. This applies to the workplace as well as to the personal life.


Sometimes, it even spills over into the church. Christian Winman writes …To be in a relationship often means forgoing the self and its crucible of ‘truth,’ learning to live with, and love, the very things that compromise our notions of what we are. I feel a strong need, and imperative, really, to believe something in common; indeed, I feel that any belief I have that is not in some way shared is probably just the workings of my own ego, a common form of modern idolatry.


St. Paul says in Colossians 3:14-15, And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts, a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people (CEB).