It is my belief that when a variety of voices and faces are included in worship there is more energy and life. God’s Spirit works through the active participation of God’s people. For this reason, I am grateful that Scott Eschbach agreed to lead the Prayers of the People, and that each week we have a new liturgist (Kirk Grier did a great job this week with both the call to worship and the reading). We have a new prelude from Tim Accurso and a couple of new hymns from he and Erin (but Chris makes an appearance as well).
The theme of our scripture is evangelism. I didn’t actually plan that I would preach on 1 Corinthians 9 the same week that I started the Adult Education series on Evangelism, but apparently God did, so there you have it. I look forward to our time together.
Oh yeah, and we have communion too, so prepare your elements of bread and cup!
Adult Education Series starts this Sunday!Rev. Jen Fraser will begin a six-week class, "Reclaiming Evangelism.” This will be an honest examination of the history and practice of evangelism with an eye toward re-discovering the intention and meaning behind Matthew 28:19-20. The class will consist of four main sections.
1) Evangelism and the early church
As the early church was first developing, evangelism was a means of inviting the marginalized into the "way of Jesus." Opening up an alternative spiritual community to Gentiles, the poor, slaves, women, and children in which the Roman honor/shame value system was inverted, and God appeared among (and cared for) the lowest in society.
2) Evangelism and the politically emerging church
As the church began to emerge as a political power, hierarchical structures were consolidated within the institution. Evangelism then becomes a means of securing allegiance and controlling the resources within territories.
3) Evangelism as a tool of colonialism
From early modern European expansion, to the "Christianizing" of Native American communities, to the contemporary white evangelical church's embrace of the conservative political agenda, evangelism continues to serve as a tool for consolidating power and wealth.
4) Evangelism in a multi-cultural, interfaith society.
Is it possible to redeem evangelism from its legacy as a tool of political, social, economic and cultural dominance? What should we call it when we open up about matters of faith with our family, friends and neighbors? Can we share our spiritual/soulful experiences with others without trying to "convert?" Do we as Christian have something of real value to offer the "non-believer?"
Please Join us Sundays right after Coffee Hour at 11 AM on Zoom!