Reflections on Life Together in 2020

Indeed, the past year has been one of much loss, grief, and pain. Challenges in identity, community, ministry. Please forgive me getting this out after the year has rolled over. These reflections have been a long time coming. Longer than most of my posts here. I'm sure we'll still be processing for many years to come, but as we're looking forward with hope in 2021, I do believe that this past year has been deeply revelatory and forming for us as a community. Sunday Worship A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend from another church. He was telling me about an end of the-year "think…


Advent 2020: We Wait

In this Advent Season, we are reminded that all of creation longs for things to be made right. Everything is not right and longs to be set right. The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Romans that "creation waits with eager longing... to be set free from its bondage to corruption," and we know that this freedom will come when Christ comes again to redeem, not only his people, but the whole world (Romans 8:18-25). This past year has revealed to us how broken we really are. Sin is entrenched deeper in our hearts than we imagined. The pandemic has revealed selfishness and self-preservation…


The EmbRACE Study / 03

We're at this again? It's just after Thanksgiving -- and not a "normal" one at that. I must confess that the thought of having to engage in another race study... now... sounds... well... it doesn't fill me with excitement. My finger to the pulse of our church and immediate community is that we're tired of the subject, the outrage that once saturated our social feeds has reduced from a raging fire to a simmer (but I must add, still present nonetheless). But we expected this. When we, the pastoral staff, started mapping out how to help our church engage with the issues of justice in our…


Knowledge of Self

"At exactly which point do you start to realizeThat life without knowledge is death in disguise?That's why, knowledge of self is like life after deathApply it, to your life, let destiny manifest!" Black Star Hip hop embraced the phrase “knowledge of self” as a call for people to be conscious of their inner thoughts and also of the outer forces influencing them. It was a call to recognize one’s dignity, intellect, emotions, ethnicity, genealogy, and history, as well as the surrounding social structures shaping one’s reality. “Knowledge of self” is what drove Brooklyn rapper AZ to proclaim…


Fighting to be Still

Pastor Rob gave us a very good word to consider this past Sunday from Psalm 146 in anticipation of this week and all the anxiety many of us may be experiencing regarding the election. Yes, as citizens and members of society, we are called to "submit our ballots," yet, as believers, we are not called to "submit our hopes." Still I find it difficult to completely detach myself from this contentious election race. I've focused my attention to some books. I've played several games of AmongUs. I've joined some fellow anxious saints in prayer. I've been running around trying to distract myself…