Monday, January 21, 2008

Inaugurating Missional Community

The Upper Manhattan Missional Community met for the first time last evening. What a wonderful time of experiencing God's presence in community. Twenty adults and one baby filled Melissa's apartment in Washington Heights to near capacity. The food was good, the worship was rich and the sharing was transparent and sincere.

For me it was an amazing day living in community. From worshiping on the Upper West Side and having the high honor of participating in Josh's ordination, offering up a prayer for him to trying to unclog the drain in Casey's apartment, but having failed, then enjoying a great meal with Charlotte and Casey at Dallas BBQ, to schlepping Subway sandwiches 22 blocks in our cart (that's right--cart not car!) to Missional Community and enjoying the warmth of Melissa's apartment while outside the weather was bitter cold--ahh!--life in Manhattan!

I am excited about Missional Community. We are but one of six communities flourishing to life in Manhattan through Origins Church. These communities provide a way for people to connect and interact with each other, pursue Christian discipleship, and work together to bring renewal to our city. In Upper Manhattan we believe we can have impact in our communities--building bridges across cultures and language--as we share the love of Christ with our neighbors. We are looking forward to partnering with other ministries in the community as well as offering beginner Spanish classes for English speakers to help us identify better with the majority population--following in the steps of Jesus!

Our icebreaker last evening as we broke up into two smaller groups was to state a dream, hope or wish. My dream is beginning to be fulfilled--to be part of a movement that is impacting Manhattan for Christ and bringing people together for the glory of God!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can We Trust Emotion?

We have become very skeptical when emotions show. Mitt shed a tear when he recounted his emotion over hearing that his church had changed its official stance on African Americans several years ago. Some thought he had committed the Muskie mistake of 1972. Maybe he did. Hillary had a catch in her voice when she answered a personal question the day before the New Hampshire primary. Would it cost her votes? It appears in this case it made her seem more human and approachable. Just today T.O. (Terrell Owens) literally broke down as he defended his quarterback teammate from charges that it was his (Romo's) Mexican vacation and inattention to details that cost the Cowboys in their loss to the New York Giants. A tearful T.O. maintained that it was a team loss. Many will see it as just another of T.O.'s drama shows.

One of the books I read at the end of the year was Jim & Casper Go To Church. Jim was a pastor for many years and is a follower of Jesus, while Casper is the friendly atheist he hired to accompany him to visit a host of churches from mega church to medium-sized church to house church, all to determine if these churches were doing what Jesus intended. It is an interesting read, and Casper shows no mercy in his critique of churches and Christians in general. One of his most severe criticisms come against pastors and speakers who utilized emotion: the break in the voice, the escaped tear, the heart-wrenching story. Rather than seeing this as genuine, Casper saw it as manipulation.

Can we trust our emotions? When we tell the story that we are in...the story of what God has and is doing in our lives and in our world...what place does emotion play? Should our telling leave out emotion? What do you think?

Blogs I enjoy reading

Manhattan Diary

There are so many opportunities unfolding to partner with God in bringing in the Kingdom. I'm learning more about justice and being stretched on a regular basis. I love partnering with Charlotte to strengthen marriages and prepare couples for married life.

What I'm reading in October 2009

  • Love Is an Orientation
  • Movements that Changed the World
  • ReJesus
  • When Heaven Invades Earth

About Me

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New York, New York, United States
Seeking to live intentionally; bringing the Kingdom of God to contested space!