Discerning Mission

In light of Mark 9: how do we engage suffering?

How do we help missional congregations take suffering seriously? How do we help each other to enter into our pain, and the experiences of those who are "the least among us"? We'd love to share examples from your congregations.

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Listening for the Spirit

Cheryl Goodman-Morris reminds us that the Spirit blows as she wills , and we must needs keep that in mind as live into Christian community:

What if the process of creating a fresh church could come to us in a radical, completely unorthodox new way? What if we remembered to let the Spirit find us instead of us trying to manufacture it? Ruth Stone, the poet, writes that as a girl, she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape like a thunderous train of air, shaking the earth

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A volatile God, or a forgiving God?

Clint Schekloth has a very thoughtful post this week, written in response to a sincere question that was framed in this way: "Why does God seem so volatile and irritable in the Old Testament, yet forgiving and merciful in the New Testament?" Clint's answer is deeply helpful, and I commend it in its entirety to you. Here's a brief excerpt:

I think the most fair response is that, where the OT covers a broad swath of history, and looks for salvation history in the call of a nation and all the vicissitudes

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Trauma and anxiety

Pat Keifert has a powerful reflection on his recent experiences with leaders across various church systems in the most recent Church Innovations newsletter. He writes about leaders who are struggling to cope with the changes they are facing, and uses the language of trauma response to name the kind of anxiety they are enduring. He also suggests some useful ways to reframe the realities we all must engage: 

In the Christian tradition we have very practical, time-tested, and powerful ways to

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Encountering our book of faith

The ELCA has an enormous number of resources -- a list which is growing every day -- by which congregations and persons individually can approach the Bible through the Book of Faith Project. Thanks to the thoughtful folk at the Eastern North Dakota Synod, here's a handout that lists most of the resources all in one place (including a number of the newly created Bible studies).

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