Saturday, April 14, 2007

Greg Laughery: A Necessary Plea about "Church"


Greg Laughery is a blog friend who lives in Huemoz, Switzerland. He has a site called Living Spirituality: Renewing the Mind, Refreshing the Heart, Reviving the Soul.


Greg in a recent post has reflected on Bill's, Grace's, Jamie's and my posts about The People Formerly Known As The Congregation/Pastor.
Read Greg's gentle commentary:


This post is connected to those of Bill Kinnon, John Frye, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, and Grace. It should be read with their concerns in mind as they seek to define The People Formerly Known as the Congregation. Their four posts seem to form a nucleus around the themes of lament, of disappointment, of betrayal, of pain, of renewal, of hope and redemption. Exodus continues. The journey of wilderness wandering, in the company of God, will lead toward new beginnings, and one fine day we will all arrive in the Promised Land. In the meantime, this time in-between times ….


A Plea from the Battle Torn and Worn who are longing for New Beginnings


Conflicts are brewing at an alarming pace between Christians who are emerging and those who are not. Fine – let’s get at what we have in common and where we disagree. But please, for the sake of Christ Jesus, let’s do this with grace, love, humility, and a flair for holiness, as we live before the watching world. There has been too much, and it must be said with tears, spiteful innuendo, anger, disrespect and injustice in the past. Let’s not repeat that in the present. These battles get ugly and there is no winner. The numbers of wounded merely increase and the love of Christ pales into obscurity. We are torn and worn by the wars. Release us, oh Lord, and give us a new beginning.


Give voice to those who long to be free; let us speak of some important matters.


We believe it is essential to love God, each other, and all people.


We believe it is crucial to turn our hearts and minds to God, and in so doing to worship, to encounter God, not just to talk or read about God.


We believe we are actors in the great drama of God’s global mission of redemption and the renewal of all things, centered in and upon the crucified and risen One.


We believe Scripture and Spirit reveal God, refresh our memories, empower our imaginations, and direct our lives into increasing and ever deeper community with God and each other.


We believe that Jesus is Lord and that churches or Empires are not.


We believe the focus on and drastic slippage into church activities, committees, buildings and bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo being central results in deep spiritual impoverishment. Tear down the walls – let the people go – let us go – following in the footsteps of Christ will bring freedom for the oppressed and disenfranchised. People are where it’s at.

We believe the arts, and cultural participation and analysis, are vital.

We believe in church as community, as a Scripture reading and living community.

We believe in hospitality and a compassionate welcoming of strangers.

We believe that the Christian life is an expression of living spirituality. Living spirituality is both verb and adjective. It is to be lived and it is living. Living because God is a living God and lived because we are spiritual people.
Thanks, Greg.


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5 Comments:

At 4/14/2007 8:42 AM, Blogger Bill Kinnon said...

John,
I've identified this as Part V in our ongoing conversation. Thanks for putting it up here (to remind this old brain) as I meant to do this earlier in the week.

 
At 4/14/2007 12:36 PM, Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Let us pray and remember Jesus words "They will know you are my disciples if you love one another'. Great thoughts

 
At 4/14/2007 1:28 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Bill,
The conversation goes on. I believe the Spirit is using our little offerings to truly bless people. Amen; and praise Him.

 
At 4/14/2007 1:29 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

preacher's household,
A hearty "Amen" to your brief and Jesus-centered prayer. God bless you.

 
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