Real Mission: Take a Walk with Me
This fall begins a new era of mission engagement at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and I am honored to walk alongside members of your Vestry and fellow staff to bring to you engaging programming and community commitment that revitalizes our long-standing commitment to our neighbors in Madisonville.
The work before us is exciting and challenging. We are talking about getting at the root of why there are homeless children who were born into the same zip codes as our own children. We are going to take a hard look at why adults over 80 can no longer afford the homes they have lived in for the past 50 years. We will discover together why it is so much easier for me to purchase my first home than it is for a black veteran who just returned from active military service.
In many ways, we are walking along a road toward familiar things, pained by the realities of life that stand before us, asking God why things are broken and how this happened in the first place. Wondering how we work to build something new with God. We are walking together, and, I believe, if we open our eyes, we will see that Jesus is there walking with us.
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ -Luke 24:13-17
We are going to take a walk together. We are going to discuss all the things that have taken place to get us to where we are. We may feel confused and conflicted, but we will keep walking. We are going to remember the good times when we saw God working miracles in our world, and we are going to hear stories along the way that remind us of who God is and how God loves us. Who knows, our hearts may even burn within us as we walk along.
We are going to take a walk together, that is, if you will join me.
This fall, you will have the opportunity to engage in regular volunteer opportunities and practice faithful participation in several ways through the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.
The first is through Mission Minded: a monthly open forum for parishioners and friends that seeks to connect Church of the Redeemer to the wider community through education and advocacy.
We will get together, ask tough questions, wonder together, share wisdom with one another,foster new relationships, and nurture long-lasting ones.We will see familiar things and question our assumptions. Some paths will require us to tread lightly while other ways will cry out for trailblazers.
"Our first task...is to take off our shoes; for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on people's dreams. More seriously still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival." -Max Warren, General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, 1942-1963
We are going to walk this road with Jesus, and we are going to find God in the places we go. Some of the best ways we learn, I believe, are: doing, going, seeing, and this will continue to be a big part of Mission at Church of the Redeemer.
Sometimes, though, we have to ask ourselves why we go, why we venture, why we seek, why we are sent. That is why we are also offering, this fall, an in-depth study of the world of mission and our personal motivations and gifts that serve as the base for our life as missionaries. Reconcilers is not about doing for, but about being with. It is an engagement of mutual reconciliation. A process which requires dedication and vulnerability. A risk that brings great rewards.
Being called a reconciler, or a missionary may not be a comfortable association for you. For years I resisted communion with these attributes. Together we will explore why these terms carry such weight and learn how we carry them with dignity and respect as we serve God in the Church.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu says that “We are all always missionaries, or we are nothing.”
Now is the time to ask ourselves what our mission is. What do we want to learn? What do we want to build? Who do we want to be?
Turns out, the path of life requires some walking. If you bring yourself and your walking shoes, I will bring a map and point us to some springs of living water from which we may drink along our journey. I am in this with you and promise to be a faithful companion along the way.
Tags: Real Mission Blog