Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Newark Central - Notes from my Knapsack 11-14

Newark Central – Notes From My Knapsack 11-14-12


Your elders had their annual retreat last weekend, cut just a bit short so we could come back and help honor one of our elders emeritus, Joe Higginbotham, for his 90th birthday celebration here at the church building.


While we were at Camp Christian, in the Monroe Lodge, we had the guiding principals of Herald Monroe, legendary regional leader of the 20th century, posted near our gathering space reminding us that the first purpose of Camp Christian is "to build the Beloved Community" (and that counselors have no special privileges "except coffee" . . . Herald was a wise and great man!).


As elders, we were in prayer and reflection to ask how God is guiding us "to build the Beloved Community" outlined in the New Testament at Mt. Vernon Road & Rugg Avenue, for the neighborhood around us and the county surrounding us.


After a time of Bible study led by Dr. Rintamaa, looking at models of creation in the ancient world, in Genesis, and in the Gospels (John chapter 1 begins with a creation story, after all!), we reflected on how our basic understandings about how God is at work in the world shapes how we decide to work ourselves, and that when we are closest to God's purposes is when we are sharing that work of "incarnation," of embodying God's love to the world.


In considering how we are called to embody, or incarnate that love through Newark Central, we put our vision for 2013 into four area where we see healing and renewing needed in our wider community: Family & children, Finance, Health & wellness, and Nature & environment.


At the board meeting towards the end of this month, we will share more detail about where we discern God's leading in addressing these four themes, and how Newark Central can offer a healing and transforming presence in Christ's name.


In grace and peace, Pastor Jeff

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