Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service – these are all things that bring us together each week within our community at Lord of Life. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the same things could bring together people from other communities, too. Our first REFORM event with Roman Catholics and Lutherans from West Chester and Mason exceeded our expectations of how powerful the experience would be.
We began with a worship moment led by musicians from St. Max, Christ the King, and Lord of Life (the next event will include leadership from St. John’s as well). Through common words and common songs, we infused the evening with a joyful prayer that continued into our conversations. We heard from Lutheran and Catholic clergy from St. Susannah Catholic (Mason), Prince of Peace Lutheran (Loveland), and Zion Lutheran (Middletown) who presented different views, but we heard even more common views. We listened to a biblical message that defined us all as part of the same vine. The same body. One faith, one hope, and one baptism.
I found myself at a table made up of Catholics from various parishes. We asked questions and discussed among ourselves how we each came to the body of Christ and what that means to us. About half the table had been born into the Catholic church. But one young woman shared how she found the church through an ecumenical sports team. An older gentleman started going to Methodist Sunday school after his mother died when he was nine, and then converted to Catholicism after years of seeing the positive impact the church had on his wife. We all had stories about how we saw people’s faith overflow in their actions.
The thread that kept weaving its way to the top was: “We need to do more of this.” We need to find ways to maintain the natural bond we have through Christ and the Spirit. We need to worship together and talk together and serve together. Our connection to each other is too powerful to let ourselves be kept apart.
As the clock forced the evening to a close, we put notes on a door describing how we wanted to move forward in our relationships. More combined worship. More dialogues. More learning. More outreach opportunities together. Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service.
Even though the next two REFORM events are self-contained – they are three separate events rather than one continued event, I suspect we’ll see some of the same faces coming again and again because we are so inspired to move forward as one body. Come be a part of the conversation on October 19 at 7 pm at Christ the King or October 21 at 10 am at St. Max.
The 2017-2018 Ministry Magazine is available in print at Lord of Life or by downloading the file below!
You’ve heard the phrase before. This three-word admonition is shared as soothing balm following a tense or difficult moment, but often has the opposite effect. Rather than offering comfort, it stirs up irritation. When my car has run out of gas, when I have bounced a check, or missed an important appointment, please don’t demean me by suggesting that out of the trials of unpredictable or irresponsible living there may come a nugget of wisdom. “Live and learn” often lands on our ears as a reprimand of sorts with a silver lining.
But what if we hear it as something else? What if we embrace living and learning as a declaration of a vibrant Christian life? It isn’t an admonition, but a sustained promise of who and how we hope to be.
We live and learn when we pause to listen to the joys and sorrows of a child.
We live and learn when we look for the lonely and isolated.
We live and learn when we engage in Bible reading and study with others.
We live and learn when we meet one another in worship moments.
We live and learn when we serve our neighbors in need.
We live and learn when we wrestle with complicated issues of race and culture.
We live and learn when we respond with gratitude.
We can’t help but live and learn as people of faith. It is who we were created to be.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
From the earliest pages of Scripture, God’s people were instructed to put their faith into action, as a way of sharing God’s goodness with the world. “Listen, obey, talk, and write. At home and beyond, love God with your whole being.” Ours is not a stagnant faith, but one that is always growing as we live and learn the ways of Christ.
Lord of Life takes this command seriously by making life-long learning a priority. That’s right. Preschool kids, children, youth, teenagers, college students, newlyweds, mid-lifers, retired folks, and centenarians are all active learners at Lord of Life.
As you begin to fill your calendar with Fall activities, I encourage you to make room to continue living and learning in the faith. Consider stepping into a teaching role with Sunday School. Be a mentor with our teens. Plug into a Bible study. Pray for all in need. Commit to being generous with your finances. Step up to serving. Show up for worship. Jesus will meet you.
Living and learning in hope,
at Cara Hasselbeck's home
Current study: Beth Moore's Entrusted: 2 Timothy.
1st and 3rd Mondays, 7pm
George Bryans' home
The men are studying Making Sense of the Christian Faith. This book is an exciting exploration of the major theological doctrines of the Christian faith. Written as a conversation that invites you to "jump into" the conversation, these pages tackle Theology, Creation, Sin, Incarnation, Atonement, and much more.
Join us! Come as you are able.
Wednesday, 10 am
March 29, & April 5
Join us as we explore the fascinating book of Job on Wednesdays at 10 am in the church library. We will began our study on March 15 and it concludes on April 5. By developing a deep and vibrant appreciation for the book of Job, we will discover that the theological questions posed in this book are strikingly relevant to the ones we wrestle with today.
Tuesday, March 7
at Cara Hasselbeck's home
Current study: Beth Moore's Entrusted: 2 Timothy
1st & 3rd Tuesdays
of each month
in the church library
Traveling through life with a partner? The Couples Bible Study is an opportunity to grow together in faith alongside other couples. This informal group covers a variety of study topics over the course of the educational year. Grab your better half and settle in to the Couples Bible Study for some meaningful, Christ-centered learning, laughing, and talking.
May 8 and 22
7 pm in the church library
Women at the Well will break for the summer months with a start up in September.