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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Urgent

Recently achurchforstarvingartists, published a post entitled Mistakes Were Made (But It Was Okay).  The post was about churches that are afraid to make a decision or take a chance on trying something new.  One comment in that writing has stayed with me. 
"Realize that Mistakes Are Our Friends.  If your church hasn’t made a mistake in the past year, you haven’t tried anything creative."
In the past year?  Many churches I know haven't tried anything really adventurous in the past decade, probably two!  That seems somewhat ironic given that during that same period, the inspired guidance given to the church has grown increasingly strident in its call for action.

The words that eventually became Doctrine and Covenants 161 were first presented to the church by then President Grant McMurray as Words of Counsel in 1996, then canonized in 2000. That document contained a fresh and compelling voice that seemed to me somewhat surprising.  It used the phrase, "Heed the urgent call..." in the midst of its guidance.

Just four years later in 2004, another revelation was presented to the church, again conveying this same sense of urgency in its call to the church.  " The call to respond is urgent.  Look to the needs of your own congregations, but look beyond your walls..."

In 2007, Section 163 was given and the call for immediate action became even more heightened.  This document contains words and phrases such as "Open your ears...", "Do not turn away...", "Humankind must awaken...", and "...equip people of all ages...".  (Read Section 163:4 for a clearer sense of this call.)

Surprisingly a mere three years later, further counsel was presented to the church, primarily with timely guidance to help us through some complex and difficult issues.  This counsel, now knows as D. & C. 164, continued to call the church to immediate action, its urgency contained in a statement followed by two powerful questions.  "The challenges and opportunities are momentous.  Will you remain hesitant in the shadows of your fears, insecurities, and competing loyalties?  Or will you move forward in the light of your divinely instilled call and vision?" 

Now, in 2013 comes further guidance, part of which reads as follows.
Undertake compassionate and just actions that seek to abolish poverty and end needless suffering.  Pursue peace on and for the Earth.  

Let nothing separate you from this mission.
 Additional innovative approaches to coordinating congregational life and supporting groups of disciples and seekers are needed to address mission opportunities in a changing world.
 - Excerpts from Words of Counsel Presented at the 2013 World Conference

Recognizing the need for "innovative approaches" in congregational life, is it time we perhaps took a few more chances and risked making a few of those mistakes mentioned earlier?

The article cited from achurchforstarvingartists, is written from the viewpoint of the Presbyterian faith experience so not all the comments apply to Community of Christ, however the central theme spoke clearly to me.  I would be interested in knowing if it speaks to you as well, so why not click on the following link and read the post, then come back here to add your comments.   You can read the entire story by clicking here

Lets have a conversation about risking making some mistakes, shall we?  It may just be urgent.

Posted by Carman

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