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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?"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Serendipity



Did you every notice how the timing of events or conversations sometimes come together in such a way that the juxtaposition of two or more events seems to be more than mere coincidence?  What is that about?  Is the universe trying to tell us something?  Is it a God thing?

Recently I had a conversation with a friend concerning a debate happening in the friend's congregation. It seems the youth leader had asked for financial backing to hold a youth event as an outreach to young people in  and around the congregation.  The youth leader apparently asked if the congregation would cover a possible shortfall if the event should fail to break even.  As it was reported to me, the question asked in response was, “Why should we spend money on youth or young adults when we don't ever see them at church?” 

The same day I had this conversation, an article appeared on my computer screen entitled Change the Story.  The article was written by a young adult from Australia, Ben Smith.   Ben observes that currently, the story he hears around congregations is one of death and concern for the future.  He then notes that we also have other stories, stories of situations changed and lives transformed.  I'm paraphrasing for brevity, but Ben basically asks, What if those were the stories we choose to tell?

There seems to be some kind of serendipity in these two events; the appearance of the article on the same day that conversation occurred.  Is it just coincidence or is there a message to be learned somewhere?

What if we look at the earlier conversation in light of this article?  What if instead of asking, “Why should we spend any money on youth or young adults when they don’t come to church,” we were to change the story and ask, “What can we do to make the lives of youth and young adults better?"  What if we asked, "How can we help youth and young adults feel more welcomed and a part of this community?  As people who are seeking to be Christ’s disciples, how can we let young people who may be within our sphere of influence know they are valued and cared for?”  

As reported to me, the conversation appears to be very self absorbed; it is about “us” and “our money.”  If we change the story, however, it becomes about something else entirely.  The story becomes about some of God's precious young people and us living out our discipleship in a way that invites them into relationship with Christ.  Further, by changing our story, we are also changed.  Instead of being a self serving community, we become a community that seeks to be Christ's hands and feet reaching out to others!  Pretty amazing don't you think?  

But will we really change our story?  

Will we? 

The answer is  yet to be written in the story of our lives.

Posted by Carman Thompson

2 comments:

  1. Hi Carman:

    Good reflection on a God nudge!

    If we keep doing things for ourselves soon there will be nobody left to do things for. Do people have to measure up to our standards before we will assist them?

    Jesus taught us to do things for everyone as we all are created equal in His fathers eyes. Yes some never come to church, but once they find Jesus in their lives, most of them spread the word of what life with Christ in it, has done for them.

    I pray for people that feel it is their money and not just given/loaned to us by God. Money to be utilized for His work and not controlled for our own personal needs. Have we forgotten that it is not our church it is God's church.

    I think the passage is "
    D. C. 163 1. “Community of Christ,” your name, given as a divine blessing, is your identity and calling. If you will discern and embrace its full meaning, you will not only discover your future, you will become a blessing to the whole creation. Do not be afraid to go where it beckons you to go.

    God bless,

    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul, I appreciate your further reflections. Reaching out to others is part of our mission. Like Jesus parable of the talents, hoarding love or resources is not!

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