Beloved CommunityNew Every Morning | June 22, 2021
As they [the men I met in a prison chapel I visited] spoke, I could not help but think of the present-day church, which ofttimes places a greater premium on building buildings and personalities than on building transformative communities. I thought of churches that commit more to the concern of getting you “saved” than to entering into the various struggles of life with you, as well as churches more interested in what you can give rather than teaching you how to live faithfully for Christ in the world.
I soon recognized that within this transformative community of open dialogue and mutual sharing, these men [prisoners] had achieved that which has proven to be a great challenge for many churches today: beloved community … As the insiders spoke of how they were being made new within this faithful community, supporting and holding one another accountable each step of the way, I witnessed hope that we can rise above our worst selves toward the fulfillment of our better selves as never before!
—Michael W. Waters, Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture (Fresh Air Books, 2014)
Have you witnessed a time when your faith community entered into the struggles of life with you or others? Join the conversation.
Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Help my generation rise to meet the challenges of our day with courage and integrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Through rich and moving stories of people from various faiths, author Frank Rogers Jr. shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Start practicing compassion with Rogers in our Academy Recommends eCourse.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Yes, I think most of the churches I attended did this in some way, but only a very few did it personally. Most sent supplies, money that was used to help others. The homeless family shelter did it in person, you met the people you helped, ate, slept, interacted with them, got to know them. This was also true on the mission trips I took. Helping people is always good, in person is best. Bible study today, this study has been very challenging for me. I wouldn’t give myself a good grade for my effort. Pastor Sue’s last worship service with us is this Sunday. Very thankful for her ministry. Pastor Carol leads worship July 4th and Bible study July 13th. New technology, I’m reading and sending this from my iPhone. Life is full of surprises. Hope Juneteenth becomes meaningful to all Americans. It’s a sad part of our history that slavery existed and we are still dealing with its aftermath. You are all in my prayers. God bless you and keep you, may God keep watch over you, and give you peace. Thank You, Lord.
No and that is why I have not returned to my former church. We did give at various holidays, but it was remote as in funds collected and given to a contact or specific items which had been requested were bought by the members and provided once again to the point of contact.
H’s friends have abandoned him for whatever reason and he is now more in Megan and I’s way. He comes around and sits at the table pretending to work…for hours! He has two desks and several tables in his rooms but because of the extreme amount of detritus he has no flat surface to work. His hoarding continues unabated.
Prayers for Ally’s job prospect and her and David’s health. May she get good news about the job. Prayers for Jill and her family as they increase their time together, may they spend the time exercising Christian love. Prayers for Lou and her friends as they travel and visit, may they be safe and create warm memories together. Prayers for Robert as he struggles through his current Bible study and prayers for Pastors Sue and Carol, may each feel loved, accepted and valued.
Thank you for your prayers and may God bless you richly.
My current church – I would say this is one of their strongest points. They are the hands and feet of Christ, to others in time of need. We just lost a church member to Covid. He battled for several weeks in the hospital, but finally succumbed. So many have been assisting his wife and children. I am inspired by the familial atmosphere at this church.
Chilly here today – dad got a later start time for golf. Was in long sleeves and a ski cap because the wind was out of the north and cool. Very intense tennis match this evening, which my doubles partner and I pulled out, and our team won as well.
Tomorrow I am taking lunch to my former basketball player and student who has stage three uterine cancer. She said things are starting to taste better and she is up for a visitor.