Strengthening Our Faith CommunitiesNew Every Morning | May 6, 2023
You can and will play an important part in strengthening and healing our faith communities. If you are willing to take a wise, honest, and informed look within yourself and at the people and events surrounding you every day, you will be an agent of change; you will be doing God’s work in the world. Be willing to embrace your most courageous self and move toward your discomfort rather than away from it. Though it sounds counterintuitive, when we sit in our discomfort and
become familiar with it, we learn how to live with discomfort rather than deny or minimize it. This is when we all become our strongest and most capable selves.
— Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust Within Faith Communities (Discipleship Resources, 2023)
What actions can you take to help heal your congregation? Join the conversation.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
—1 Chronicles 16:11 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, we recognize that all people are entrusted to our care. We respond to your will for us to diligently watch over one another. Help us keep our eyes alert to dangers. Enable us to have attentive ears to even the silent cries for help. … Use our community to be a sure place of safety for all. Use our community to be a source of overflowing love and compassion. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Prayer from page 222, Safer Sanctuaries
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Since 1998, Safe Sanctuaries resources have been a trusted source of guidance for churches and other affiliated institutions as they work to reduce the risk of abuse in their communities. Now, Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities is a new and comprehensive resource that continues the tradition of Safe Sanctuaries ministry on the strong foundation of past resources while also inspiring and preparing churches for the work of the future. Learn more at SaferSanctuaries.org.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
I am not a leader of a congregation. But the idea of living with discomfort and not denying or minimizing it offers a guide for conduct in situations that I might otherwise flee. I think I’ll try it.
Just on a personal level, I find it difficult to share my faith with nonbelievers. I can start to sit with this discomdort and speak through it.
Shopping today and tomorrow. Tomorrow I am with Megan, so no church, which I miss. But we are busy from early in the morning to the time we pick up take out. Yesterday, h asked about the people who dress as cats and put on plays in the downstairs foyer while he watches from the upstairs landing. Sigh.
I really love this thought about discomfort…learning to sit with it. Won’t there always be discomfort? And shouldn’t we try to learn from it, even thrive (to the extent possible) in it? The last few years I have told my Calculus students that they need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. This is where grit is born. Assume discomfort. Have confidence in perseverance which has been born out of other trying circumstances. Instead of running from, or burying one’s head in the sand, seek to learn and grow. Trust God to use the situation to further transform.
Wonderfully sunny and comfortable here…able to do yardwork in shorts and long sleeves. Long sleeves are my favorite – which means it’s not too hot, but not too cold. Kittens are enjoying windows open, again. Going to grill out some fish this evening.
Had a study session this morning – 8 students showed up and worked for two hours. I brought donuts. The history teacher arrived at the tail end with pizza – and she was going to work with them for another two hours. Their history tests are later in the week, following the assessments for my courses. We will meet tomorrow evening at a park by school. It may be rainy – but there is a pavilion we will meet under, with picnic tables so the students can work.