Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's Going On?

Barb wondered what is happening in the lives of her readers, so I finally got around to writing about what's going on with me.

Things have changed quite a bit in the past few months. In July, Jan and I left the church we had been a part of for fourteen years. That same month, the school Jan taught at closed because of financial problems caused by dwindling enrollment. At the beginning of August we joined a small community of faith that was just starting up. We meet in a bagel shop on Sunday mornings, and we average between twenty and thirty people. We are hoping to form a body that will show the love of Christ to those outside the church, whether "unchurched" or "de-churched." It's going well, and we are looking for opportunities to reach out to our city.

Jan found part-time work at a retirement village here in town. She is a resident assistant in the assisted living facility. Working part time allowed her to spend more time with her mom and dad, which was a good thing because her mom slowly went downhill until she passed away in late September. We saw the grace of God during that month, as the three daughters and all nine grandchildren were able to visit and spend some good time with her. Each time a new set of visitors would come, Mom would rally. She recognized each one and was able to talk with them. It was a blessing.

Josh is in his last year of grad school. This year is proving to be a very busy one as he works on his thesis in addition to the regular classes. Hopefully the economy will have improved next spring to the point where architectural firms will be hiring. Jennie has been promoted and is a still photographer for a special effects studio in Los Angeles. She loves California, and is doing well. This school year, I am still a teacher's assistant, but I am in a different class. I'm still coaching girls' basketball, and in the spring I will coach softball. There is a different set of challenges this year as I learn to love a different set of "neighbors." I'm still enjoying what I do, although it does get wearing at times.

My spiritual journey continues along the twists and turns on the back roads. I'm becoming more and more convinced that we Christians have failed at the main thing Jesus told us to do - love others. I'm learning to look at Scripture as God's story. Not a set of rules. Not a storehouse of individual verses to be mined in order to put together a system of theology. Not a textbook to be mastered. Not a handbook for life. It has some of those aspects in it, but now I see it as the story of how God shows himself and relates to the world he created. Scripture is to be taken as a whole narrative, not chopped up into proof texts. I believe that we are called to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is Lord, not tie the Gospel to a particular political or economic system of thought. While we may participate in the process (or not), the important thing is the Gospel.

My beliefs on a number of other things have changed. I won't go into a whole lot of detail here. Some of that will probably come out in future posts. Those of you who are regular readers, (and if you're not, why not?) have read about some of those changes. If you haven't, there's an archive on the sidebar. :)

Anyway, that's a bit of an update. I would be interested in reading what's going on in your life. Drop me a note in the comments so I can check it out.


Barb said...

Now, wasn't that fun?? :)
Thanks for the update. It would be nice to get everyone together to just have a cup of coffee and talk. I think we would talk more on this level than we would talk about theology or church or non church.

The Sunday morning bagel shop sounds lovely. I can smell the coffee.

co_heir said...

If you're ever in Rock Hill, look us up. :)

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the update. I'd love to do church in a bagel shop.. my kind of fellowship for sure!

38 Years and Counting

On this date thirty eight years ago, Jan and I were married. We have been through a lot in that time, most of it good, some it challenging, ...