Events – Folder

Love One Another

kyle music ministerKyle Jensen, Director of Music

I recently got back from GALA Choral Festival 2012 in Denver.  There were around 6,200 LGBT and affirming straight people at this festival, and I was stricken by the true sense of community that was all around me.  The vast majority of these people had never seen each other before, and yet we immediately loved and accepted each other.  For once it didn’t matter how “gay” I was!  People didn’t look at me funny when I had on eyeliner, and no one rolled their eyes when I brought up yet another Broadway musical.  We all just reveled in the beauty and diversity of our community.  That is one thing we miss out on living in a smaller, mostly conservative city.

As a people who constantly fight to be loved and accepted, sadly, we often act in very unloving ways toward each other.  I don’t think it’s fair to expect the world to love and accept us if we can’t do it ourselves.  How many times do the mainstream portions of our community look at the more gregarious members and turn them away for being too gay, too butch, or too obvious?  How often have we shirked the trans community (especially those that don’t “pass”), or the leather community, or the BDSM community?

During GALA, I was surrounded by every aspect of our community.  We were all there to raise our voice in song together.  And it was beautiful!  I have seen that same beauty in our church from time to time.  I urge us to exude that inclusive beauty every week.  I love each of you for exactly who you are.  I love the beautiful creation God has made in you!  It is our mission to spread the message of God’s all-inclusive love and that message starts right here in our church home.

“Love each other as I have loved you.”  That, for me, was Jesus’ greatest commandment.  So let’s love each other.   It has become my custom to close my articles with a quote from a musical, but this time I have to disappoint!  The quote below is from the song, “What Matters,” and it was performed by the San Diego Women’s Chorus at GALA.  With these words, I encourage you to go out and show the world what Christ’s true love is.

“So, who cares who’s arms I’m all wrapped up in?  Who cares who’s eyes I see myself in?  Who cares who I dream of?  Who cares who I love?…It doesn’t mater what I dream of.  It only matters that I was loved.  And I am loved.”

 

Develop a Deeper Spirituality

Denise Foerch Spiritual DirectorDenise Foerch, Spiritual Director

I believe it is very important for each of us to “own” our spirituality.  Growing up, our belief system was often based on what Mom and Dad, or our church, believed.  As we grew older, we looked to teachers/professors, books, seminars, and peer groups to help us continue to create our spirituality.

Each of us is given opportunities to make different choices about what we believe.  For some, it’s just the journey of life that brings about a stirring inside—a desire to know who they really are and what meaning their life has.  Their thoughts turn toward the spiritual, which causes them to look into various ways of living a spiritual life.  For others, it’s something dramatic that happens in their lives, and they feel awakened and begin searching for how to have a meaningful relationship with God.  And there are some whose spirituality has remained meaningful, and yet they are finding that as their lives change, they desire God in new and different ways.   Sometimes we need someone to walk with us during these times of spiritual transition.

I had a period of time when my life fell apart and all I believed no longer made sense.  I felt lost because I hadn’t spent time cultivating my own spirituality.  I started meeting with a Spiritual Director on a regular basis, and it was an experience like none other I had ever had.  For the first time I was in the presence of someone who wasn’t going to give me answers or try to fix me!  She was there to walk with me as a guide on my quest to have a meaningful relationship with God.   She helped me own my spirituality, by listening to me, nudging me, and praying for me.

Put simply, a Spiritual Director is a guide, a mentor, or facilitator for your journey.  A person who listens, asks questions, gives feedback, and allows you to discover your own spirituality.  As the Spiritual Director for this church, I want to invite you to join one of our two Spiritual Direction groups.  In September our Spiritual Direction groups will open for new members.  The Saturday group meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10am-Noon, and the Thursday night group meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays from 6:30-8:30pm.  I hope you will seriously consider going a group as a way to invest deeply in your relationship with God!

“Spiritual Direction is the opportunity to sit with a trusted companion and reflect on your relationship with God.  It is a time to look at your daily life and God’s presence within it.  It is a gift you give yourself!”  —Connie Schnapf

 

What is God Calling You to Do?

pastor wesRev. Wes Mullins, Senior Pastor

This morning’s sermon is entitled, “Live Your Passion.”  Passion is really another way of saying ministry.  I believe that everyone is called to ministry.  My calling is to a formal kind of ministry working in the church, but a call to ministry can take many different forms.  Some people are called to a ministry focused on children—working in children’s church, counseling troubled children, or even adopting foster children.  Others are called to a ministry of service—cleaning our building each week, serving food the homeless, building Habitat for Humanity homes, or simply mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn.  Finding your ministry matters because it helps you fulfill your purpose in life and participate in the kind of work that Jesus modeled in his lifetime.

It can sometimes be hard to discover your ministry if you don’t know what your passion is, or if you don’t know what God might be calling you to become passionate about.  Sometimes we have a lot of interests, and it can be hard to find the one thing that really drives us, other times we find ourselves just feeling blasé about all the opportunities we see.  Regardless of where you are right now, the questions below are designed to help you do some self-evaluation that will help you discover what passion (or what ministry) God might be calling you to in this season of your life.

Spend some time with a journal, writing honestly about the following questions:

  • What are you afraid of?
  • What is weighing on you?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What needs to change?
  • What’s going well?
  • Do you feel like you are going too fast or too slow in life?
  • What do you need or desire that you don’t have now?
  • What do you think is the most important thing God wants you to do in the next three months?

(Questions adapted from Quench! Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians)

Again, finding a ministry and a passion (or discovering a new one) can be a very rewarding experience.  I encourage you to take some time to do this journaling.  After that, come chat with me about what you discover, and we can find ways I can support your new or renewed calling!