Church Innovations’ Partners Post

April 28, 2010

Communal Spiritual Discernment

Filed under: Uncategorized — ptellison @ 9:16 am

Church bodies these days struggle to find ways of being with one another, even staying together as the Body of Christ as considerable energy is spent in ways that tend to pull folks apart. 

The Church has vast resources of critical scholarship and confessional writing. We have a long history of valuing the Bible, lifting it as the norming norm for our life, not only as individuals but our common life. We have always been encouraged, by the very nature of God’s three-personness, to form and sustain Christian community.


So what keeps us from discerning communally, together, how to sustain our church, centered on God for the sake of the Gospel who is Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit’s power?


That is what I want to know.   Peace to your house. Pat Taylor Ellison

April 16, 2010

Taking the Form of a Slave

The Dwelling passage we use when we do spiritual discernment is Phil. 1:27 & 2:5-11, the latter verses often called The Christ Hymn.  In it, Paul uses metaphors to encourage a certain way of behaving when Christians are striving.  The image of “slave,” the mentality of a slave, are crucial in Jesus’ work in The Christ Hymn, since, by being a slave to human beings like you and me, Jesus frees us into a life with the Triune God.

My question today is this: what am I doing to be a slave who frees others into life-giving relationships with God and others?  For example, today when Scott, my colleague, defends his dissertation, how can I be slave to free him into live-giving relationship with God and others?  On this weekend when one of my lifelong friends flies into town to sit with her dying mother, how can I be slave to free her into live-giving relationship with God and others?  Dwelling in this Word is where I will be, discerning the answers.

Peace to your house.   Pat

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