Here we are again

Well, here we are again. 33 months ago, I came to you, leaving my family behind in Cullowhee, and now I am here with you still as they go off to Berlin for four months. Then, we tried to get to know one another in the rush towards Christmas. Now, we are in the midst of asking, how can each of us share the ministry of this church in the world around us? For me, it will be a time of reflection and a time of action, as I embark on a spiritual practice of reading through the Bible and commit myself to meeting regularly with people outside our church family, serving with IMPACT and checking in on the Ankeny Service Center, joining delegations to AMOS gatherings, and supporting our members in our shared attempts to model “serving beyond,” and rethinking how we do church, as we all understand the need to make fundamental changes but struggle to hear God’s voice calling us into what will be new. Will you join me on this journey? Will you commit to imagining, in this fall, what might be, and talking with our whole church family about how we are to welcome the next person coming in the door? I’d love to meet with everyone over the next four months and share a cup of coffee, a meal, or just a conversation about where we are going.

We can start at the Hog Roast. As you meet new people and old people, let’s ask them where Ankeny needs service. What are people afraid to talk about? Ashamed? Denying? How can we grapple with those things, inviting God’s presence and the Holy Spirit’s feeding fire?

Blessings,
Nathan

Lenten Comings and Goings

Feb 10, 2015

Greetings!

We enter into our season of Lent with contemplation on our minds and reconciliation in our hearts. This Christian season remembers Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness responding to his call to ministry and the 40 years Israel sojourned in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land. In these 40 days, we are invited into new practices that push us to change the way we look at ourselves and our roles in the world. In worship, we will be moving some elements around for Lent, and doing one or two experimental things. In my personal life, I will be reading through all the parts of Mark that we’re missing in worship, and invite you to do the same with posts on our website and facebook page. But we’re starting with Penitential Pancakes tonight at 5:30pm and our service calling us to Holy Lent on Ash Wednesday at 6:15 tonight.

On this solemn note, I also share the news that after several years and four ministers, Jennifer, our church secretary, has decided to resign her position and move on. Join me in thanking her for her service, wishing her well and keeping her in your thoughts and prayers as someone who has been part of this congregation’s life for a long time.

This also means we’ll need some volunteer help in the office while we work on a new job description and engage in our job search. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call me on my cell phone at 515-639-0602 or stop by community office hours at Cafe Diem tomorrow (or to volunteer to fold bulletins this week).

Blessings,
Nathan