Tag Archives: mission and missions

Reunion and Withdrawal (and with-drawl)

The past few days have held a mix of emotion for me. I have rejoiced at spending time with Courtney, Ceara, and Caleb. I have missed the 28+ people with whom I spent the past three weeks.

I celebrate the reunion. I mourn this feeling of withdrawal from an intense, intentional community experience. And while at the end of three weeks I definitely said certain things with-drawl (thanks to the Southern contingent), I’m glad that my speech has returned to its somewhat normal state.

I long for opportunities in the future when Courtney, Ceara, Caleb, and I could engage in intentional living with others. I am challenged to see how I can do that in our current context.

Not sure where the thoughts are heading now… until next time, peace.


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Photo of the Week – YAMs get Commissioned

This is a photo of the Young Adult Missionaries with Thomas Kemper, who is the General Secretary of Global Ministires. They were commissioned on Thursday, August 18th, and now they head out to 8 U.S. States and 11 countries.

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Aslan is on the Move

“Aslan is on the move.”

This line from “The Chronicles of Narnia” started coming to mind a couple of weeks ago, and since then it has continued to pop in and out of my thoughts on a daily basis.

“Aslan is on the move,” is what the Narnians said to each other when the snow started melting and they began to see glimmers of hope as pockets of resistance would rise up against the White Witch. (I know that is not a great synopsis, yet it will have to do for now.)

About a month ago I spent a few days in Grove City, PA at a gathering of folks who had a passion for reclaiming the terms Church, Christianity, and Missions from the negative and wounding ways that many people associate with those words.

“Aslan is on the move.”

A few weeks ago I attended a conference with about 95 campus ministers who wanted for their campus ministries to rupture the narratives of cultural and civil religion that also promote the negative impressions of Christianity.

“Aslan is on the move.”

For the past two weeks I have had the tremendous privilege and opportunity to share life together with 26 (including one via Skype) amazing young adults who have decided to give the next two or three years to live with communities in poverty working for justice, mercy, and peace, and in so doing provide a tangible witness and experience to people of God’s love, compassion, presence, and grace.

As I hear their stories over meals, in large and small groups, and in one-on-one moments, I cannot help but get excited for their lives, the communities where they will live across the US and around the world, and for the way they will join in God’s holy work of healing the world.

“Aslan is on the move!”

Click here for information about the United Methodist Church’s Young Adult Missionary Service Programs.

Click here for a story about one of the young adults named Wil.

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A Distinction between Missions and Mission

I was pointed to this quote today from Leslie Newbigin, and I found it a helpful distinction between words often confused.

"Mission is the entire task for which the Church is sent into the world. By 'missions' I mean those specific activities undertaken by human decisions to bring the Gospel to places or situations where it is not heard, to create a Christian presence in a place or situation where there is no such presence or no effective presence."

(Leslie Newbigin in "The Logic of Mission," p.20)

I don't think he is referring to proselytizing, rather he is recognizing that Christians do have a viable, authentic, and alternative way of living. This living is not over and against other cultures necessarily, rather it is recognizing the opportunity to: live peace into places of violence; work for freedom in places of slavery; restore dignity into places of marginalization; live in solidarity with those who are oppressed; etc. And the reason Christians can live that way is because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that provides a the hope, freedom, and strength to live life in such a way.

I know that is not an exhaustive list, but I'm just trying to wrap my head around this quote.

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