Monthly Archives: March 2013

Widening & Deepening the Journey

from KrisAnne, missional minister

At our congregational meeting in February, we spoke about leaders being people who equip the congregation for ministry and mission. We are all the Body of Christ, with a role to play in sharing God’s Love with one another and with those outside the church walls.

Recently, what this has looked like for the missional journey, is two sessions of a mentoring group, in which I have encouraged and equipped participants to try some experiments. We have learned to pray in new ways for people in our lives, and we have deepened relationships with friends, neighbors and co-workers. On May 11, we will work alongside the broader community to raise funds for the Berry family, who experienced a great tragedy on Thanksgiving Eve last year. There was a terrible car accident right outside our church building on Route 611. A little girl lost her life, and her grandmother is living with a brain injury as a result of the accident. Coming alongside the community during times like these– being Jesus’ hands and feet outside the church walls– is a big part of what it means to be missional.

As our congregation continues to experience God’s transformation, our hope is to broaden participation in the missional journey even more. I (KrisAnne) see my role as providing opportunities to engage in missional work, but also supporting, resourcing and encouraging what is already going on in the congregation. I am open to hearing your stories of risk, success, struggle, and even your ongoing questions related to missional living and praying.
In May, June and July, we will be prayer walking in various places around our community during the Sunday School hour. Anyone who wishes to may join the prayer walking, adults and children alike! You don’t have to have previously been in the mentoring group in order to join this missional expression.

There will be two training sessions in April (21st and 28th during the Sunday School hour) with Sandy Landes and myself in the sanctuary. Even if you do not plan on being part of the summer prayer-walking, you are welcome to attend the training sessions. These sessions could give you some valuable tools as you take walks on your own during nice weather… we can all walk and pray anywhere, any time!

Simple personal missional practices (feel free to use them or to develop your own personal practices):

1. Ask God who you can pray for regularly, and how to pray for them. This may be a co-worker, neighbor, your children’s friends and their families, someone you have regular contact with. It may be someone you have known for a long time, but God prompts you to pray for them in a new way. Trust that God will show you who and will show you how to pray for them.

2. Commit to a PLACE and to regular prayer there. This may be a certain street where you frequently walk, a park where you go to walk or relax, your neighborhood school, employees or customers at places you go regularly (your bank, post office, a diner or WaWa, etc.) . Pray specifically for the people there, for God’s blessing to rest on them and again, ask God how you can pray for them specifically.

3. When God reveals how you could reach out to someone, take action. God may prompt you to ask about their lives, to notice their demeanor and let them know you care, to offer a smile or a word of encouragement. This takes courage. It is a risk. We trust God when we lean into risk, and we grow in faith and trust the more we do this.

4. Continue to practice and notice the results. Keep a journal or some note cards to track what you are learning, how you are growing, how your relationships with these people are changing, what God is doing in you and through you. If you are not comfortable writing, perhaps you can find a partner to practice these things with. The two of you can talk together about your experiences, and that can be a way to notice growth.

What is the missional journey?

We are exploring the role each of us plays in God’s reconciling and restorative mission in the world. We imagine & pray. We take risks & experiment. We reflect & learn. And we keep going, trusting God to be at work in and through and even beyond us.

Some of our missional expressions include:

  • Opening a storm kitchen after a hurricane swept through the area, knocking out power for six days. We brought what we had, cooked up some wonderful meals and delivered them to our neighbors.
  • Serving meals to our local volunteer firefighters.
  • Praying with and for our neighbors and co-workers. Being intentional about building those relationships.
  • Becoming a regular customer at a local business and taking some Christmas gifts to the employees there over the holidays.
  • Partnering with the community garden on the church property, donating the produce to local food pantries.
  • Summer soccer camps for local kids.
  • A “Knitted Together” group that meets in Bedminster and knits chemo blankets for cancer patients.

Suggested Prayer Practices for the Missional Journey:

Begin each day┬ápraying “Your Kingdom come, God, and Your Will be done on earth as in heaven. You will be at work today, reconciling and restoring people and creation. Help me to see where you are at work. Give me courage to join you there.”

Each evening, reflect on how you saw God at work and how you participated in God’s Great Mission.