The Pastor's Book Club, originally scheduled for tonight at 7:00 has been postponed to a future date in September. Sorry for any inconvenience. On the other hand, now there is still time to pick up a copy of our book, Velvet Elvis, and read it!
I am preaching a series on the Mystery of Marriage and next week (August 29), I want to tackle the issue of divorce. One particular part I would like to address is the way the Church responds to people who are going (or, have gone) through divorce. I have heard stories where the Church (whether as an institution or as individual members) has been unhelpful- even hurtful. I have also heard stories where the Church provided a place of grace and healing.
Would you be willing to share a little of your own experience? Of course, all identities will be kept confidential. Also, when I mention the Church, I do not just mean New Hope. I am referring to the Church, in general.
There are two questions:
In your experience, what things did the Church (as an institution or through various groups and individuals) do that were unhelpful, or even hurtful? Helpful & healing?
As someone who has gone through divorce, what counsel would you give us (New Hope) in the way we minister to those who have gone through(or, are going through) divorce?
It can be a general impression, a specific conversation, or anything in between. Your experiences (both good and bad) may help others respond in ways that are helpful and redemptive. I want to gather these responses as part of my preparation for the sermon. If you are able to respond back by next Wednesday (July 25th)I would appreciate it. In order to protect confidentiality, you can use the email link on the bottom of the right column.
More inviting, more true, more mysterious than ever.
The problem isn't Jesus; the problem is what comes with Jesus.
Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis
I though of this quote as I was talking with a woman about baptism. She wants her son to be baptized and doesn't much care if the sign on the front of the church says Presbyterian, Catholic or Episcopal. "I don't really care about what different denominations think. I just want my son to know Jesus."
I get that, don't you? Isn't it amazing the things that 'come with Jesus' in the form of religion, that actually get in the way of Jesus?
I am happy to be a Presbyterian and find our traditions and teachings to be very helpful, but not because they are the goal. The goal is to help me know and follow Jesus.
How about you? What teachings and traditions help you know and follow Jesus? Which ones get in the way? Are there any that used to be helpful but now act as an obstacle?
That is why I chose this book as part of the Pastor's Book Club for this summer. It challenges me to examine and rethink that parts of my faith that help- or hinder my relationship with God. If that sounds interesting to you, think about joining me on July 24th! Books are available online, in some bookstores, or at church.
Glad you're here! My name is Russ Kane and I have the privilege of being the pastor of an amazing church called, New Hope Presbyterian Church. It's a place where people "Find a Home, Build a Life and Make a Difference." This blog is a journal of our life together. Welcome!