Randy's Reflections
January 8, 2019, 2:00 PM

"Being Alive" Pastor Randy's January Reflection



Being Alive

 

            “What we all want is pretty simple. We want to be alive. To feel alive. Not just to exist but to thrive, to live out loud, walk tall, breathe free. We want to be less lonely, less exhausted, less conflicted or afraid  . . . more awake, more grateful, more energized and purposeful.” This is what Brian McLaren says in his book We Make the Road by Walking. I couldn’t agree more.

“Canoeing the Mountains” is the book our Session has been reading this fall. It uses the search for the Northwest Passage by Lewis and Clark as a metaphor for finding a new way to do church. We do not live in a society that always seeks spiritual experience, solace, or vision in churches anymore. Yet the community of faith, “the church,” is still being used by God to inspire, to bring comfort, and to celebrate our relationship with the forever living, loving, master of the universe.

Few churches use the yellow pages anymore and it is rare not to find a church that has their own website. We can not depend on word of mouth or a denominational address book to let people know we are a vital part of living a full life (John 10:10). We need to be a witness of what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus, and that means to be alive.

McLaren says we all long for “aliveness,” that is what it means when people say they are
spiritual, which 70% of the people in our country say. I really believe people long to do good, long to have a purpose, and long to have hope and meaning in their life. And that is what the Session at JKPC is trying to do, to find ways we can encourage people to discover what makes them feel alive and how we can support, encourage and challenge them in their daily life.

We, the Session, are exploring how we can provide new ways to inspire you (through worship), to equip you (through experiential training), and to challenge you (by providing opportunities to help you discover your current calling). We are finding that to venture into uncharted territory, like Lewis and Clark, we may need to give up some of the things we are used to, like canoeing, and instead find new ways to negotiate our spiritual journey (the mountains), like using horses. That is what Lewis and Clark had to do.

It may sound scary and uncomfortable at first, but we believe God wants us to try new things, like Trunk or Treat or Flea Market and Craft Fair on our campus, or partner with CityServe to serve our community or to embrace new folks in our congregation by inviting them to a special event or dessert. To make room for those things in our schedule will mean we have to give up something we normally do. Are you ready for this?
I am not sure I am, but I think God has great plans for us and I look forward to celebrating 2019 with you as God provides us with ways in which we can be truly “alive.”

                                     Walking the journey with you,

                                                    Pastor Randy