Being Church: Reflections on How to Live as the People of God

Being Church: Reflections on How to Live as the People of God

Ragan Sutterfield reviews John Alexander’s book for the Englewood Review of Books:

“The job of the church, the most significant work we have to do, is to love one another, celebrate and welcome one another’s gifts, and be Christ’s body in the world. Of course we all know that most churches are nothing like this…Why is it so hard for us to be church?”

Read the full review.

Choose Wisely; Remember Well

Thanks to a campaign organized by Mennonite pastors, there’s reason for those of us in the United States to look forward to November 6 as something more than the official end of a nasty and dispiriting secular political cycle: whatever you choose to do on Election Day in the US, take time to consciously celebrate the unifying communion of and in the Body of Christ. Among the goals of this Election Day Communion Campaign is “…to build unity in Christ despite theological, political, and denominational differences.” Read more

There is No They

Author and blogger J.R. Daniel Kirk brings this helpful reminder to the church:

When you are part of a church, especially in leadership (but not only then), there is no “they” who will or will not do something.

In those moments when what needs to be done butts up against the policy, or when what they’ve done embarrasses us, deferring to “them” is not going to convince the person in front of you that you are not part of that “them.” That person will only be convinced that you are different when you act, when you do what is right.

Read the full post.

Rethinking “Rethink Church”

“You have to include the story of Christ for being in a Christian community to result in any kind of personal conversion into Christian discipleship. Church has to be more than just “making a difference” and “finding a place where you fit.” When you make church inoffensive by cutting out the story of Jesus that makes church what is, you have also made church uncompelling as a result.”

Morgan Guyton, Rethinking “Rethink Church”.

The Anguish of Imperfect Communion

by Julia Smucker

For about the past five years, I have been a participant in the Mennonite/Catholic ecumenical movement known as Bridgefolk – first as a Mennonite drawn toward communion with the Catholic Church but also strongly connected to my ecclesial heritage, and now as a Catholic seeking to maintain that connection with the church that formed me.  I had agonized over the choice I was presented with in the unavoidable reality that joining with one communion would mean breaking with another, and wondered whether I could do so without it being tantamount to a rejection, a cutting off of my roots.  And then I discovered a group of people who had been agonizing over this division for years before me.  In the many honest and in-depth discussions I’ve been a part of since, it’s been clear that these people who are doing their best to bridge two Christian traditions share a deep longing for a fuller communion than we are as yet able to have, as well as an acute awareness that what we long for cannot be attained quickly or easily.  Read more.