Skip to main content

Our Multi-Generational Church: God Loves Us!

Life In Diversity

ec·o·tone / ˈekəˌtōn,ˈēkəˌtōn/ Noun ECOLOGY

1.  a region of transition between two
     biological communities.
A few years ago, someone introduced me to this wonderful word:  ecotone.  I liked it immediately, and my love for it only grew when the person went on to tell me this.  Ecotones—these complex places of diversity—thrive with life. 

I want to invite you to see our church– your church—as a potential ecotone.  And, I want to encourage you to live into the diversity of our church family.

We are seeing the diversity of our body in a number of ways.  It’s present whenever the women’s Bible Study gathers in one end of the building and the daycare children play on the other end.  You can see it as we gather for worship with our pew of older widows in the back who arrive fifteen minutes before church starts and the younger families who find their way in somewhere before the passing of the peace.

We are young; we are old.  We are single; we are married.  We are liberal; we are conservative.  And, if you include our daycare, we are people who are very familiar with our church tradition, and we are those who might find our style of worship foreign.

Now, the next step is to bring these unique worlds together.  The next step is to move beyond just existing in our mono-culture, but to find the richness of life in the crazy, messy, complex ecotone of this particular place.  Can you think of a way you might step into our church’s ecotone?  When you come for that Bible Study, can you venture on down to the daycare wing, pop your head in and say hello?  When we have our fellowship time in Browning Hall, can you talk to someone you have never met before? 

Here is another great idea.  Throughout this month, we are going to celebrate several meals together—including the SAWs kick-off luncheon on Sunday, April 6th.  Why not make sure to sit at a table with some people you don’t know as well?  

In the month to come, we will also have another great way to bring our older and younger generations together.  As Confirmation continues, Brady Rhodes will be working to find mentors for our confirmands.  Don’t be surprised if you get a call from him—inviting you to play an important role in helping some of our younger members learn what it means to follow Jesus. 

There is a vast richness of life in our church community, and it can be a great blessing.  Yet, we have to be intentional in making sure we live into this strength.  That goes for both sides.  Our younger families need to find the rich treasures of wisdom hidden in our older members, and our older members need to step forward and take on the joyful responsibility of caring for and empowering our younger families. 

Thankfully, we can take courage knowing that we’re not the first community to face the potential challenges and craziness that is a church ecotone.  Paul certainly faced it a number of times as he sought to nurture life in the young Christian churches.  He wanted them to look beyond their mono-culture of being “Greeks or Jews, “male or female,” “slave or free,” and I imagine he’d be encouraging us to move beyond our own labels in order to see our oneness in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).  May the Lord make our church body a diverse community—linked by our common love for Jesus.

~Pastor Wes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…