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


Popular posts from this blog

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…

Acts 2:42-47 - Questions for Reflection & Study

This past Sunday, we took a look at Luke's first summary passage in the story of Acts:  chapter 2, verses 42-47.  Here, Luke is presenting a billboard of what the Church looks like at its best.  He is trying to convince Theophilus that Christianity is worth his attention. 

The early Church captures what all of us are looking for, whether we know it or not.  This is a close community that truly cares for one another, where everyone truly is seen as a brother and sister, and where no one person is considered more or less important as the other.  Needs are being met.  There is joy in their fellowship. 

Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you experienced the joy and blessing of a deep, loving community?  Where was it, and what made this community so different?  What role did you play in this community?
Luke tells us the disciples "devoted themselves" to four essential practices.  The Greek word for "devoted" is one that is often used in the context…

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…