Gilbert K. Chesterton, the British author, lay theologian and sharp observer of the intersection of the human soul and the world, said of New Year’s resolutions:
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.”
I’ve decided to take Chesterton’s words to heart. Here are some resolutions I have made for 2017 and for most of them I’ll need some partnership if they are to be well kept!
1. Conversation. In my Christmas letter I extended the invitation to conversation. I would like to begin this year in conversation with as many members of St. Barnabas as possible. I am open to those conversations being about anything (except the Bronco’s season). Some may have a desire to talk about your relationship with me as Rector of St. Barnabas. I have asked Jim Banks (a member of the vestry and a therapist) and Rev. Deb Angell to be available for those conversations. Mostly for a clear objective presence. Please contact me directly or through Carol and we can set an appointment.
2. Christian Formation. Sometimes we need a little pause as they say to “Sharpen the saw.” I have acquired a resource for looking back at the roots of our faith to help us be more fully followers of Christ. The resource is called “Pilgrim”. Why Pilgrim?
Even now, back at our base for ministry, as Christians we are always on a pilgrimage of faith to God’s reign with Christ. Pilgrim has been developed to help local churches to look at the dimensions of that journey, as individuals and as congregations, and to help in inviting others to join us in our journey of faith. More information will follow but for now know it consists of two stages called “Follow” and “Grow”. Each stage has four sections divided into six sessions. Sessions are about 80 minutes and could be on Sunday or a weekday evening. Follow is especially is good for inquirers and those who would like to prepare for baptism or confirmation. While not as broad as Education For Ministry – Pilgrim offers enough scope to allow people to take an in-depth look at our journey with Christ both as individuals and as members of the church.
I’ll be sending out more information but initially I would like some input as to when people think this might best be scheduled. You can take a look at some information about Pilgrim here: https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/pilgrim/welcometopilgrim.pdf
3. Preaching Workshop. Speaking of sharpening saws I have long wanted to attend the annual “Festival of Homiletics.” Which is a week-long event offering workshops, lectures, and symposia for clergy and others called to preach in the church. This year it is in May in San Antonio. Meeting with well known preachers, authors, and other preachers offers a chance to be renewed and learn. It’s been a long time since my homiletics courses in seminary. I am planning on attending this year!
4. A Night to Shine. With our now completely handicapped accessible facilities we are in a position to reach out to people we really haven’t been able to before. The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors and promotes an international event every year around Valentine’s Day: “A Night to Shine”. It is a prom night for people with special needs and an opportunity for congregations like ours to share the love God has given us with some much of our society simply do not see or do not see as inherently valuable and beloved.
I will arrange to attend one here in the Denver area to take a fist hand look at what is involved. If you would like to go with me it is February 10th 5PM-8:30 PM. You can take a look at a video about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCBKUEObk0w