Last week I was in Atlanta for a Pastor’s Conference.
This is the third year in a row that this particular group of pastors have met. I led worship for the conference alongside Rev. Steible from Rushmore, Indiana.
Here are my observations about the conference:
1. Atlanta is HOT! It was a record high of 97 degrees as I drove home on Friday. I shared this with my colleagues at our Monday staff meeting. They informed me that it was 99 degrees in parts of North Carolina- so I actually got a two degree break! Let me just say- I am thankful that FALL has arrived!
2. I got to hear stories from pastors who serve in congregations all over the United States. Here is what I learned: The challenges and opportunities that Unity faces are found in almost all of these church contexts as well. It was wonderful to listen and learn about how other churches are approaching ministry. Our discussions ranged from how the church can relate to a rapidly changing culture to how we can address the systemic inequalities that are found in our communities. I found it deeply encouraging that from Salt Lake City to Wisconsin to Denver- the church is active! It is exciting to hear about the work of the church universal.
3. Community is so important! It was a gift to get to pray for other pastors- both personally and for their ministries. I hope that each of you has a community that will pray for you and that you can share with openly. With whom can you be freely yourself? Who will ask you about your faith journey? Who prays for you? Finding an authentic community of faith can be life-changing. I hope that a group within Unity can become that for you.
Here is a Bible verse for you to meditate on today:
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
This passage reminds us to encourage one another in faith. We sometimes treat faith as private; something to be kept to ourselves. The author of Hebrews encourages us to ‘spur one another on’ in our faith journeys as we move toward love and good deeds.
See you on Sunday!