Our children may have something to teach us about being peacemakers if we as adults are willing to listen!
“After a sermon like that, I just want to cry,” commented octogenarian Roma Ruth, reflecting on Salford intern John Tyson’s debut sermon on Sunday. John is an Eastern Mennonite University and Christopher Dock High School grad studying now at Princeton Seminary. His internship represents the best of flourishing conference, congregation, and community relationships. He is learning alongside his old high school history teacher, Joe Hackman, who is now Salford’s lead pastor. I’m serving as John’s official supervisor for the year, a role I’m happy to fill as the conference’s director of leadership cultivation.
“Thank you for listening!” say several excited young children at the end of every episode of Salford’s Listening Project. Our church has been doing a lot of listening these days.
Last summer we set aside several months for prayer and discerning what God might be calling us to for the next several years. The discernment led us to something pretty basic: learning how to get better at listening to God.
I define myself as a disciple of Jesus who is part of the Mennonite family and uses the Anabaptist theological glasses by which I read the Scriptures in a particular way: using the historical Jesus as the paradigm for personal and social ethics for Christian living; participating with God and my community of faith in the formation and transformation of individuals and societies; discerning in community our mission or reason for existence here and now in our particular context; making disciples in order to keep expanding the kingdom of God.
I believe the communal Christian life is like a boat that continuously moves back and forth from the river to the pond. When the boat is on the river of the Spirit, it brings life, newness, challenges, and hope for the future. In the river, we take the risk of being led by the flow of the Spirit and many times we end up in wonderful places and situations where we never expected to be. On the other hand, when we are on the still waters of the pond of tradition, we are like a lighthouse that guides those who are traveling in this world with no direction and purpose in life.
By Benjamin Sutter, firstname.lastname@example.org Harleysville, PA—Sheldon Good and Steve Kriss know what it means to work as an intergenerational leadership team—Good worked as an intern with Franconia Conference for four […]