by Kevin Wiebe
“Problems can be solved, conflicts can be resolved, but polarization can only be managed.”
This phrase resonated with me as the instructor began her lecture about the nature of polarization. As she unpacked this sentence for the class, the wisdom in it became even more profound. Continue reading Either/Or
EMC church leaders will gather November 26–27 to explore theological questions about same-sex attraction and our pastoral responses.
Continue reading Talking About Homosexuality: Reversing the Flow of Purity
by Kimberly Muehling
Many churches struggle with what to do with their children when they are in church, and yet mourn the exodus of youth and young adults. How do we both have and keep children in church? Continue reading Following Christ With Children in the Church
By Terry M. Smith
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of our chosen sister send their greetings” (2 Jn 12-13). Continue reading Being Together Wasn’t Enough for Elder John
Convention 2019 Four of Four
by Layton Friesen
To be simply Christian is to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. This is a great mystery. Your congregation is the Church. The EMC is the Church. The Church is the global body of believers. The Church includes both the earthly Church and the heavenly Church worshipping God as one in Christ. Let’s look at the Church from two views: the Church wide and the Church narrow. Continue reading The Church Wide and the Church Narrow
SBC Leadership Conference March 20-21, 2020
by Dr. Darrell Johnson
There are a number of critical texts in which disciples of Jesus in our time would do well to inhabit. Like Matthew 5-7 where we hear Jesus preach His now famous, but not yet fully understood, Sermon on the Mount, developing what entering into and living the Kingdom of God looks like is this world. And like John 13-17, where Jesus prepares His disciples to go on living in the absence of His physical presence, doing so through the person and ministry of His Spirit. And like Romans 5-8 where the apostle of Paul, who clearly has the mind of Christ, opens up for us, and takes us into the heart of Christian living and discipleship, calling us to die to the flesh and live to and in the Spirit. Continue reading The Most Critical Text for Today’s Disciples
by Terry M. Smith
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Whereas, the Church of _____, is no longer to be used for acts of worship, And whereas the Church building and the land upon which it is erected is about to be/being sold; now, therefore, we, by Divine Permission . . . do declare that the Church of ____ , once duly dedicated and consecrated to the Divine worship of Almighty God, has by virtue of this our sentence, lost said dedication and consecration. (U. S. Anglican rite) Continue reading When can a Rite be Wrong?
Concerned About Gender Stereotyping
Heidi Dirks, Winnipeg, Man.
Thank you to Terry Smith for his reporting on this year’s EMC Ministerial Day [July]. I am, however, concerned about the content presented on this day. I am concerned about the gender stereotypes apparently presented as fact, and how these stereotypes limit both men and women. I am also concerned that a supposed “feminization” of the church is blamed for declining attendance for men. Most churches have a group of women who have faithfully served God for many years, often in roles behind the scenes. Some women have felt called to leadership positions but were limited in their service due to their gender. It is not helpful to blame women currently in the church for the men who do not attend, or to measure “success” by male/female ratios. Churches should be places where all people feel welcome and can hear the good news of Jesus, and where they can serve God with the gifts He has given them.
by Terry M. Smith
As we plant new churches, naming them, as always, is best done carefully.
For various reasons, the EMC has periodically favoured words such as Gemeinde, EMC, Fellowship, Chapel, and Community. What might we keep in mind as we name congregations today? Continue reading On Naming Churches Today