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Friday, June 15, 2012

Saving our churches easier than we think?

"Mainline renewal is, as one Lutheran pastor told me, "not rocket science." As he said, "You preach the gospel, offer hospitality, and pay attention to worship and people's spiritual lives. Frankly, you take Christianity seriously a a way of life."
... congregations have found new vitality through an intentional and transformative engagement  with Christian tradition as embodied in faith practices. Typically, they have rediscovered the riches of the Christian past and practice simple, but profound, things like discernment, hospitality, testimony, contemplation, and justice. They reach back to ancient wisdom and reach out through a life sustained by Christian devotional and moral practices. They know the biblical story and their own story. They focus more on God's grace in the world than on the eternal state of their own souls." Diana Butler Bass, Christianity for the Rest of Us, Haper One, 2006, pp. 7-8

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+