Building a Community of Peace & Reconciliation

April 30, 2015

Last weekend, Churchnet held its Annual Gathering at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. This year's theme was "Share Hope: Building a Community of Peace & Reconciliation." As Churchnet's Communications & Engagement Leader, I found myself busy taking photos, tweeting, and working on other tasks. Much of that I put together for a new issue of Churchnet's monthly digital magazine. The issue reports on the Annual Gathering with columns, photos, audio, and a video.

This year, however, I also had the privilege of preaching as one of the two main speakers. I delivered the message in Friday night's worship session. My task was to preach on the theme and I did so by particularly grounding my thoughts in the work and ideas of Clarence Jordan (co-founder of Koinonia Farm, creator of the Cotton Patch Gospel, and co-creator of the pilot program for Habitat for Humanity).

You can read a few lines from my sermon in the digital magazine. Or you can listen to the whole sermon. I used several images in the sermon that, of course, aren't captured by the audio. There are two keys ones I refer to that a quick look at may help with understanding. At the start I refer to viral social media image of "the dress." Later, I refer to an image related to Ferguson. I remain thankful for the opportunity to share some thoughts and hope more people will carefully consider what I offered.

On Saturday, I also had the opportunity to lead two rounds of the same breakout session titled "Worship that Advances Peace & Reconciliation." I enjoyed the interactive format as a chance to engage in dialogue and continue the conversation beyond what I spoke about the previous night. The only downside was I didn't get to attend any other breakout sessions even though I really wanted to hear them.

I really enjoyed the weekend and am grateful to work for an organization willing to openly discuss critical societal/gospel issues.