Suggest a name for this series, the last of my sermons at Live Oak . . .
Over the next couple of months there is method to my madness. It’s this “bully pulpit” from which I want to cover a few foundational aspects of my ministry and that of the church. After all, I gave myself the title “Minister of Congregational Life.” Five sermons, five themes:
1) Mar. 4: How do we welcome people who come to Live Oak? It’s not enough just to have a comfortable place for ourselves, though of course we want that. We also have to make room for about 10 visitors every Sunday—to welcome them, share with them who we are, and invite them into further participation.
2) Mar. 25: How do we move from this sanctuary and oasis of the spirit into the bigger world out there? We need to find our voice and we need to take it out into the market square.
3) Apr. 1: This has to be fun! On April Fool’s Day we’ll take a lighter look at ourselves and how this can be an absolutely, positively delightful place to grow in mind, body, and spirit.
4) Apr. 8: On Easter Sunday we’ll have our traditional Flower Communion. For us, Easter is indeed about resurrection, but it is a resurrection of nature, a resurrection of spring, and a resurrection of community. The use of ritual and a lovely exchange of flowers is an important aspect of congregational life.
5) Apr. 29: Finally, we’ll look at departures and other journeys. I can’t help but think of the people whose homes, offices, and schools were completely wiped out in this week’s tornadoes. Departures can be sudden and devastating, or they can be well anticipated and prepared. Still, no matter how much preparation is done, the departure comes in the middle of the story and no one knows the ending. . . . Maybe good, maybe bad, too soon to tell.