We're headed to Brown County with my family today, so there probably won't be posts until Monday or so. I'm looking forward to spending time in the woods and reading and watching my son ride a pony and spending time with my brothers, whom I haven't seen for too long.
This Sunday we're taking part in the Right to Life protest; I think we'll have 50-60 people from our church participating, which is great, proportionally speaking. I haven't thought too much about abortion lately. In fact, I hate to think about it - it's such an ugly, hateful, selfish sin.
But I'm not sure we always do so great when we do get around talking about it. On a past issue of Mars Hill Audio journal, one commentator noted that the church does a good job talking about the evils of abortion, but we clearly don't have a thoughtful ethic of life yet. Most of us can't cogently articulate a Biblical approach to stem cell research or cloning or end-of-life issues.
On the flip side, we often miss the human side of abortion. The pastor in me can't help but wince whenever someone decries the "evil of abortion" without also promising forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ for those who have had abortions. This is why I choose not to participate in the shock campaigns that roll through town every now and then: because they only address the problem, and anybody can address the problem. I can't avoid the conclusion that to slap someone with the rebuke of sin without offering (at the same time!) forgiveness through Christ is just mean. It's the answer that's so desperately needed.
I'm really excited about Art & Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts, by Hilary Brand and Adrienne Chaplin. My bookmark's only a couple chapters in, but so far it looks like a great book: balanced, easy to read, well-informed. It's got wide margins with really great quotes from other writers & artists. Here in an engineering/agriculture university town, we don't get as many artists as would suit me. But we do get some, and I really want to be a good pastor to them.
Once again, I'll prematurely promise a book review when I'm done.
Last Saturday night, Keith Magill came and did a workshop on what it means to be a seed family. This is Ref. Pres. lingo for being one of the laboring and founding families in a church plant - I think PCA calls them a "core group." He did an excellent job painting a picture both of the character and the cost of being a seed family. Hopefully, we'll get the audio up on our website soon.
I was incredibly encouraged at the great turnout - we had about 70 adults. Since we purposefully haven't done anything with church planting since I was ordained, it's always been sort of a mystery how deeply this church family is interested and passionate in daughtering another church in our area. Without reading too much into it, I think attendance was a good sign.
The next big decision is the "where?" or, more properly, "where first?" So, we're getting ready to send a survey out to the congregation to get a deeper and clearer sense of where the individual households are.
Housekeeping: I haven't figured out how to put a button to the side for RSS people, but if you add "atom.xml" to the end of my URL above, it should bring you to the RSS feed site and you can cut and paste that address into your reader. I think.
If this makes no sense to you, that's perfectly okay. Because I'm not sure it makes sense to me either.