In June we begin the “Living Our Values” series at Elim. Our Sunday Connection Classes (9-10am) will combine and we will hear from over 40 different voices on the biblical and practical ways we can live out our values as a gathered body of disciples. As a pastor I am anticipating being personally challenged and inspired by what our speakers have to say.
Without a sense of shared values we are merely a social club of nice people who do nice things from time to time. The church as you know however is much more than that. Jurgen Moltmann in his book Theology of Hope says,
The Church lays claim to the whole of humanity in mission. The mission is not carried out within the horizon of expectation provided by the social roles which society concedes to the Church, but it takes place within its own peculiar horizon of the eschatological expectation of the coming kingdom of God, of the coming righteousness and the coming peace, of the coming freedom and dignity of humanity. P. 327
The particular horizon of… the kingdom of God… of the coming righteousness… of peace… and of freedom. I couldn’t help but think that’s what our values are all about – the coming of the kingdom of God within us and through us to the whole cosmos! By re-stating our values we are becoming responsible as a body to lay claim to scripture and its promises, to the Spirit and the gifts, to Jesus and his love, to the fathers desire to see a reconciled and whole family of humanity. This is nothing short of life-changing, life altering stuff!
Our preaching team will also be preaching through the values one-by-one each week. This summer our worship will celebrate the virtues and attributes of our God that are the driving force behind each one of our values. (See revised Elim Values Statement) I pray that our worship will drive us to our knees in humble adoration and rejoicing for the ways we have seen God faithfully work in our lives as well as in repentance and prayer for the ways in which we have fallen short of living up to the ways God has called us to live as a church. I pray that we find faith hope and love renewed in our hearts this summer.
I am sure many have made travel plans and that is all good, we all need a rest from that incredible winter onslaught we just experienced. But when you are in town please plan to show up at 9am each Sunday this summer with humble expectation and willing hearts. God is at work and we get to be a part of that world changing reality.
Kick off for our Summer Session and “Living our Values” is June 2. We will celebrate the painting of the Cross by Kari Nelson in the courtyard and have a church picnic following! See you there!
Pastor Paul Stephen Olson