Posted by secondchurch on October - 25 - 2017

Thoughts from Pastor Mark

 “God wants the church to become the initiator of the reformation and changes in the society”  –Sunday Adelaja

The next two Sunday worship services should be a lot of fun at Second Church. On October 29 we will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of a significant church, calling for reform of the institution of the church and its leadership. Our seminarian, Jack Holder, will be preaching.

On November 5, we will have an intergenerational All Saints service where we are inviting people to dress as their favorite saints. Leah and I will share worship leadership. Ironically, one of the recent reforms in the Catholic Church was the removal of most icons representing the saints of the church. Protestants generally struggle with the concept of sainthood even though our Christian scriptures talk plenty about saints – the living, breathing, functioning members of the church who are making the gospel flourish. Oddly, the Second Church sanctuary has images of saints carved into the deacons seats in the chancel and into the pulpit. If you don’t know what saint to dress like, come dressed as Mary Ann Donaldson or Bubba Sooho or one of the many saints roaming around our beloved church. I am either dressing as my aunt who is a nun or one of the founders of a monastic order … I’m still figuring that out.

One of the other odd things about our services the next two weeks is that we are in the midst of another Reformation of the church. The late church historian, Phyllis Tickle, posited that every 500 years the church has a “great rummage sale” where we get rid of all the stuff that is no longer useful and go back to the basics of faith – for what makes sense in this day and time. I look forward to trying to be tongue-in-cheek about our present Reformation as we remember the last one.

It is not coincidental that the church’s great reforms have come when societies are evolving. The last reforms led to Newton’s theories of gravity and origin of the species, and eventually to the Industrial Revolution. And now we are on the cusp of realizing what happens when humanity tries to play God: we are killing the planet! We are being called to reevaluate our relationship with Creation and with the Creator.

For a time such as this, we need to reform the church, from one that supports the goals and ideals Empire-building toward one that focuses on God’s dream of a peaceable kin-dom. We need to get to this work before it’s too late. May we have the faith and tenacity to reshape our common life – to the glory of God and with the help of God. Please join us the next two weeks as we both look back and look forward to what God has in store for us.

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