newsletter may 2007

psalm 23
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May 3, 2007 - Vol 4, Issue 1
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Dear Kork,

Loving Lepers-A Theology of Kingdom Mission

As we have been discussing our life on mission with God and our responsibility as apprentices of Jesus, Christianity Today just sent this article around, landing in my Inbox this morning.

This is important reading, albeit redundant to our conversations at Still Waters churches and Tabernacle services, distilling key focus areas of our discussion, as we begin building our theology of mission to the poor and the foreigner--our calling, if seriously following Christ.

Our Fellowship focus within the Northern Atlantic, for this year is "Discipling the Nations"-and for me, that directly translates to "Culture" whether those cultures are within our borders or affinity groups-the cultural group known as the poor, the people of homelessness, the nation of mental illness, or the immigrant (legal or "illegal").

All are loved by God and have been seriously neglected in our American Christianity while we still believe that "missions" is "over there" to people who are in need of our brand of Christianity. We export democracy, western thought, capitalism, etc. along with missions as though the gospel and western style church and culture are synonymous.

Distinguishing between home and mission field no longer makes sense.

This year, the Christian Vision Project asked a select group of church leaders, What must we learn, and unlearn, to be agents of God's mission in the world? Here is Christopher Wright's answer-an urge for believers to rethink the meaning of mission, whether your mission field is across the ocean or across the street.

Psalm 23, John 10 .22-30, Acts 9 .36-43, & Revelation 7 .9-17
" 'How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.' Jesus answered, 'I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life,..." (John 10 .2b4-28a)
Following Jesus, our shepherd will certainly lead us into pain-our own as well as the world's. It is difficult to understand gospel without embracing, and ultimately, re-understanding the cross along with its commandment to sacrifice ourselves for friend and enemy.

Revelation 7 is a beautiful picture of all nations (cultures) gathered around the throne of the Lamb. Reading this passage, imagine who might be there shoulder-to-shoulder with you-friend, and enemy? May we take comfort in the promise it offers for our journey:

...the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more... for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 7 .15-17)
As we re-read Jesus' revelation in terms of the apocalyptic language employed, our cultural and learned veneer can be challenged to an uncomfortable decisional breaking-point, just as Judaism, Saul and those wanting to be freed from "Suspense." After all, our "belief" is on the line... How do we reflect the psalm 23 kingdom, both personally, and as a church body in light of this re- thinking and challenge to our traditional (and narrow) understanding of Gospel?
This winter was very difficult as we began, and operated a local homeless shelter ministry-a collaborative effort of Still Waters and St. John's ELC called "The Ministries at MAIN Street." It was both a joy and a heartbreak.

Currently we are working to provide this shelter ongoing as a permanent cooperative effort by us, local churches, city and county government, the local business community, and private individuals. There is a ton of work to be done.

We will be forwarding a separate newsletter highlighting how we have faired in this effort-literally the poorest church in town holding this terrible responsibility, but in the hope that other churches within our readership will pursue this responsibility with us, and also in their own locations.

Please consider partnering with us as we begin this work of sheltering the less fortunate of Pottstown, and our TriCounty area.

Should you wish to contribute to the MAIN Street shelter project, please click HERE.
We truly appreciate your help and partnership with Christ in serving those with less in the greater Pottstown area. Please click the link below, should you wish to donate to Still Waters ministries. It is a secure PayPal Service.

Still Waters is a 501(c)(3) organization and your gift is tax deductible.

May the LORD bless and keep you, wishing you His presence in all that you do--as you walk beside still waters.


Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

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