Sunday's sermon reflected on two aspects of Christian community: maintaining allegiance to Christ's vision of a loving, inclusive kin-dom - versus the formation of human alliances that sometimes devolve into "us vs. them" mentality.
Here are the two great books by Fr. Gregory Boyle that I recommended. Fr. Boyle founded (the very successful) Homeboy Industries to provide rehabilitation, companionship and hope for men and women turning away from life as a Los Angeles gang member: Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship are the stories of the people whose lives were changed by being welcomed into community. Those links take you their listing in the North Van library - enjoy!
And we also talked about the Thy Kingdom Come campaign, a period of intentional prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost in which we are encouraged to pray for people to be brought to a life of faith in Jesus Christ. More information and lots of resources are right here.
From the sermon:
In the week ahead, you might like to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to pray for those who have not yet found their path to God. But let us also pray that worldwide we are nourishing Christian communities in which allegiance to Christ’s vision of God’s inclusive kingdom has not fallen secondary to barriers and divisions erected by the Church in the centuries following Jesus’s death and resurrection.
Let us indeed pray that more people join us around Christ’s table - not in an effort to build alliances that will grow our numbers, pay for our leaky roofs, or help us quell our anxieties about the relevance of church in society. But because we want all God’s children to share in the peace that the world cannot give, and experience the love that never changes.
Here is the prayer especially written for Thy Kingdom Come’s 2018 campaign:
your ascended Son has sent us into the world
to preach the good news of your kingdom:
inspire us with your Spirit
and fill our hearts with the fire of your love,
that all who hear your Word
may be drawn to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.