Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Shared Teaching Ministry

   Lou McCauley was a woman of great talent and lived with joy.  Her passing last week, just a few days from her 94th birthday, brought sadness along with a deep appreciation by her family of the abundant life that she lived.  I listened to her children and grandchildren share great stories and remembrances.  At one point her son, Ken, spoke about how she was a lifelong-learner, studying French in her 70's and taking up line-dancing in her 80's.
   The truth is, Lou McCauley was also a lifelong teacher to her family.  They talked at length about how she taught them hospitality, acceptance, faith, humor, all by her example.  At the funeral, celebrating her life and the God, I talked about how this mindset was so crucial to Old Testament theology.  God instructed the parents, and in turn leaders of the people, to be ready when the children and others who would come along later would ask why (see the four instances).  Why are these stones important?  Why is this meal important?  Why do we believe and do this?  Our core theology is that we are lifelong-learners and lifelong-teachers.  God calls us to be ready to answer when we are asked.
   This is what Epworth needs.  This is the mindset we must adopt.  We must be able to answer the key questions.  Why do we do this thing?  Why are these traditions important?  Why do we belief this?  We must then act in ways that are true to our beliefs.  We must clarify and then embody a vision of ministry in this community that is able to orient us. 
   Like Mrs. Lou's life, I don't think this happens overnight.  I believe it must happen, though. We'll talk about it this coming week at our first Church Council meeting of the new year.  Every leader in the church is being encouraged to attend, as we learn and teach about vision before splitting up into our various teams and planning for the year.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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