a new online home

•September 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We will no longer be blogging here at missionindtown.

Visit our new site for blog posts, updates on our ministry and news about upcoming events:

http://thegardenpa.org/

 

 

See you there!

opportunity to join in…

•September 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Our 9/11 Community Walk: a simple act of hope and courage (10:30-11:30am Mercer Museum parking lot),  will be followed by a simple PeaceMeal on the church grounds (11:45am). As we pull together the food details, I am looking for some people to organize things like:

7 tables (5 at which to sit and eat, 2 to serve food)

chairs

napkins, utensils, dinnerware, cups

fresh flowers for the 5 tables we will gather around

Readers for the peace liturgy I am writing

Please let me know if you’d like to join in by helping and participating in this missional event!

posted by: KrisAnne

Stay Tuned…

•August 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The missional team is busy dreaming, visioning and creating for the new season! We will post notification here when the new website and events are ready for publicity. Thanks for your interest and your support as we live into this truth:

We belong to God

We belong to each other

We belong to our community

9/11 Walk

•August 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

 

The 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 is coming up. This is a chance to incarnate the Good News in our Doylestown neighborhoods. There is hope. There is peace.

Join us in the Mercer Museum Parking Lot at 10:30am. We are organizing a “Peace Meal” to follow at Doylestown Mennonite Church, with community garden produce and other foods, along with a peace liturgy.  Spread the word!!

Read more here:

http://911walks.org/walk/46

mamas on mission

•August 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

post from: KrisAnne

I’m going to show my mommy colors again today. I think I have written here before about parenting and how it is often our struggle to figure out to do that “missional-ly.” Here is a great post from Margot Starbuck about missional mothering. It is from a site called “Red Letter Christians, ” meaning Christians who pay close attention to the words of Jesus, sometimes highlighted in red print in certain versions of the Bible. I hope you find this post as challenging as I did:

http://www.redletterchristians.org/myopically-mothering-my-own-as-mission/

 

detoxing from ‘christian’

•August 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Post by: KrisAnne

 

Last night I went to Musikfest in Bethlehem with a new friend. It was a night filled with good food and music, local and international art, even a bit of history. As I told my friend that I was kind of new to events like this, because I grew up a “good christian girl” who only listened to christian music and went to christian events, I realized that I’ve been de-toxing these past few years. And the de-tox process has been like a revelation.
The world where the majority of people live is alien to me. I don’t know where they hang out, what they listen to, what they do for fun– and I’m sure my parents and youth leaders believed they were doing the right thing by offering adolescent me “safe” alternatives to the sexy, angry, drug-hazed world. Who wants to see their child caught up in and damaged by that? Why not listen to music written and performed by Christians? Why not hang out at Creation Festival, rather than Woodstock or Musikfest? Why not create a world that protects us?
However, I have come to some sad conclusions about the alternative world we have created with the Christian industry. First, it’s a false safety net. Bad things can happen to kids at Creation Festival and at other Christian music venues. There are drugs there, and kids do things there that they regret later. Human beings are human beings no matter if you put them in a “Christian” environment or not. Secondly, there are good, beautiful and deep things happening outside of the Christian music and art industry. I have heard lyrics and seen paintings that speak deeply to my soul, and they have not come from the hands or mouth of people who would call themselves Christian. Not everything outside of the Church is corrupt or ugly. The Spirit goes before us into the world.
Lastly, I want to confess this: I wasted too many years in my cocoon. A cocoon is no good after a certain period of time… and it actually ends up becoming a tomb if the butterfly doesn’t break out of it. God’s Mission incarnated in me, almost died. Before I began de-toxing from the world of Christian-this-and-that, my only friends were Christian… as was my radio station, my books, my magazines, and 80% of the places I did business. I’m breaking out of the cocoon now, and I’m beginning to see that the fear that was instilled in me about “the world” — don’t hang out with non-Christians because they will make you do bad things, don’t go to ‘that kind’ of concert because it will put bad thoughts into your mind, don’t dance because it will lead to pre-marital sex — painted the picture of a false dichotomy.
Yes, there are immoral, unhealthy things coming out of Hollywood, New York and Nashville; things that we need to stand against and speak Truth to. There are also good things coming out of those places, solid charity work and art that speaks to the human struggle for meaning and purpose. The Christian music and art industry struggles with its own immoralities (pride, greed, materialism, self-centeredness). I have found it extremely difficult to find Christian songs or visual art that speak hope and truth into some of the most profound suffering going on in the world right now. We all live in gray places– things are not as easy as black and white.
Let me tell you what I saw last night at Musikfest: a year 60+ year old couple dancing to Zydeco and looking at each other with such love that it made my eyes misty, artists who painted with passion and creativity that the beauty of it all made me stop and stare, fathers and mothers laughing and learning with their children, young people being polite and friendly… and a new friend demonstrating acceptance and generosity toward me, though we come from such different backgrounds.
God was at Musikfest last night, though the Christian label was nowhere to be seen. Amazing.



					
				

the melody of mission

•August 5, 2011 • 2 Comments

post by: KrisAnne

I have spent most of my life singing, whistling or humming one tune or another. My kids will attest to that fact, and to the fact that asking me to please stop does not necessarily mean I can or will. It is an unconscious habit– my daily life is accompanied by melody.

Since music is such a part of who I am, from the time I was very young, I was drawn to the music in church. I grew to become a choir member, hymn leader, worship band member/leader, and most recently, a pastor of worship. And then it happened….

I woke up in seminary and realized that at the heart of God was not a desire for beautiful or excellent music, but a desire to see Creation redeemed. Not that music isn’t a gift from God, or that He doesn’t enjoy great music when we create it.  But our God is a God on mission, and everything else about Christianity flows from that center.

This threw me into a serious dilemma. I have spent hours upon hours trying to figure out what worship has to do with mission. What is the point of singing songs, playing music, reciting prayers together? We can do that alone or with our families, and I can mail in my tithing check. I don’t have to be there to give it in person. What is the point of this two-hour block on Sunday morning that costs us so much time in practice and preparation? That time could be spent being with our neighbors, actually doing something on mission, instead of doing stuff  “for church.”

But obviously in the book of Acts, which tells us part of the story of the early church, the regular gathering of Jesus’ followers was important. Very important. But why?  Frequently in the New Testament, the church is called The Body of Christ. We are each a part of that Body, and the parts do not function well alone. We need each other in order to be healthy and whole. We’re also told that our love for one another tells the story of God’s love to a world may not know God yet. And there is more…

I believe that the rhythm of gathering  and scattering is embedded throughout The Bible for a reason. God gathers His people, gives them instruction and then sends them out. Jesus gathers disciples, teaches them and then sends them. The church gathers for worship, spends time in The Story and then goes out into the world. It’s a rhythm that shapes the people of God.  Worship should shape us for mission.

So this humming, whistling, singing church mama is committed to weekly worship. Worship that shapes us for mission, not just worship that sounds good or feels good to us. Not music for music’s sake, but music that gets stuck in our heads and reminds us of our God who is on mission… our God who also calls us to join Him there. Can we commit to being shaped together, to having that as our purpose for worship?