One of the things we say we’re about is being a missional church. Being missional can take on many different ways of being lived out. Sometimes they will be ministry opportunities within the Dwelling Place. Sometimes it will be service opportunities with neighbors or otherwise reaching out to our neighborhood. Sometimes it will be partnering with groups who don’t necessarily claim the Christian story. My co-leader in the Big Kids Class has become a one woman idea factory. I just got this e-mail after telling her about my Creative Space Summers idea/experiment:

Hey Friends,

In thinking about the arts program for this summer and even craft stuff for Sunday school, I’ve been trying to think of ways to use the arts/crafts. In the book I have been reading, “Jesus for President,” Shane Claiborne tells how their church practices the resurrection by taking old “dead” things and uses them, like using an old fridge for a compost bin or planting flowers in old toilets (that grosses me out). He also talks about how they see making beauty where there was nothing or ugliness is practicing resurrection….bringing life to the dead around us. SO…I was wondering if we could pray and talk about ways to use the arts program to bless not just the kids, but the community.

Amber makes cards. She said she is willing to teach a class on how to make these really cool cards. Now, here is the question…who could the kids bless with the cards? The homeless? Outreach kids or workers?

[He Who Would Be Head Pastor], I wanted you to be in on this email so you know what kind of stuff is going through my mind. See what you have done to me?!? Actually, I feel more like I am practicing the presence of Jesus in my life now then in all the years of Awana, VBS, and a myriad of other activities combined. Thanks to all of you! Cindy P.S. Another “marginalized” group we could bless with our artsy craftsy kids stuff is the people in nursing homes. When my mom was dying, we were told over and over again by hospice care how blessed she was to have us…her family. They said there are so many people out there dying alone.

Like I said, it’s an ongoing experiment, but I love it when people take up the reins and fill out what being missional means rather than waiting for the “leaders” to do the imagining for them. He Who Would Be Head Pastor sent the following note to her:

Hey, I am all for you – keep dreaming and thinking big – I have a real heart for these things as well. This actually fits well with the series we are doing. I am trying to give people a bigger theology and a bigger understanding of the gospel than ‘Jesus just comes to save your guilty ass and forgive you’ to more of a wholistic understanding that God is healing the entire cosmos – he will not just wad this wicked earth up and throw it away, but he will redeem, reconcile, renovate, restore what he originally made and and and and he invites us to partner with Him in the healing of the cosmos. All these social justice issues that fundamentalits pushed to the side because they were to busy ‘winning souls’ are now very central to the gospel when we understand a big gospel that includes even the healing of the globe. I pray that God continues to stir your heart with these things and together we can do our part and partner with God. What a great and glorious calling – could there be anything better in the world than to partner with the Creator in bringing about His glorious end for all things when He will eventually fill everything with His presence. I look forward to partnering with you and God in bringing about His redemptive purposes in our time and place.

Sometimes I love this job.

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