Annually, Village Chapel Mennonite Church has an October Renewal Gathering; and this year they have invited me to be present with them for this time. I am excited to be part of this special event. Their Renewal Gathering will take place from October 1 to October 3, 2017. There will be a total of four sessions with a message, and one session that is opportunity for discussion. I’ve been asked to speak about neighboring.
Followers of Jesus find themselves in an era like never before. However, I think the solution for eras like this, has always been right under our nose. Jesus reminded his followers, time and time again, that we are called to love God with everything that we are. He also called us to love our neighbors, as much as we would care for ourselves. Paul, a Jesus-follower, goes on to say that we need to pursue the good for our neighbors….for their own good. Still, less than 1/3 of Americans know their neighbors. Pew Research reports that just about 52% of Americans say they trust their neighbors. They also report that Americans are less likely to spend time with their neighbors, over 54% of us would rather avoid them. Sadly, several conversations and polls have showed that we also find the church is viewed negatively by at least half the world, and half of those polled don’t see as a force for good but for harm. In the book “The Art of Neighboring,” the authors go on to relay a conversation with a town councilperson who tells them that she cannot see a difference between the way Christian’s neighbor, and the way everyone else neighbors. That one thing Jesus told us to do, we are really bad at doing.
I want to remind, ready and release the church to be really good at neighboring – as part of our mission in serving the Kingdom of God.
That being said, I am looking forward to being with Village Chapel Mennonite Church, to sound a refreshed call to missional discipleship, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in neighborhood contexts.
Village Chapel Mennonite Church is located at 335 Wissler Road in New Holland, PA. There will be three opportunities for interaction on Sunday morning, and than an evening discussion on Monday and Tuesday. The full schedule, as I understand it, looks like this.
- 9:30 AM – Main Worship Gathering. Message #1
- 10:45 AM – Sunday School Discussions. An open Q&A time.
- 6:30 PM – Sunday Night Meeting. Message #2.
MONDAY / TUESDAY
7:15 PM – Evening Renewal Meeting. Message #3/#4
This small Mennonite congregation in the outskirts of New Holland, has a vision of being boldly committed to being changed by the Holy Spirit as they seek to be like Jesus Christ. I am excited to journey on that mission with them. Through their values, we get a glimpse of their desire to become more like Jesus in their faith, through their actions, and in their compassion.
If you are in the area, and either the description of this church or the topic of the renewal meetings interest you – please come out!
More information: www.villagechapelmc.org.