Carolyn’s Most Important Question

Every summer at The District Church, we do a series called My Most Important Question, during which we get to hear from folks in our community about the biggest question they’ve wrestled with (or are wrestling with) in their life and spiritual journey. The idea behind it is that we don’t believe God calls us to leave our questions at the door when we follow him, but rather, like the man in Mark 9, we can say, “I believe; help my unbelief!” We believe it’s in wrestling with those difficult questions, those doubts and uncertainties, and even in sitting with them — without actually fixing anything — that we grow and mature and God teaches us things we might not otherwise be able to learn.

Carolyn MMIQThis past Sunday, Carolyn shared her most important question. You can listen to it here (she’s last, beginning at 31:53 — though Raessa and Justin, who also spoke on Sunday, are worth listening to as well! For that matter, you should listen to all of the others.). I’m so proud of her, and for the story that she was able to tell because of what God has done; and I hope you’re encouraged.

My Most Important Question

It’s become tradition in our church (at least as much as toddler-aged churches can establish traditions) to have a summer series entitled, “My Most Important Question,” where we have people in our community share about the questions and struggles that they’ve gone through–or are going through.

We don’t believe that you have to leave your doubts at the door in order to be accepted; you don’t have to reach a certain level of accomplishment or certainty to find a place with us; just as Jesus welcomes all, regardless of where they might be on their journey, so we welcome all, too.

I’m always encouraged to hear people’s stories–it reminds me that our God is a great big God and he works in amazing and mysterious ways.

Last week:

Yesterday:

 

Angela asks, “Where’s my joint?”

July: Three sermons and a little traveling

[My latest email update.]

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers, all. I survived July! Here’s a quick recap:

I preached three weeks in a row. This was the first time I had done this, and it was both a great experience and a tiring one! I got to close out our “Who’s In?” series on Galatians (and got to benefit directly from my dad’s smarts as a Pauline scholar, which was particularly fun). Check out the sermons here:

I traveled several times.

  1. We had our staff retreat in mid-July–a time of thanksgiving and celebration for the past year as well as planning and strategizing for the coming year. I feel blessed to work alongside such great people, and it was a truly refreshing time to hang out with good friends.
  2. A couple weeks ago, I was in Madison, WI for the Lausanne North American Younger Leaders Gathering. Again, a time when I was reminded that God is at work all over the place and that, in the body of Christ, I get to work with some genuinely awesome and faithful people.
  3. And last week, entirely unrelated to work, I got to go to New York for a couple days to visit some friends and see the taping of The Daily Show–most of you probably know I’m a big fan of Jon Stewart, so it was a real treat!

On to August. Back in DC (and happy for a little lull in the busyness as we prepare for the fall), we’ve just started a new series at church called, “My Most Important Question.” If you were part of the community (or friends with me) last summer, you’ll know that we did this a year ago and it was a big hit. It’s a time when we get to hear from several people in the church community about the biggest question they have wrestled with (or continue to wrestle with).

I’m always amazed and astounded by the people God brings to The District Church, by their stories, by their journeys, and by their accounts of how God has been involved in their lives, even in the midst of struggle, of doubt, of uncertainty. Yesterday was our first week–Robyn and Matt shared (listen here), and it was powerful!–and I’d encourage you to check back over the next couple weeks, too.

Hope you’re all doing well; grace and peace to you.

More questions at The District Church

What a week! Earthquake on Wednesday (I lived through five in California and never felt a single one; I move to DC and feel the first one!). And outside my window, Hurricane Irene is making life very, very wet and windy. (But prayers definitely going up for the folks who’re getting hit much harder than we are/have been.)

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to blog about church this past week but that got squeezed out by the events and general busyness of this week. On Sunday, we finished out our “My Most Important Question” series, and got to hear from Daniel — “Why is it so hard to trust in God’s provision?”, Heather — “Is God good?”, and David — “What do you want me to do?” As with the week before, it was so good to hear from folks in our community; and once again, the honesty of their stories, the passion in their telling, and the presence of God in the midst of the struggles shone through. Heather, in particular, is a dear friend of mine; and while I’d heard her story before and talked with her about some of the things she talked about, it was so moving to see and hear her sharing it with the church community.

If you have time–actually, I’d strongly encourage you to make the time to go listen to the podcast; you can find it here.

I love The District Church

This past Sunday’s service at The District Church was a simultaneously humbling and inspiring experience. We’re in the middle of our “My Most Important Question” series, where we talk about some of our biggest issues. Part of the reasoning is that we don’t want to be a church that tells its people to leave their questions at the door. That’s not what God asks us to do–the Psalms are full of honesty, even brazen honesty. God doesn’t get worried when we voice our questions, our doubts, our struggles; all he asks is that we voice them to him, that we include him in our conversation, that we’re in relationship with him.

And so this past Sunday, Blythe, Bruce and Lindsay shared their stories, respectively: “What if I’m not doing enough?”, “What grace is there for those who have not met Jesus Christ?”, and “What is freedom?” And what stories. Their honesty, their passion, and the clear evidence of the Spirit of God clearly at work in their lives were such an encouragement to me. God has brought an amazing band of people to this church, and God is doing an amazing work in the life of every person that calls him- or herself a part of our community.

So grateful to be on staff at The District Church. All glory to God.

You can listen to the podcast online here.