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We Make it Personal….

  1. By embracing the next generation

  2. By seeing those around us

  3. By investing in our own faith

  4. By setting aside labels

Week 1 (August 4) Embracing the Next Generation
We all move through different phases in life. And when it comes to kids, they only pass through this phase once. The goal is to be intentional about each phase to plant seeds of faith and teach children about a God who loves us through all of our lives. We want to focus on serving—inviting people to engage children and youth at all stages of life, and also including Stephen ministry as they focus on helping people move through important transitions and uncertain passages in life.

Week 2 (August 11) Seeing Those Around Us (School Blessing Service)
This week will focus in on the woman in the market. How Jesus stops in order to call attention to her. He sees her needs, he affirms her worth (calls her “daughter”). So many teens and kids today feel lost in the crowd. They each need to know they are seen and valued. When we make it personal, we slow down our rush and see beyond the crowd, to affirm value and worth in every person we meet.

Week 3 (August 18) Investing In Our Faith
“Personal” discipleship is needed in our church. Worshipping along with the crowd will only go so far. No, personal disciplines are necessary—every person has to take their own next step in following Jesus. For some, that might be developing a habit of prayer and scripture reading. For some, that might be finding a place to serve that matches their personal passions. For some, that might be joining in a small group where they can find authentic connection—a place to be real. In some ways, this week will be the opposite of the week before. Last week we talked about seeing individuals within the crowd. This week we focus on being in a context where we can be seen and known, where others can answer the same questions about us.

Week 4 (August 25) Setting Aside Labels
This week we’ll address human sexuality and the issue of same-sex marriage, the issue that is dividing our church & denomination. This is a very personal issue - it is held close to the heart. “Making it personal” doesn’t mean that we will all agree. And making it personal is not the same as “taking it personal”—to make the debate about me, and considering anyone who has the opposing viewpoint my enemy (as a personal attack). It does mean we stop talking in abstractions about issues, and we focus on people. That we make intentional effort to avoid labels that flatten out the opposition into a 2-dimensional cut out. As one parishioner put it, this conversation is not about an “issue” but about people whom we are called to love in Christ’s name.

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