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Is There a New Way?

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the Presbytery meeting at Maitland Presbyterian Church, where we experienced a powerful gathering filled with worship, camaraderie, and insightful discussions. However, what truly stood out was the keynote address delivered by Rev. Dr. Victory Aloyo, Jr., the current President of Columbia Seminary in Georgia. His words resonated deeply with me, and I believe they hold profound significance for our journey as a church community.

Here are a few things that he shared with us...

  • The church is in the midst of great uncertainty and even greater opportunity

  • We must value storytelling...and making space to share our stories, and Listen to the stories of others, as these weave together to form the tapestry of the church.

  • Vitality over success: Success is finite and self-focused, while vitality is purposeful.

  • Embrace liminal spaces, difficult conversations, and the reality of change.

I've been reflecting deeply on the insights shared by Rev. Dr. Victory Aloyo, Jr., and their resonance with the teachings of Scripture. Indeed, the wisdom imparted to us serves as a guiding light, illuminating our path as we navigate the winds of change in our journey of faith. Allow me to delve deeper into these lessons, drawing from the rich tapestry of God's Word.

1. Into our Greater Opportunity (Isaiah 43:18-19): In Isaiah, we are reminded of God's invitation to let go of the past and embrace the new things that He is doing among us. This call to renewal echoes Dr. Aloyo's message, urging us to move beyond the confines of tradition and embrace the transformative work of the Spirit in our midst.

2. Authentic Storytelling (Psalm 107:2): Psalm 107 encourages us to "let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story." Our stories are powerful testimonies of God's faithfulness and grace in our lives. By creating space for authentic storytelling, we honor all the experiences that shape our community and strengthen our bonds of fellowship.

3. Vitality versus Success (John 15:5): Jesus teaches us in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." True vitality stems from our connection to Christ, rooted in His love and grace. While worldly standards may measure success, flourishing encompasses the abundant life that Jesus promises to those who abide in Him. Let us strive for a vital community grounded in Christ's love and extending grace to all.

4. Embracing Liminal Spaces (2 Corinthians 5:17): In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are reminded that "if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" As followers of Christ, we are called to push our boundaries—the transitional moments where God's transformative work is unfolding. These moments may be marked by discomfort and uncertainty, but they also hold the promise of renewal and growth. Let us lean into these spaces with faith and courage, trusting in God's guiding presence.

As we journey forward as a community, may we draw strength and inspiration from these timeless truths found within the pages of Scripture. Let us remain rooted in Christ, open to the movement of the Spirit, and committed to living out our calling as the Body of Christ in the world. Thank you Dr. Aloyo. Saturday was a good day for the mind and heart.

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