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My Notes on the 2015 1001 New Worshiping Communities Conference: Pursued by Grace

My Preconceptions
Recently, I spent a week at a conference called Pursued by Grace as a representative of the Presbytery of South Louisiana (PSL).  The conference was part of a Presbyterian Church (USA) initiative called 1001 New Worshipping Communities, which I’ll just call 1001 NWC from here on.
I told people before leaving that, at that time, I really had only vague ideas about what 1001 NWC was or how PSL would fit in, or what I was doing there. My pastor, Rev. Peggy Brown, had recommended me, and PSL agreed to send me. Peggy said she thought my interest in new and creative means of worshiping and serving God would make me a good fit. After some discussions with Rev. John Blewitt, who leads the PSL Congregational Development Committee, I got the idea that PSL had spent so much time and energy recuperating from the hurricanes Katrina and Rita a decade ago, that we had at least somewhat neglected doing new things, and founding new churches, and he thought 1001 NWC is a goo…

Huey Lewis and the Good News

Here's the sermon I preached today at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Slidell/Pearl River. (The section titles are just for you reader people.)
 Huey Lewis and the Good News Mark 10:32-45 Judge Not James and John
Judge not James and John, that ye be not judged.
All the brothers wanted was to be successful, happy, and powerful.
It’s what they were supposedto want.
It’s what we’resupposed to want.
Recall that at the start of our text, Jesus tells the disciples that he is going to be mocked, spit upon, flogged, and killed.
Then James and John ask if they could have executive board positions in the Kingdom of God. In my opinion, it would have been totally appropriate if the next verse had read (clear throat)
“Jesus then dope-slapped the two men across the back of the head, saying unto them, ‘Didst thou not hear a single word I didst just sayeth?’”
But, in a sense, it’s really not their fault: the brothers had no clue, not a single solitary clue, what power is, or what glory is. They didn…