This Saturday!

Recently I posted an item on Facebook related to race relations in America. A friend saw it and had a somewhat heightened response. Running into me a few days later, that friend expressed a strong desire to become part of a group willing to talk about what she termed racial understanding, adding “We need to do this!

That reminded me of one the best aspects of Church.

Just yesterday, I noticed another Facebook post uploaded by a different person who is from another part of the country but with whom I’m becoming acquainted through social media. This new friend posted a reminder of the time and place for the next meeting of “Racists Anonymous,” which she described as a group of people coming together “in a spirit of fellowship” with the goal of examining their “inherent racial biases without fear of finger-pointing.”

That, too, reminded me of some of the best of Church.

To me, Church is the place where we must be able to go and hear tough-to-hear issues and problems being presented but know that, although the raising up of such will cause us heightened responses, having the courage to face tough-to-talk-about concerns is not finger-pointing.  And if any of us are tempted to do any pointing, Church is the place where we learn the importance of turning our index fingers back at ourselves. Indeed, Church is where we can examine hard-to-face truths about ourselves and be set free from them.

Church is where we must come togetherall God’s children—racists, classists, sexists, ageists, ableists— with all the ists with which we are burdened.

Church is where together, in the light of the Spirit of Christ, we bring all our ists, all our isms, any gender or sexual identity phobia, every ethnocentricity, each selfish greed, and are reminded together that our God of forgiveness can and will empower us to forgive each other and to love justice and inclusion.

This Saturday at The Well, we will come together to talk, to listen, to practice pointing inward, to practice forgiveness and to receive it. We will hear God’s healing Word and pray for the courage to live as followers of Christ.

Whosoever will, comeAll are welcome.

Recommended Readings for Such a Time as This

In 2012, a book written by Allan Boesak and Curtiss Paul DeYoung was published which puts to rest the notion that Christ-like reconciliation can be accomplished without sacrifice of power. The work, which has a foreword by Desmond Tutu, is titled Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism. Rev. Dr. Boesak is a professor at the Christian Theological Seminary and was an anti-apartheid activist in his homeland, South Africa. The co-author, Rev. DeYoung, is a civil rights activist in Chicago, now heading the faith-based organization Community Renewal Society (CRS). These authors, one Black and one White, joined together to challenge readers to understand that true racial reconciliation cannot be achieved without working together to undo systematic injustices.

In 2010, a book written by Dr. Elizabeth Anderson was published which provides a compelling analysis of the connection between racial segregation and social inequality and the necessity for racial integration as a justice issue. This book, titled The Imperative of Integration was one that I read during my PhD studies. I was most interested in it because it supports my argument that it is critical that the Church take a proactive leading role in normalizing racial integration, something which we cannot do while worshipping in racially separate congregations. A most helpful part of this book is the chapter titled “The Folly and Incoherence of Colorblindness” which makes important points more of us need to understand as we work earnestly to connect meaningfully with each other.

If you decide to purchase either of these books, please consider going through this website to make the purchase, as that will help support our ministry. Go to our “Donations & Store” page where you will also find other suggested books listed. More will be added as time goes by, so please check again soon.

Blessings! Happy Reading!

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6

A Celebration of the Trinity, A Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 10 @ 5 PM

The June gathering @ The Well of Dyersburg, 416 N Sampson Ave in Dyersburg

Preacher for this month’s gathering: Pastor Carolyn Smith Goings

Title of Sermon: A Message of Hope!

Scripture for this gathering:  Psalm 8,  Job 38:22-38,  John 14:15-17

God loves US! We celebrate our three-person God & us! Join the celebration!

Everyone is Welcome!

Come, Let Us Worship Together Now

Heaven will be a place full of surprises—as we’ve all heard—because we’ll see people we didn’t expect to see in Heaven (and maybe they’ll be oh-so-surprised to see us there, too!).

So the story goes: Heaven will be surprisingly full (Matt. 8:11) and wonderfully diverse (Rev. 7:9). And we’ll all get along famously.

But it’s not like Free Will is going to be zapped from our brains or like we’ll have forgotten our former strife with other individuals, groups, or nations. No.

Fact is, those of us who make it there will have freely chosen to put on our spiritual big boy and big girl pants.

In The Message bible (Gal. 3:27), spiritual maturity is described as looking like we’re dressed up in clothes from our “adult faith wardrobe.

Wearing such an outfit in Heaven, we’ll be full of peace within ourselves and full of understanding and compassion for everyone. We’ll have a heavenly alliance with every person there—surprises and all.

We will be covered in a level of maturity in Christ—exhibited by our love for all others—which we will have yearned for and which we will have obtained only with the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit.

All dressed up in robes of maturity befitting Heaven. No one outshining anyone.

And we’ll all worship together, in the same place, all of us, from every tribe and language and people and nation. Hallelujah!

Shall we try on some heavenly attire now? Let us come worship together now, shall we pray? (Matt. 6:9-10, NCV) And may all the glory be to God!

A Borrowed Blog

Today I would like to share a blog written by Dr. Alan Bean.

Please click HERE.

Say Goodbye, Say Hello

It’s almost here: time for each of us to say goodbye to 2016 along with everything in it and time to say hello to 2017 with all the challenges and opportunities coming to us in the next twelve months.

On January 7, we at The Well of Dyersburg will welcome the new year and let go of the old one. We will acknowledge that our lives are always in God’s hands, and we will thank God for the gifts of joy, hope, and peace through Jesus because of Christ’s obedient sacrifice. We will share the Communion meal of remembrance on that afternoon. Baskets will be passed. As we give whatever we can to support the ministry, we will place a card in the basket, offering up two lists to God: on one side, a list of mistakes we made in 2016—things for which God has already forgiven us but which we need to release; on the other side of the card, we will list our prayers for 2017—the things we hope to learn, the amends we yearn to make, the ways in which we want to be God’s obedient children like our brother and saviour Jesus.

Join us. 5 PM. The Well of Dyersburg. Saturday, January 7, 2017. 416 N Sampson Ave in Dyersburg. Let’s get our lists ready. It’s time.

To Every Veteran, Thank You!

Today I am full of gratitude to my father and all the service men and women who have passed on. My father served well, with honors, when he was sent off to war in other countries. Then he came back home to fight Jim Crow in Tennessee.

Dad, I thank you with all my heart for your hard fight in the armed service and your hard fight back at home. I thank you and all the others who did the same, every one of you who never gave up.

In your memory and in their memory, I ask everyone who is not registered to vote to please pay their respects to you and others like you by registering to vote on this Monday. Yes! Our participation in the democratic process is not over yet! Keep the faith. Stay informed and engaged.

The next opportunity to vote is not four years from now. It’s at the midterm elections. Let us not let the brave service that the women and men performed for us and our great country be forgotten or wasted! Register! Read! Vote!

The next midterm election is Tuesday, November 6, 2018, and it’s a critical election day because all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 out of 100 seats in the Senate are up to us to decide by our vote. We can make a tremendous difference in how our country is governed on November 6, 2018 and, of course, again at the next general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Do your homework! Be prepared! Get ready! We at The Well of Dyersburg pray that you continue to pursue all your dreams and hold your heads up high. You matter.