Worship began at 10am with Jacqui Lewis at National City Christian Church, “Identity Politics,” Matthew 6:9-14. Liturgy was led by Josh Sommerville and Scott Simmons with music as a mashup with the Fleshpots of Egypt and Josh Sommerville. Lewis’ sermon was captivating with her embodied style of preaching as she led those gathered from images of soft pink sheets of a little girl to the proclamation that Black Lives Matter. Solidifying that prayer is an action. Love is an action.
Lewis quickly transitioned over to Luther Place Memorial Church where she led a workshop on “The Pentecost Paradigm.” She asked, are we the church of culture, are we the church against culture, or the church creating culture? Why can’t we create culture? Why can’t we influence the nation?
For Lewis, this influence can only come when congregations are as diverse as they possibly can be. After all, “I can’t imagine we can do this segregated-ness and pop up to heaven and know how to be!” The church was not born in a silo. God breathed the church into existence in a multi-racial, multi-cultural world.
The workshop consisted of questions and reflections from participants. Lewis concluded the session with a confession and a call to articulated vision, “I love our country, and it is a hot mess. I think it will continue to be that way until with move toward one another. If you commit to this, when you commit to this, you are an evangelist for it. Your commitment is about your values. A vision articulated for your church.”
Every preacher has the opportunity to articulate a unique vision for their context. For, “preaching is truth through personality. No matter what, you refract. You can’t help it. It is beautiful.” May we live in that beauty as we continue to be inspired by the preachers around us this week.