From our “Forward Movement” newsletter…
So, what’s been happening in the Mayhew universe lately? The grief over the passing of Dan’s sister is subsiding; we’ve had some time to decompress after a push-and-pull season of emotion and busyness; we are moving again and feel released to creativity and fruitfulness.
Wow. Writing stuff like that puts the pressure on! Gotta deliver. Gotta make it happen. Or maybe we just have to rest in the direction of the Lord and see what is unfolding. Here’s what’s unfolding so far.
First, Abide Ministries just completed its first School of the Heart, a two day exploration of art and creativity. Under the leadership of Melodie Steele and with help from the congregation at Montavilla Baptist Church, artisans from a panoply of creative disciplines came together to share their skill with would-be artists, eager to learn. Painters and wordsmiths; techies and handicrafters all rejoiced in the creative process that, clearly, is a gift from the great Creator Himself.
The Sonship studies began another year. In addition to the four women’s studies that have been going for five years now, a men’s study was added. These gatherings are not “Bible studies” as much as a practicum, a small community of Christ-followers who gather to listen together for the Lord’s direction within His word. This year the women are continuing their exploration of “The Economy of the Kingdom” while the guys are praying through what it means to be a true follower. The schedule of studies is included on the Summit Fellowships calendar.
The Summit Fellowships (the house church network) had their “Feelin’ Lucky” end of summer picnic at the property of Kent and Melanie Hempel near Mulino. (“Feelin’ lucky” because we gambled on good weather well into September. Did our luck hold? You betcha! It was gorgeous that day!) Families and singles from several of the fellowships joined for a time of sharing, worship and, of course, food. The adults enjoyed a time of talking and singing, while the kids ran around, played in the creek, and when the music started, danced.
Jody has begun her next women’s Bible study, this year in Exodus. Every Tuesday the women gather at Montavilla Church. The teachings are available in audio form at our ‘tween2worlds website.
Most recently, Jody and I have been talking about an area that we think needs some attention: work. For a number of years, I (Dan) have imagined how church communities might work together to create job opportunities for their members; moreover, I wondered if there were creative ways we could collaborate to solve problems like health care, employment, transportation and education for our kids. Meanwhile, Jody has been exploring the “Economy of the Kingdom” in her Sonship studies. Then, as she prepared for this year’s Bible study in Exodus, she started pondering the bondage of the Israelites under the taskmasters of Egypt. Three threads are beginning to weave together: community, creativity and economy. We intend to gather together some folks that we know are unemployed, underemployed or just fed-up-with-the-setup and explore the potential of our church communities to collaborate in ways that don’t succumb to the “taskmaster” of the world’s economy. I’ll be blogging some thoughts in this regard, but we would appreciate your prayers as we seek the Lord for His creative and innovative ideas to liberate His church to provide for herself and others in a world that too often neglects the poor and the helpless. More to follow.
In His steps,
Dan & Jody