The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

Why I am excited about “The Common Place”…

Next week, our church will take a vote that could have a major impact on our life together as a community of faith. On September 22nd after the 9:30am service, we will vote to purchase New Spirit Community Presbyterian Church with the intentions of converting it into a multi-use facility for worship and education to better serve children, youth, and families in southwest. We have named it, “The Common Place” and the tag line goes something like this: “…A sacred place to do life together. A shared space where people of faith can make a huge difference on one corner”. There are a thousand reasons why I am excited (and a little nervous) for this possibility in ministry and mission. For the sake of time and keeping your attention, I will list a few.

Top 4 Reasons why I am sooooooo excited:

1.      The vision for The Common Place resonates with the mission and call that God has placed on my life for over 12 years. – When I was taking classes at Palmer Seminary (2000-2001), I took a class taught by Ron Sider, author of Good News Good Works and contributing writer for Linking Lives, Linking Arms. The assignment was to write your model for a wholistic ministry. I named the church, “City Line Pres”.  In the paper, I described a worshipping community that was a blend of both urban and suburban believers, committed to God’s work in the city. Out of the space of City Line Pres, there were programs that met the needs of students and families while working with other community partners to make a difference. 

I have held onto that paper for all of these years as a reminder that there might come a time when God would allow me to serve in such a way.  The vision and purpose of The Common Place reminds me a lot of “City Line Pres”.  One way to make sense of God’s activity is to watch the way God brings together shared vision and passion around an issue. When I think about my personal passion for ministry, the desire of folks in Southwest, and the prayerful consideration of the members of our church, I truly believe that God is moving all of us into the right direction towards the corner of 58th and Chester.

2.      Wayne’s mission to Southwest and support of City Lights has been consistent and authentic for over 17 years. -- I have always been fascinated by the idea that a church like Wayne, tucked away in the corner of the Main Line of Philadelphia, has been so deeply involved in a community that is more than a stone’s throw away. The ministry of Carey Davis and City Lights have had a major impact on our church. For many years, folks have used their gifts to serve the underserved in Southwest Philly. Not only have people served, they have done so with dedication, humility, generosity and grace. This has been a true testimony of what it means to do ‘everything in word and deed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Colossians 3:17) and to serve ‘the least of these’ (Matthew 25:40).

3.      A new ministry venture breathes life into church and draws in new people from all walks of life to get involved. -- I truly believe that we serve a God who casts new vision among the people.  When we respond to a new vision or a new calling, we are able to engage people who may have never considered participating in mission in a new way. Let’s be honest. We have an amazing mission program at our church. It’s solid, effective, and well established. Now imagine that you are a new member or new to the mission program. As a new comer, it may feel difficult or awkward to try and get involved. With a new ministry initiative, it is easy to make space for new members or those new to mission. With a new initiative, we can make sure that we invite all ages and stages to put their hand to the plow and join in this new ministry.  

4.      This ministry adventure will give our entire church an opportunity to trust God in a new way. -- Trusting God does not always come easy with God’s people. I have always been drawn to the story of Peter following Jesus out on the waters. You remember that story (Matthew 14:22-33). Jesus walked across the lake to meet the disciples who were already at a distance in the boat.  They were afraid but Jesus reassured them that it was just him. Peter was amazed and asked Jesus if he could join him. Jesus simply said, “Come”. Peter stepped out of the boat and also began to walk on the water.  As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk just fine. But when he looked around and saw the winds, he became fearful and began to sink. With a cry for help, Jesus reached out and pulled him to safety and asked him why he ever doubted in the first place.

Here’s the truth. Embarking on a new ministry adventure is like stepping out of the boat, headed towards Jesus and walking on the water. Jesus is already at work in Southwest.  And we can see the Lord at work. When we ask the question, Lord can we participate? The answer is simple. He bids us to “Come”. But the only way to follow Jesus without sinking is to keep our eyes fixed on him. Jesus will give us wisdom in this decision. Jesus will guide us through the details of the budget and show us how to engage the community. We are simply called to trust Jesus, get out of the boat, and walk. I’m ready to walk. How about you? #readytogetoutoftheboat

~ Aisha.

 

 

Posted by Aisha Brooks-Lytle at 5:37 PM
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Comments

9/17/2013 at 04:02 PM by Carey

Good stuff! Let the adventure begin!


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