Sorry to be so absent, but the day job is hyper busy these days.
Of course, the big news item these days is the state of the global economy, and all the ramifications of the pendulum swing which is taking us back to something more sustainable and likely closer to what "normal" should look like. A week ago one report shared that "Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Tuesday the current global recession will 'surely be the longest and deepest' since the 1930s and more government rescue funds are needed to stabilize the U.S. financial system." http://recession.org/news/worst-recession-since-1930s
Hmmm, what to do? Do we keep on living like we always have in our families, businesses, churches, etc?
I keep wondering what meaningful ministry in the church and in a community context must become in the next year/s or so. It seems to me that some things are going to need to change. Key issues will relate to the basics of life- employment, housing, food, and the attendant needs during a time of change for peace of mind, peace, and hope.
I've noticed more discussion from the experts and in general media about "getting back to basics" and a necessary return to those things which are most essential in our lives. It makes sense in Lent to apply such a focus and discipline upon the Christian life and the congregational/denominational life as well. And I suppose that such a movement isn't a retreat into individualism, but will actually result in that Depression era approach my extended family talks about of everyone working hard AND helping ALL the neighbors realizing we're all in this mess together!
So, it's time to take some steps back off the build up of the last 70 years. It's time to refocus our lives, to quite depending so much on our riches and find again our dependence upon God. Perhaps the biggest challenge will come to the denomination and church to find this old way as we practice a Lenten discipline, discover God in a Lenten economy, and return to the basics of life and faith. This won't be easy, it will take sacrifice, but perhaps we'll find our feet on the right path of faith.