In the chaos of faith, rebellion and obedience

Archive for January, 2011

London Calling

Posted by justicetabernacle on January 22, 2011

(composed on the plane- posted in berlin)
it certainly was an interesting few days spent in london.  and the biggest question that i am left with leaving the island is how long it’s going to take for me to lose the accent- well, at least the one that i say in my own mind when i formulate sentences.  my guess is as soon as i start hearing german again… all joking aside though, i do tend to be a bit of a language chameleon.  not that i learn how to speak it, but i pick up on some of the weird, quirky, nuances pretty quickly.

there are so many things to write about my time spent there, so i have been trying to think about what the most important things to share-  i definitely learned a lot of things and felt like i heard from God on a lot of different levels.

the first and most important thing to note is that i had a great time with my reach global colleagues.  time and time again, when i get to spend a few extended days with any of them, i am inspired, have fun and leave encouraged.  i think that is a really good and healthy sign for sure.  not everyone can say that about those with whom they work and serve beside, and under.

one of the highlights was getting to know the new london city team leader to be.  he and his son were spending 2 weeks in london to get prepped- meet pastors, churches, and other ministry endeavors.  i had the opportunity to sit in on most of these meetings, which were very informative- not only on expanding the idea of the european and global/urban city, but also what it looks like to plow new ground in a place.  in these meetings, we certainly got a wide view of the church- from ideology, theology and praxis- but also of the different views on ministers of the Gospel coming in from the outside.  sadly, i feel like we experienced some of the unfortunate realities of the ‘human’ side of church.  things like tribalism, nationalism and reactionary thinking.  this to me is the antithesis of the Gospel of Christ-

for me, i am becoming more and more convinced that the church is to be built upon the foundation of Christ, which is love, grace, and humility.  if you are starting there- then i find it hard to believe that God is not going to be living and active.  my concern is that too many people are working with strong convictions- yes- but ones that are far too often surrounded by the kindling of arrogance, ignorance and impatience.

so now it’s back to berlin-
i feel like i am going back with a new and refined perspective.  i know that God is at work in my spirit and exposing me to more and more of His good and perfect nature.  it is with that, that i want to be clothed.



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The Vineyard

Posted by justicetabernacle on January 10, 2011

ugg- so this is the second attempt at this post.  my first got lost in the attempt to upload- sigh.

anyway- it’s been a while since i posted to the blog.  it was a little difficult to find margin time to write over the holidays.  but now that i’m back in berlin, i am hoping to get writing again.  upon my return, i jumped right back into the mix.  on the day i arrived, i dumped my bags, and headed off to the vineyard leadership conference.  it was the annual gathering of the leadership from across germany, austria, and switzerland.  i was invited by the head leader of the movement, and a new dear friend of mine, named martin buehlmann.

it was a really good time for me and i enjoyed the conference very much.  in that, it certainly was a challenge to be back in the context of such a charismatic group.  i realized how long it had been since i was in such an environment.  i am, what some might call, a bit of a denominational mutt.  i grew up in the greek-orthodox church, spent some time with the baptists as well, went to a lutheran college, attended a vineyard church during my time in university (and then later again post-studies in the chicagoland area) in germany- i was part of the jesus freaks, various bfp (pentecostal) churches, and with steiger.  and then of course, six years with national community church in dc.  i’ve seen and experienced a lot of different kinds of worship and community- and i feel blessed by this, knowing that God has granted me the gift to have a broad understanding of His Body.

as far as the teaching at the conference is concerned, i definitely got a lot out of it.  many of the sessions were very challenging, but they also did a lot to confirm in my spirit that we are on the right track with the project.  martin, the aforementioned leader, dug in on what it means to be a leader- talking about things like character, perseverance, and priorities.  this was very impacting to me and a good reminder of the burden a leader must carry.  the second impacting teaching was done by a guest that was invited named johannes reimer.  his message was about the church- and what it means to be ecclesia-  he talked about how in roman times, this political word was used to represent a gathering where ‘important decisions were made for the good of the entire society.’  and that this is something that the church (ecclesia) needs to be once again.  that we do not retreat out of the world, creating little fortresses, and wait for Jesus to return- but rather that we are storming the gates of hell with love, service, humility and full surrender and commitment to the world around us…

the final, and perhaps most practical piece to my time over the past few days, has been the ability to meet and network with others serving in the vineyard in berlin.  i remain completely convinced and certain, that one of the most important parts of my job in starting up in berlin is to build relationships with others who are serving Christ in this city.  i know that God has called me to get to know, support, serve and learn from those who are building up the body and serving as ministers of the Gospel in a variety of different ways.  in this effort, God has been equally faithful in opening doors and avenues for me to meet these individuals.  this is a great and noble task- and i know that blessing will come through the humble preservation of unity in the church in this city.

in the end- i want to say that i am grateful to my brothers and sisters across the vineyard movement- and pray a blessing over them-


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