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Monday, October 29, 2007

wine tasting in sacramento

Tonight was the opening worship at the New Wineskins convocation in Sacramento. It was a beautiful time of worship. It's almost 1:00 a.m. EST, so this will be short. Just a few highlights...

1. I appreciated Dean Weaver reaffirming that New Wineskins is about missional networking for the glory of God and not about "staying" or "going"... that's why I'm here... to meet people who want to focus on Kingdom work.

2. I was blessed to meet some web friends in real life... just heard one introduce himself on the row behind me. Very cool.

3. I was "pre-blessed" by a sermon I heard on my iPod on the plane trip out... entitled "10 Shekels and a Shirt". It was rich, but among other things was challenged by the description of liberals and evangelicals both being guilty of humanism. The former for focusing on what we get from God in this life... the latter for focusing on what we get from God in heaven. The preacher argued that both are off-course... it's not about what God can do for us. We are here for God's sake, for His glory. Something to ponder, especially this week in the context of getting about Kingdom-work.

Rest well on the East Coast... know that I will here very shortly!

3 comments:

Todd said...

Hi, Robert. I am glad to hear that your experience of NW is that of not being tied to our current Presbyterian situation so eloquently described by The Clash: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" The superlative British missionary Lesslie Newbigin once wrote that Christ's Church is not an institution--it is a mission launched into the world. It sounds like NW has the same mindset. I'm looking forward to reading more of your NW experience. . . .

Todd

robert austell said...

I read some of the early wineskins stuff and really liked it... but it was just 3-4 folks at that point, submitting ideas to GA and GA leadership.

I really do sense that the staff and leadership of NW still has that missional commitment at the heart, though there is an obvious and necessary focus right now on the staying and leaving (there are some of both in the leadership).

My hope is that once the smoke clears that there will still be a commitment to Kingdom work, perhaps even across denominational lines. Their "dream" is that there be "New Wineskin" PCUSA, EPC, Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc...

I'm waiting to see at this point, and moving forward in my own area with a similar missional and networking focus, without the NW name. Really, that's my attitude with a lot of folks - I'm pretty clear on what the Lord is leading Good Shepherd to do in Charlotte... and I'll take any help and any friends I can get to that end. :)

R

Chris said...

It was good to reconnect with you in Sacramento. I think that Paris Reid's 10 Shekels & a Shirt should be MANDATORY study for anyone going into the ministry. I've listened to it probably 30 times, and each time, I am called to repentance. God used that man in a mighty way. A link to it is here on my blog.

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