First Christian Church of Bremerton
Disciples of Christ
811 Veneta Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337, (360) 373-2444
Pastor's Pen | Current Focus

The Newsette

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The Preacher's Post: best kept secrets?

   If you’ve ever been in a church meeting about visioning, or long-range planning, or evangelism strategizing, or congregational transformation, or … well, just about every third conversation that takes place at a General Assembly, then you’ve already heard this. But for the rest of you, I’m wondering: did you know that we Disciples are one of those “best kept secrets” when it comes to the church world? If I’d had a dollar for every time I ended up in a conversation where those words were spoken, I’d have retired by now! But just because it’s overused enough to be a throw-away phrase doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
    Think about it for a moment. We already know we Disciples tend to attract folks who are looking for that “middle ground” church in a marriage. A Baptist meets a Catholic, love ensues, and they end up at one of our congregations. It works out – one of them gets to keep communion every week, the other gets to keep their more laid-back worship. This is just an example I’m pulling out of the air, but I have known a few couples who came to us after marrying from different Christian backgrounds. Thing is, I don’t even think this is what makes us a “best kept secret” kind of people.
    While there’s really more to talk about here than space to print it all, I do want to hit on a few highlights that come to mind. Freedom of conscience and interpretation is high on my list. We’re not bound by any of the historical creeds of the church, so we don’t all have to agree on every. Single. Detail. But better than that, when we take that freedom seriously, it makes our prayer and study life a central part of our identity. Beyond that, if Disciples (capital ‘D’) are a people of discipleship (lowercase ‘d’), then we can’t take the comfortable path of leaning on a creed or settled belief system. Instead, we have  to embrace our calling to better know God as a lifelong journey, where the ‘getting there’ is the more important part.
    Jumping back to communion for a minute, I don’t think the fact that we gather around the Lord’s Table every week is what makes us a “best kept secret” – I think it’s that the table, and our time spent communing around it, could become a central part of our spiritual lives in ways we’ve never before imagined. Instead of limiting it to a moment of personal remembrance and prayer, the table could be a place where our studies and our spiritualities collide, anchoring us across time with disciples past and future while connecting us to each other as we worship together. We might discover ways of encountering and knowing more of our wondrous, awe-inspiring God in this moment we live out together than we could have ever dreamed by simply seeking out God on our own and apart! I know my farmer/astronomer/mystic is starting to show up here, but when I get excited about my connection to the God of the Universe, sometimes I just can’t contain it! And all of this is to say nothing about the things that make us right here in Kitsap County a best-kept secret kind of congregation, too.
    I know we’re busy with our 100-Year Celebrations and a lot of work beyond that, but I can hardly wait to springboard off this celebration of our past to dive into the ministries of our future! And I hope you’re excited, too.


Yours on the journey,
Pastor Clint



  

Current Focus

GUIDING VISION

First Christian Church of Bremerton is a diverse group of people seeking to respond to the vision of God's purpose revealed through Jesus the Christ.
     We believe this vision calls us to be an intentional community, which engages persons in Christian practices. These practices include the Lord's Supper, joyful worship, Bible Study, prayer, service, and inclusive hospitality. We anticipate being open to all people, discerning how we can respond to needs within and beyond our congregation. As a community we will listen to and bear one another's burdens, and work on behalf of justice for all God's people.
     To embrace and manifest Christ-like relationships in our community, we desire to communicate Jesus' death on the cross and bear witness to His resurrection as a sign of hope in this world. We seek to realize this hope by finding ways to overcome the forces that degrade, enslave and oppress God's creation.
     In this vision we seek to know, to discern, and to act on the Holy Spirit's guidance to become an expression of God's new creation through our personal gifts and resources. In our actions we strive "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God." (Micah 6:8c)