Monday, December 17, 2007

Wanted: Fire of Holy Spirit

The community of Springport in northern Henry County did not get underway until a railroad extension was built in 1869. By 1880, the village still numbered only 118 residents. Yet, the fire of the Holy Spirit burned to start a church in the small hamlet. A few faithful disciples had longed for a church, but there were not enough members to make a beginning.

A dedicated preacher arrived in 1879 from Frankton, Indiana, Rev Cornelius Quick, age 81. He came for the purpose of starting a church, but his efforts were cut short by his sudden death. Still, Rev. Quick's efforts were not without fruit. Another area minister, A.M. Weston, came to continue the effort. Sixteen people, believing that the church was an essential part of every community, met to charter the Springport Christian Church.
-From "Birth Stories," Christian Church in Indiana.

I remember when I was still in seminary and I had a passion to plant a church. Someone who attended a local Disciple congregation responded, that we (Disciples in Minnesota) were so weak that it seemed impossible to start a church.

I found that same spirit when I finally did start a church. While we did get a some help, not many from the other congregations helped us. There hasn't really be a fire from the Holy Spirit to get people moving. Hell, there hasn't even been any heartburn.

While I love and cherish the Disciples I meet in this Region, we are just so damn defeated. My former cantor would tell me how some people would complain that none of the new churches would survive and I know of many that seemed to talk about whatever existing church here in Minnesota as not long for this world.

The fact is, many of the churches here are not living in the Spirit. It's interesting that in the book of Acts there is a lot of talk of the Spirit sending people here and there. Somewhere along the way, I wonder if some us just stopped listening and even believing in the Spirit.

And now I want to try this again.

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come
among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins,
let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver
us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and
the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
-Book of Common Prayer

Update: I found this from an email I received from my alma mater. I think I need to use it some time:

Sisters and brothers, we are not dismissed.
We are not just free to go.
Christ sends us!
Go [forth] in the power of the Spirit
To love and serve the Lord.
Go to help and heal in all you do.
Thanks be to God!

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