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what is our
next act?
1. O God, whose love makes us one
family,
2. May your unspeakable name be
revered.
3. Now, here on earth, may your
commonwealth come,
4. On earth as in heaven, may your
dreams come true.
5. Give us today our bread for today.
4. Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive.
3. Lead us away from the perilous trial.
2. Liberate us from the evil.
1. For the kingdom is yours and yours alone.
2. The power is yours and yours alone.
3. The glory is yours and yours alone.
4. Now and forever amen.
5. Alleluia ...
4. Alleluia ...
3. Alleluia ...
2. Alleluia ...
1. Amen.
what is our
next act?
models
methods
the shift:
from saving the old
+++++
to grieving loss
+++++
and nurturing
fragile life
to giving birth
to the new
light fires
of hope
experiment with
new models
light fires
of hope
W
ET
BLAN
KETS!
light fires of hope
1. Lead with spiritual
substance.
Gospel, Bible, prayer,
passion, plans
light fires of hope
2. Gather a team of encouraging,
hopeful, collaborative, positive,
faith-filled people. Decide how
you will deal with anxious,
resistant, hostile, and apathetic
folks. (Hurt people hurt people)
“Can you help us anticipate risks so we can
try to minimize them?”
“Thanks. We need your suggestions.”
“Of course, if we take no risks, we have no
faith. But you can help us make sure we take
wise risks.”
“I’m sure we’ll make mistakes, and when we
do, we’ll need to learn from them.”
“Joe has agreed to be the point person for
concerns and suggestions. Would you talk
with him asap?”
1. Innovations are experiments, not
“changes.”
2. They will be evaluated - with input - at a
set time.
3. Every plan needs a communications plan.
“In the absence of communication,
organizations burn trust.”
4. Concerns, encouragements, and questions
are welcome.
light fires of hope
3. Think garden, not tree.
light fires of hope
4. Use your polity and
history to create
possibility.
“The bishop has challenged us to be bold,
creative, and take risks for Christ.”
“I’m part of a group of clergy who are
committed to not letting our denomination
fade away through fear and apathy.”
“I meet with my DS every six months to talk
about progress we’re making toward our
goals.”
“Maybe we should bring in my DS to help
clarify our situation and purposes as a
denomination and congregation.”
light fires of hope
5. If possible, raise funds
first. Make big asks.
light fires of hope
5. If possible, raise funds
first. Make big asks.
Otherwise, do it without
money.
But it has to work on
paper.
You can’t light fires of
hope by burning money.
Sustainability matters -
eventually.
light fires of hope
6. Bring in new people to
create a new day.
The children/grandchildren of
current attenders
The coworkers of current
attenders
People you meet by “having a life”
LIFE MINISTRY
JOB
The children/grandchildren of
current attenders
The coworkers of current
attenders
People you meet by “having a life”
People in an existing network ...
moms, people in recovery,
veterans, engaged couples, dads,
bereavement groups, etc.
light fires of hope
7. Let books, websites,
videos, organizations, and
guest preachers do some
of your “dirty work.”
light fires of hope
8. Add before
subtracting.
Liturgical
Charismatic
Social Action
Evangelical
light fires of hope
9. Think movement.
Big movement.
light fires of hope
10. Join God in loving...
the world
the church
your opponents
A Prayer
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic,
a Serbian bishop who spoke out against Naziism,
was arrested, and taken to Dachau.
He wrote this prayer for his enemies.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them
and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into
your embrace more than friends have.
Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have
loosed me from earth and have demolished all
my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger
in worldly realms and
an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter
than an unhunted animal does, so have I,
persecuted by enemies, found the safest
sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath
Your tabernacle, where neither friends nor
enemies can slay my soul.
Bless my enemies, O Lord.
Even I bless and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins
before the world.
They have punished me,
whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.
They have tormented me, whenever I have tried
to flee torments.
They have scolded me,
whenever I have flattered myself.
They have spat upon me, whenever I have
filled myself with arrogance.
Bless my enemies, O Lord.
Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me
foolish. Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have
mocked me as though I were a [fly].
Whenever I have wanted to lead people,
they have shoved me into the background. Whenever I
have rushed to enrich myself,
they have prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they
have wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I have tried to build a home
for a long and tranquil life, they
have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the
world and have stretched out my hands to the
hem of your garment.
Bless my enemies, O Lord.
Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them;
multiply them and make them
even more bitterly against me:
So that my fleeing will have no return;
So that all my hope in men may be scattered like
cobwebs;
So that absolute serenity
may begin to reign in my soul;
So that my heart may become the grave of my
two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
So that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
Ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-
deception, which has entangled me in the
dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly
anyone knows, that a person has no enemies
in the world except himself.
One hates his enemies only when he fails to
realize that they are not enemies,
but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done
me more good and
who has done me more evil in the world:
friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and
my enemies.
A slave curses enemies, for he does not
understand. But a son blesses them,
for he understands.
For a son knows that his enemies cannot
touch his life. Therefore he freely steps
among them and prays to God for them.
Bless my enemies, O Lord.
Even I bless them and do not curse them.
light fires of hope
10. Join God in loving...
the world
the church
your opponents
you
Bonus: Don’t wait until things are “fixed” to start
celebrating ...
Start celebrating now!
They dance and sing as we arrive.
Dust rises ‘round us like rusty smoke.
Our dancing crowd moves like a swarm
Up the hill, through the village, to the center.
Short men smile and clap their welcome.
Women sway in tattered skirts.
One old woman leaps and spins,
Breasts flapping like out-turned pockets,
Arms arcing out like wings.
She dips, leans this way, that,
Eyes wild and alive as a dare.
Boys around me fuse like pistons
Into an engine of percussion.
They jump and stomp, rise and fall,
Feet in complex rhythms
Beating the earth-drum with themselves
As one.
We share the ecstasy of tribal and tribeless finding one
another
After a thousand centuries
Apart.
Led by the hand, I stoop down, crawl sideways,
fingerprinting red dust,
Into a Batwa hut of sticks, vines, mud, grass.
I, a visitor here, a stranger welcomed, strangely warm,
Adjust to the dim and humane light:
Reed mats, a torn mosquito net, dirt floor, three stones,
A cooking pot and gray embers from the morning fire.
I turn, push out, and squint, delivered back into stark
midday sun.
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
A baby cries in fear,
Mine the first white face his eyes have ever seen.
In light of what has happened, he is right
To cry,
In this, his sad world, and mine, of light
And dark.
These little people, small as splinters in the palm of
Africa’s pain -
Their poor neighbors despise them: smelly, dirty, poor,
simple.
They have too little water to drink,
None to spare for washing.
They sleep on dirt, in huts,
On land they do not own.
When it rains, they get wet.
Unowned, they even lack the value of slaves.
They do not count.
In school, Tutsi and Hutu alike make fun,
Reconciled in their shared disdain,
And so Batwa seldom last more than a year or two
In school,
If that.
The chief, named No-Name by his parents,
Gathers us beneath a kind of trellis.
Speeches are made. People clap.
Eyes meet eyes. Shy smiles form.
Gifts exchange. My eyes brim.
Somehow they know I am here
To keep a promise and save
My soul.
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
They sing and dance again as we depart.
For a while I join them stomping in the rising dust,
Wishing I could stay.
What are they singing? I ask.
The translator by my side leans toward me:
They are singing a good-bye song, he says.
The Batwa sing and dance when guests arrive
And when they leave.
They sing and dance when they have food, he says,
And when they hunger they sing and dance.
They survive, he says,
This way.
we don’t dance to celebrate being out of danger
we dance to survive the danger.
light fires
of hope
beginningwith
yourself
Next act 2

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Next act 2

  • 2. 1. O God, whose love makes us one family, 2. May your unspeakable name be revered. 3. Now, here on earth, may your commonwealth come, 4. On earth as in heaven, may your dreams come true.
  • 3. 5. Give us today our bread for today. 4. Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive. 3. Lead us away from the perilous trial. 2. Liberate us from the evil.
  • 4. 1. For the kingdom is yours and yours alone. 2. The power is yours and yours alone. 3. The glory is yours and yours alone. 4. Now and forever amen. 5. Alleluia ... 4. Alleluia ... 3. Alleluia ... 2. Alleluia ... 1. Amen.
  • 7. the shift: from saving the old +++++ to grieving loss +++++ and nurturing fragile life to giving birth to the new
  • 10. light fires of hope 1. Lead with spiritual substance. Gospel, Bible, prayer, passion, plans
  • 11. light fires of hope 2. Gather a team of encouraging, hopeful, collaborative, positive, faith-filled people. Decide how you will deal with anxious, resistant, hostile, and apathetic folks. (Hurt people hurt people)
  • 12. “Can you help us anticipate risks so we can try to minimize them?” “Thanks. We need your suggestions.” “Of course, if we take no risks, we have no faith. But you can help us make sure we take wise risks.” “I’m sure we’ll make mistakes, and when we do, we’ll need to learn from them.” “Joe has agreed to be the point person for concerns and suggestions. Would you talk with him asap?”
  • 13. 1. Innovations are experiments, not “changes.” 2. They will be evaluated - with input - at a set time. 3. Every plan needs a communications plan. “In the absence of communication, organizations burn trust.” 4. Concerns, encouragements, and questions are welcome.
  • 14. light fires of hope 3. Think garden, not tree.
  • 15. light fires of hope 4. Use your polity and history to create possibility.
  • 16. “The bishop has challenged us to be bold, creative, and take risks for Christ.” “I’m part of a group of clergy who are committed to not letting our denomination fade away through fear and apathy.” “I meet with my DS every six months to talk about progress we’re making toward our goals.” “Maybe we should bring in my DS to help clarify our situation and purposes as a denomination and congregation.”
  • 17. light fires of hope 5. If possible, raise funds first. Make big asks.
  • 18. light fires of hope 5. If possible, raise funds first. Make big asks. Otherwise, do it without money. But it has to work on paper.
  • 19. You can’t light fires of hope by burning money. Sustainability matters - eventually.
  • 20. light fires of hope 6. Bring in new people to create a new day.
  • 21. The children/grandchildren of current attenders The coworkers of current attenders People you meet by “having a life”
  • 23. The children/grandchildren of current attenders The coworkers of current attenders People you meet by “having a life” People in an existing network ... moms, people in recovery, veterans, engaged couples, dads, bereavement groups, etc.
  • 24. light fires of hope 7. Let books, websites, videos, organizations, and guest preachers do some of your “dirty work.”
  • 25. light fires of hope 8. Add before subtracting.
  • 27. light fires of hope 9. Think movement. Big movement.
  • 28. light fires of hope 10. Join God in loving... the world the church your opponents
  • 29. A Prayer Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, a Serbian bishop who spoke out against Naziism, was arrested, and taken to Dachau. He wrote this prayer for his enemies.
  • 30. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world. Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.
  • 31. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless and do not curse them.
  • 32. They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world. They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself. They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments. They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself. They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
  • 33. Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish. Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a [fly]. Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background. Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand. Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep. Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.
  • 34. Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:
  • 35. So that my fleeing will have no return; So that all my hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs; So that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul; So that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger; So that I might amass all my treasure in heaven; Ah, so that I may for once be freed from self- deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.
  • 36. Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself. One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends. It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.
  • 37. Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies. A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
  • 38.
  • 39. light fires of hope 10. Join God in loving... the world the church your opponents you
  • 40. Bonus: Don’t wait until things are “fixed” to start celebrating ... Start celebrating now!
  • 41. They dance and sing as we arrive. Dust rises ‘round us like rusty smoke. Our dancing crowd moves like a swarm Up the hill, through the village, to the center. Short men smile and clap their welcome. Women sway in tattered skirts. One old woman leaps and spins, Breasts flapping like out-turned pockets, Arms arcing out like wings. She dips, leans this way, that, Eyes wild and alive as a dare. Boys around me fuse like pistons Into an engine of percussion. They jump and stomp, rise and fall, Feet in complex rhythms Beating the earth-drum with themselves As one. We share the ecstasy of tribal and tribeless finding one another After a thousand centuries Apart. Led by the hand, I stoop down, crawl sideways, fingerprinting red dust, Into a Batwa hut of sticks, vines, mud, grass. I, a visitor here, a stranger welcomed, strangely warm, Adjust to the dim and humane light: Reed mats, a torn mosquito net, dirt floor, three stones, A cooking pot and gray embers from the morning fire. I turn, push out, and squint, delivered back into stark midday sun. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 42. A baby cries in fear, Mine the first white face his eyes have ever seen. In light of what has happened, he is right To cry, In this, his sad world, and mine, of light And dark. These little people, small as splinters in the palm of Africa’s pain - Their poor neighbors despise them: smelly, dirty, poor, simple. They have too little water to drink, None to spare for washing. They sleep on dirt, in huts, On land they do not own. When it rains, they get wet. Unowned, they even lack the value of slaves. They do not count. In school, Tutsi and Hutu alike make fun, Reconciled in their shared disdain, And so Batwa seldom last more than a year or two In school, If that. The chief, named No-Name by his parents, Gathers us beneath a kind of trellis. Speeches are made. People clap. Eyes meet eyes. Shy smiles form. Gifts exchange. My eyes brim. Somehow they know I am here To keep a promise and save My soul. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 43. They sing and dance again as we depart. For a while I join them stomping in the rising dust, Wishing I could stay. What are they singing? I ask. The translator by my side leans toward me: They are singing a good-bye song, he says. The Batwa sing and dance when guests arrive And when they leave. They sing and dance when they have food, he says, And when they hunger they sing and dance. They survive, he says, This way.
  • 44. we don’t dance to celebrate being out of danger we dance to survive the danger.