Tuesday, September 6, 2011
a new kind of "us"
by Eric Burton-Krieger
So what's next for a movement? Well, I don't have a black and white answer and I'm not interested in peddling a false sense of certainty. What I do know is that I've been blessed to share in so many stories over the course of Sing A New Song that as I drove back to Tennessee, I could not help but wear a smile on my face.
The smile came from the people I met, the new relationships that had been forged and my sense of hope—that God is indeed at work changing our church and our world into a place that slowly—sometimes very slowly, gives off the glow of God's reign. This doesn't make for easy work. As a pastor told me once, when we are frustrated and feel like the church does not stand up against injustice, these are the moments when we must be reminded that God is so great as to be able to use "us" despite "us".
Thankfully, there lots of young adults who are making space at the table for a new kind of "us" and in responding to God’s call are bringing with them a whole lot of creative and passionate change-agents for God to work through! We want to see those parts of the church that embody our instuitionalism change. To have them welcome all sexual identities and expression at the table, challenge unjust laws, and find creative solutions to real problems—mostly, we want a church that worries more about the Gospel than its own survival.
OnFire is committed to this kind of work and to finding new ways for the stories that give us hope to find tangible connections to the deep needs we witness all around us. We envision this work in local communities where people come together and out of their faith, touch hearts and transform lives (their own and others) after the witness of Christ. This is the new kind of "us" for which we and we think God, labors.
The invitation is for you to join the conversation not only with your mind through social media but with your body as well. We're starting local OnFire groups around the country and hope these are places for our stories to be part of God’s work and witness. Who knows, if we're faithful, maybe even Christ might crack a smile.
Eric Burton-Krieger, is a co-facilitator for OnFire in addition to being a spouse, divinity student, candidate for ordination and staff member at a United Methodist congregation. He loves the church and has been working to help it change for longer than he would care to admit. If you happen to be in Nashville, he'd love to meet up and buy you a cup of coffee!