2015 was a wonderful year for PiE. We moved from this abstract calling that Jessica & I had, to being a legit network with a legit website with a legit charitable status which can give legit paycheques. But what is next for us? What is the ministry we’re hoping to do in 2016?
Now that we have formed all those necessary structures for PiE, now that this baby has been birthed, how do we keep moving forward?
The reason I become involved with The PiE Project (as we originally called it), was because I wanted to experience God’s activity beyond the Sunday morning churches in Kitchener-Waterloo. I’m still craving that and have seen little glimpses. I want more. I want others to experience Christ’s love for them as well. These are my longings – and for so many, that can’t come within the walls of the church.
I don’t want to work so much on being original; there’s enough people in this world trying to do that. I want to see us help people engage with the Bible more, to pray with each other more – to experience the ‘being’ of Christian faith which powers the ‘doing’. I want people to find church and community that is helpful and supportive for them. I want churches to find God, and be less concerned with organizational preservation and more willing to take leaps of faith as the Holy Spirit prompts.
Traditional churches are on life support because too often they have embraced the idolatry of comfort, and moved away from the good news of Jesus. I want to challenge them to get back on track. I want to see more people embracing their Christian or Jesus-following identity and faith in an authentic way, while at the same time embracing the other who is different than them. Usually people in our time are able to do one or the other; I want to see more people who can do both well!
I want the PiE blog to continue being a diverse voice for questioning and wrestling people. People who wrestle with the structures that be, who are looking to see God in the world, who bring great wisdom from their perspective. I love how our guest writers are willing and have the freedom to provoke and stir the pot in a way they might not be able to in more hierarchical and institutional settings. I also love how young adults of very, very different perspectives and views are willing to contribute to the voice of the blog, and wrestle with its implications.
I want to continue to work to unlock people’s passion and curiousity for understanding the bible. Jessica did a fantastic job with the Feminist Bible Study this fall, and I want to figure out how we can get more groups together reading scripture and breaking down assumptions. I want to create space where people who have very little exposure or knowledge of the bible can explore and question and learn.
I want to continue doing the work of community development in Kitchener-Waterloo – how can we continue working to make this city a better place to live for everybody? How can we partner and collaborate with the many different stakeholders here to ask deep questions and live out a city where people love their neighbours. I’ve been working on a project exploring how God-inspired and Spirit-led people are already at work in the city and beyond – I want to continue going deeper there.
I’m not satisfied believing that God is a mere projection in our minds or an opiate to make ourselves feel good. I hope for a God who can do more than what is, even though I know that at times this can be irrational, and even though at times I can pretty certain he is not there.
We don’t need to re-invent the wheel, most of what we need to do is just is listen. That is how Pastors in Exile started; by listening. We were listening to the Holy Spirit. We were listening to the marginalized young adults around us. We were listening to movements in the church. We were listening to the heartbeat of Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area.
My hopeful prayer is that we can continue our work of listening in 2016.
My hopeful prayer is that this work of listening reveals the vibrations of God’s loving kindness, and that God can do a new thing in a new year.
My hopeful prayer is that this listening leads to doing some cool things, to lives being transformed, and hearts and bodies and minds and spirits being renewed.
I have a deeply rooted hope that PiE can help be a small part of God’s movement in this. Let’s do this together. Who’s in?