Pastoral Backstory – August 27th, 2015


(What is the Backstory and why?)


August 27th, 2015

What does it mean to be Faithfully Present to our world(s)? That was our focus last Sunday. It hopes to be a more organized focus in the near future (hooray for our five applicants who’ll take the Mercy Cohort training next month!). And it will always be the focus for the church–in word and in deed–if it wants to fulfill its identity.

Circumstances conspire to keep this week’s Backstory a collection of other voices fleshing out what it means to incarnate the presence of God wherever we are.


Brother Roy

It begins with a foundational word about taking an interest in the weakest. You’ve heard of Nietzsche. Meet Roy and why his otherwise anonymous life meets head on with the philosopher most opposed to a Christian view of mercy.



Officer Tommy Norman

Officer Tommy Norman

These incendiary times when race and violence and authority collide, Officer Norman’s story about the way he’s present to his Little Rock community offers a bit of hope in what often feels like an intractable problem.



Archbishop Warda

Much further from home, and in a place far more wrought with havoc, the Archbishop of Iraq Bashar Warda shares how the pursuit of being present to his people often challenges his sense of God’s presence–and yet confirms it, too.




Back in our neck of the woods, Dr. Amy Sherman summarizes how faithful presence is at the very heart of what it means to be righteous.


Finally, faithful presence to our world will always be with deed, but never without word. Jane Peterson alerted us to one Rico Tice, and his book Honest Evangelism. Here he is both elucidating evangelism as the natural thing it’s meant to be, while confronting us all for distorting it into something unnatural (as a pretext for not doing it at all).



Meanwhile, there’s a few announcements on The City you’d best take note of. In case you’d forgotten:




See you Sunday. Read Acts 7 to prepare yourself. Stephen’s speech is our focus.



Author: Glenn Machlan

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1 Comment

  1. I pray that all will take the time to listen to Dr. Amy’s exhortation and the article of Officer Norman. These are wonderful examples of being faithfully present. It will be a challenge in that many in the surrounding area of our new facility probably don’t sense much need. We may have to get creative and really seek God as to how to push a nerve in the community, as well as extended community in order to draw some in.

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