Faith, Work, and Michigan

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

This week’s CliffNotes is a guest post by Bryan Brown, Worship Pastor

Dear Christ Church,

I am writing to you from Grand Rapids, Michigan where Eric Stumberg, Scott Friesen, and 1,000 other Christians are gathered at Acton University for a week-long symposium on the intersection of faith, work, and economics. It has been an excellent event so far–a multi-faceted feast for the mind, soul, and spirit.

I am here as part of Christ Church’s ongoing commitment to be a community where all aspects of our lives–the physical, intellectual, relational, vocational, and spiritual–are nurtured and blessed. As a part of my new role as a full-time pastoral staff member, I have been charged to catalyze new ways for our community to embrace whole-life discipleship, specifically the arena where many of us spend the majority of our waking hours: at work.

Over the next few months, we will have opportunities as a community to explore together the ways in which God has called and commissioned each of us into our various callings at home and in the marketplace. We will explore questions of the value of work, the meaning and purpose of vocation, and how we can be faithful and fruitful in the various places God has called us to labor.

Also, my heart was deeply grieved when I heard about the tragedy that occurred at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC on Wednesday. The tragic and senseless brutality of the shooting leaves one with few words other than “Lord, have mercy.” Anglicans across the country share in the grief as Myra Thompson, the wife of an ACNA priest, was among those killed.

We pray for peace and grace for the families of those killed, for the community of Charleston, and for our nation, each profoundly affected by this act of violence:

Compassionate God, draw near in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.