LABC Update – July 18, 2023
July 17, 2023
Yesterday was the 40th Anniversary of my ordination. It was an occasion for reflection on the course of my years of ministry.. I was ordained by the Community Baptist Church of San Mateo, where I spent two years working with The Reverend Dr. Jim McAllister. Jim was a very able teacher and the congregation was encouraging and gracious.
The Sunday of my ordination was my last day with CBC. Shortly thereafter, I began my nearly six years as the Associate Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles, working with The Reverend Dr. John Townsend. Those years in the City of Angels with John still serve to define me as a person and as a minister.
I began as the Senior Minister at Lakeshore in April of 1989. That journey of worshipping, witnessing and working together continues. I am grateful that it has brought us together.
Last week’s Vacation Bible Camp served to remind me that my theology, particularly my theology of the cross, continues to form and reform. In many VBC curriculums, the fourth day of camp, usually Thursday, is when the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are the focus.
It is a challenging day for it is difficult to interpret the crucifixion in an honest, ethical and faithful way and it is especially difficult to do so for children. My approach is to focus on the story and go light on the interpretation. As the children grow mentally, physically and spiritually, I pray that they will form a healthy theology of the cross, bringing to bear what they are learning and what they, and world in which they live, are experiencing.
What has become clear to me is that while there are ways in which Jesus suffered for us, it is much more meaningful to me to proclaim that Jesus suffered, and suffers, with us. In the words of Howard Thurman, Jesus stands eternally with those whose “backs are against the wall,” those who are pursued by the hounds of hell – fear, hypocrisy and hatred.
In the months to come you will hear other ways in which my faith is changing and growing. Thank you for sharing in the ever forming, and re-forming, ministry of LABC. For now I am going to take a little vacation.
See you August.
Thank you LABC/SFKBC Stellar Space Adventure campers and leaders for contributing $350.92 to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering!