And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1: 17- 18)
This passage becomes a rallying cry in many congregations. Jesus went to ordinary people doing ordinary things and he calls them to follow him. The amazing thing is they don’t even think about it! Immediately they drop everything and they follow Jesus.
When we read this passage we imagine ourselves as the disciples. We picture ourselves hearing Jesus’ voice and then we drop everything wehave and we follow Jesus. The thought of acting like the disciples and following Jesus makes us feel faithful and committed to the mission of God.
But Jesus is not the only one who says “Follow me.” There are many people, organizations, and obligations calling out to us to follow them. Because of this we become confused and we don’t know who we should follow.
We have a choice, we can follow Jesus, and we can become excited and committed to our faith. Following Jesus gives us a mindset of abundance and we learn a practice of welcome and acceptance. Or we can follow outside influences that exclude others, have a mindset of sacristy and can tear others down.
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46)
It is easy to disparage somebody else’s hometown or neighborhood. It is a way to knock people down and not take them seriously without attacking them directly. People believe highly in their heritage, pedigree and credentials. We tend to rely on these things as a way of proving our worth or bolstering ourselves ahead of others. Rather than look to the content of people’s character or cultivate our own, we find it much easier to be destructive.
Jesus shows up on the scene…from Nazareth of all places. Why would anyone take him seriously? Nazareth was a small overlooked town in the backwater of the empire. It was a place no one would expect to produce anything significant or worthwhile. Nothing was expected to come from Nazareth, at least nothing good.
Yet there he is: Jesus of Nazareth.
What will people do when they encounter him? Listen? Follow? Ignore? Dismiss?
What might it take for people to take this Jesus seriously in their lives?
What might it take for us to take him seriously in ours?
At the New England Synod Bishop’s Convocation we had an opportunity to talk with Bishop Yvette Flunder. She is an inspiring amazing woman who talked with the rostered leaders of the synod about how we can continue to be the church in the 21st century and beyond.
Bishop Yvette Flunder is a native San Franciscan and third generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Flunder is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and holds both masters and doctorate degrees in Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion and the San Francisco Theological Seminary, respectively. In 2003, she was appointed Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all over the world.
Bishop Flunder is a trustee and adjunct professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is an active voice for the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign, as well as for the National Black Justice Coalition. Bishop Flunder is a highly sought after preacher and religious educator as evidenced by her having spoken at divinity schools nationwide including those at Duke, Yale , Drew, and the New York Theological Seminary. She is the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic Radical Inclusion, published by Pilgrim Press. In addition to her memorable sermons, Bishop Flunder is also known for her beautiful singing voice, made famous through her gospel recordings with Walter Hawkins and the Family, the City of Refuge Choir and Chanticleer.
Joe and Geoff talk about The Man, The Myth, The Legend – Martin Luther!
On October 31, 2017 we celebrate 500 years of the Reformation. The 2 Bald Pastors talk about Luther and the amazing things he did for the church. We also talk about valuable things we have learned and experienced from this reformer.
Welcome to the latest episode of the 2 Bald Pastors. Sorry we have not had an episode in a few weeks. The end of the summer has been busier than we thought. We are happy to get back into the swing of things with a conversation with Knute Ogren.
Knute is the Director of Development and Communications at Camp Calumet in Freedom, NH. He oversees Reach the Beach which is a Ragnar race. You can learn more about it by listening to today’s episode.
To support this podcast we would like to invite you to a specially designed t-shirt created for this podcast. Check out the shirt here: Be Good T-Shirt
We have the honor of Interviewing our Bishop Jim Hazelwood for our 51st podcast episode. Jim is an inspiration to many in the New England Synod as he is known as the Bishop on a Bike. We talk about Healthy Church, Healthy Leaders and get an insight to some of the things he is working on in his ministry to so many people.
Geoff has written an amazing piece about a brief history of pastoring in America. Check it out in the link below.
Today the 2 Bald Pastors talk about church and the health of our church. We ask the question is our church fulling our mission or are we in maintenance mode? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment below or check our our Facebook.
New Testament Scholar N.T. Wright calls the Acts of the Apostles, “The Deeds and Teachings of King Jesus, Part II” (Acts for Everyone, Part 1). This summer we will be on an adventure with those first “sent ones” (apostles) into a world that doesn’t know or follow this King Jesus. Hear their faith and witness. See Christ’s ongoing presence. Experience the Holy Spirit call to bold action, as we make connections to our own lives of faith today.
This week we talk with Molly Beck Dean who is the Director of the ELCA National Youth Gathering. A tri-annual gathering of over 30,000 youth and adults. In 2018 the gathering will take place in Houston, Tx.
Molly has a vast experience working with youth of the church and is the perfect person to lead this charge. We had an amazing conversation with Molly and we hope you enjoy it!