Part of my work relates to congregational connections through Sunday morning worship. Here's a sampling of "ministry contexts" where I have been or will be in the coming weeks:
* a historic downtown urban church with a history of social justice and engagement
* an urban congregation with a predominately Chinese speaking membership
* a rural church in a community where churches share ministry resources to cover needs
* a congregation pastored by a minister who is quite accomplished with social media
* a church where a pastor has served for well over twenty years among the community and congregants.
In each setting, I enter in as a guest, sometimes as the preacher, other times as one bringing brief greetings on behalf of the regional ministry. Each time, I have been or I anticipate learning something new and wondrous along the way. In a more traditional ministry setting, you stay within the rhythm and life of a particular congregation. In regional work, you encounter persons and congregations in brief, yet you get a good look at what the Reign of God is up to in these places, rural and urban alike.
It's a different world than my last seven years of parish ministry. I look forward to exploring it as part of my duties and calling as a minister in service with the American Baptist Churches of New York State.