Dear Christ the King Community,
One opportunity I have delighted in this fall is spending time with many of you on Wednesday and Friday mornings and on Sunday nights studying the Gospel of Mark together. If you haven’t joined in yet, please feel free to hop in anytime and join us for even a chapter or two. Our attention has collectively been drawn to the abruptness of this gospel and how quickly time seems to go. The Gospel of Mark begins without a birth story, moving rather quickly into the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, which is in full swing before the end of chapter one.
And immediately…..Jesus is on the move
The movement of Jesus is emphasized by the usage of a Greek word, εὐθέως, which appears in Mark’s Gospel over 40 times, more than double the number in any other Gospel. We are moved along quickly as we are pulled along into the story more as a participant than a passive observer.
I admit, my entry into the Christ the King Community as the new senior pastor has felt a bit like the beginning of the Gospel of Mark. I began this new season of ministry on September 1st with a day of prayer spent in prayer and presence between our two campuses and larger communities. And immediately, a new call was begun which moves daily from community engagement to deskwork to collaboration with staff to individual meetings. Maybe your fall also began abruptly? I have learned that many from our CTK community move back to Houston or move back into a more regimented routine in the fall.
And immediately……we are on the move
When one is “on the move,” intentionality makes all of the difference to one’s faith journey. Intentional pausing creates space for one to grow more deeply in their relationships with God and with others. For this reason, we have been creating some special opportunities that I encourage you to take advantage of, both for individual and communal learning and nourishment.
Εkklesia Groups will be a focus over the coming year. A good Lutheran might ask, “What is this? What does this mean?” This Greek word, εκκλεσια (ekklēsia), is usually translated into English as “church,” however it carries a meaning that is not attached to a building or specific location. Ekklesia comes from the combination of two words: “εκ” meaning “out from and to” and καλεο meaning “to call together or summon.” So ecclesia literally refers to a calling together or summoning of people out from their everyday contexts, into a gathered community. This is the essence of what we hope to nurture in our small groups at CTK, along with a focus on spirituality and spiritual practices.
Several adult forum opportunities will expand on Ekklesia Groups and spiritual practices. I am especially excited to welcome Bishop Jim Hazelwood who will be teaching us about “Everyday Spirituality.” I look forward to the sacred spaces we are creating together that help us on our journey of continuing to become a spiritual home.
The Holy Spirit is on the move….and we are immediately encouraged to follow!
Grace and peace and above all hope,