Many of you have asked how you can help support Quincy Street Missional Church and Ma Siss’s family during this time of her passing.
If you live in the Boston area, we’d love to have you join us for her funeral on Saturday at 11am (details below).
If you can’t make it and still want to help out, we are trying to raise money to cover the funeral costs and to help support the church moving forward.
Ma’s last words last Wednesday morning to her granddaughter were, “Please promise me that nothing happens to the church.” The church is Ma’s legacy.
This is a great way to honor her to help Quincy Street / Ma Siss’s Place continue to be a place where people can find meet Christ and find grace in their time of need.
Idene Wilkerson “Ma Siss”
Saturday, August 31st - 11:00am
Greater Love Tabernacle Church, 101 Nightingale Street, Dorchester, MA 20125
Oak Lawn Cemetery, 44 Cummins Highway, Roslindale, MA 02123
Quincy Street Missional Church – 266 Quincy Street, Dorchester, MA 02125
In lieu of flowers, please help keep Ma Siss’s dream alive of serving the spiritual and social needs of the neighborhood by making checks out to “Quincy Street Missional Church” and mailing to the following address:
Mr. Bill Bonnice
Attn: Quincy Street Missional Church
49 Bakersfield Street
Dorchester, MA 02125
If you missed the article from last week’s Boston Globe about Ma Siss, you can read it here.
“A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker wrote a book called Premarital Sex that I was looking thru in preparing for our current series called To Love & Be Loved. It’s all sociology and research. No moral arguments here, just stating what they’ve learned from numerous surveys and interviews. In the last chapter they share 10 Myths about Sex & Relationships based on their extensive research:
1. Long-term exclusivity is a fiction.
2. The introduction of sex is necessary in order to sustain a fledging or struggling relationship.
3. The sexual double standard is inherently wrong and must be resisted by any means.
4. Boys will be boys. That is, men can’t be expected to abide by the sexual terms that women may wish to set.
5. It doesn’t matter what other people do sexually; you make your own decisions.
6. Port won’t affect your relationships.
7. Everyone else is having more sex than you are.
8. Sex need not mean anything.
9. Marriage can always wait.
10. Moving in together is definitely a step toward marriage.
This Sunday I’m going to be sharing about a study done of over 86 different countries in human history that found that sexual fidelity (pre-marital and post-nuptual) was the single most important predictor of a nation’s ascendency. More on that later.
To listen to last week’s message that kicked off our series on To Love & Be Loved where we talked about identity click here.
"One of the greatest ironies of the history of Christianity is that its leaders constantly gave in to the temptation of power - political power, military power, economic power, or moral and spiritual power - even though they continued to speak in the name of Jesus, who didn’t cling to his divine power, but emptied himself and became as we are.
The temptation to consider power an useful instrument of the proclamation of the Gospel is the greatest of all. We keep hearing from others, as well as saying to ourselves, that having power, provided it is used in the service of God and your fellow human beings, is a good thing.
With this rationalization, crusades took place, inquisitions were organized, Indians were enslaved, positions of great influence were desired, episcopal palaces, splendid cathedrals, and opulent seminaries were built, and much moral manipulation of conscience was engaged in. Every time we see a major crisis in the history of the Church, such as the great schism of the tenth century, the reformation of the sixteenth century, or the immense secularization of the twentieth century, we always see that a major cause of rupture is the power exercised by those who claim to be followers of the poor and powerless Jesus.
What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers and easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.
Jesus asks “Do you love me?” We ask, “Can we sit at your right hand and your left hand in your Kingdom (Mt 20:21). Ever since the snake said, “The day you eat of this tree your eyes will be open and you will be like gods, knowing good from evil (Gen 3:5), we have been tempted to replace love by power. Jesus lived that temptation in the most agonizing ways from the desert to the Cross, and the long painful history of the Church is the history of people who chose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led.
One thing is clear to me, that the temptation of power is greatest when intimacy is a threat. Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy intimate relationship and have chosen for power and control instead. Many Christian empire builders have been people unable to give and receive love.”
Henri Nouwen, “With Outstretched Hands” lecture given at Center for Human Development, Washington, DC, Sept 21, 1987
I hope you will join us for this series over the next 5 weeks either online or at one of our services. I’m talking this Sunday about Apostles and Entrepreneurs. The name of the series is Calling: How You are Wired for Mission from Ephesians 4.
Here is the excerpt from JR’s sermon about the difference between a Career and a Calling.
"When a calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career it threatens to become my God.
A career is something I choose for myself. A calling is something i receive. A career is something I do for myself. A calling is something I do for God.
A career promises status, money or power. A calling generally promises difficultly and even some suffering. And the opportunity to be used by God.
A career generally leads to upward mobility. A calling generally leads to downward mobility.
The fact is that you can go into church work and it can be about your career. About your advancement. Or it can be a calling.
And the same with the marketplace. You can go with a career orientation or a sense of call. It’s possible to make business a calling when its truly done to serve God and others.
See a career may end with retirement and lots of toys. A calling is not over until the day you die.
The rewards of a career may be quite visible but are temporary. The significance of a calling lasts for eternity.
A career may be interrupted by any number of events, but not a calling. When God calls people He enables them to fulfill their calling even in the most unlikely circumstances.
Scripture is full of people who are pressed into slavery, captured and sent into exile, and thrown into prison. Their career trajectories did not look promising, but they fulfilled their calling in extraordinary ways.
You see, Pharaoh had a career, but Moses had a calling.
Potiphar had a career, but Joseph had a calling.
Haman had a career, but Esther had a calling.
Pilate had a career, but Jesus had a calling.
What about you?”
Click here to listen to the full sermon from @districtchurch on May 26, 2013.
“ Tim Keller quote from Center Church
“We cannot properly grasp the Savior’s redemptive mission, unless we understand what he came to save us from. If you dilute lostness, then you dilute the seeking and the saving. If we have a reduced understanding of our sinful condition, then we also have a reduced Savior.”
Listen to my sermon The Crux of Calvary where I expand upon this.
In his book Transforming Power, Robert Linthicum discusses Jeremiah 29 about the Israelites time in exile. He says, “Note where we are to seek shalom. It is not in Jerusalem – the “city of God.” It is in Babylon – the “city of Satan.” Linthicum’s interpretation of Jeremiah provides a prophetic word for much of the church in America that has largely fled from urban poverty and injustice. He continues his interpretation of Jeremiah 29 saying,
“Don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the Babylonian community and create a Jewish ghetto. Enter fully into the life of that city. Get a job and enter into its economy. Buy a house or rent an apartment. Become Yahweh-lovers who love the city’s people and corporate life. Weep with those who weep. Laugh with those who laugh. And by so doing, become God’s presence in the society to which I have called you.”
This morning Gordon Cosby, founder of Church of the Savior, passed away in his sleep at 95 years old.
Gordon and his wife Mary started Church of the Savior around 1950 here in DC. They never had more than 120 members but together they’ve been able to start over 70 ministries and nonprofits over the years. Samaritan Inns, Christ House, and Mary’s Center are a few examples.
What is interesting is the way these ministries started. It was almost always in small groups. Many of these small groups formed as a result of Gordon’s preaching and commitment to discipleship. When one person was called, they couldn’t act on that call until at least one other person felt that calling and they formed a small group.
So when Dr. Janelle Goetcheus felt the call to serve the homeless with health care she couldn’t act on it until someone else had that calling. So they started a small group. That turned into Columbia Road Health Services, that expanded into Christ House, that expanded into Joseph’s House, that expanded into Kairos House.
Today Janelle runs Unity Health Care in DC that served over 90,000 low-income patients in DC in one year alone!
Margaret Mead once said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Gordon Cosby passed away in the place he has lived for the last few decades. Christ House, a ministry he helped to start to care for homeless men who are coming off the streets.
I’ve admired Gordon from afar for most of my life but over the last couple years I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with him several times and be mentored. His humility, commitment to Christ, commitment to the poor, and devotion to prayer are contagious.
The last time Gordon and I spoke we mostly talked about prayer. Most people know about Church of the Savior because of their social ministries, but anyone who spends time with Gordon knows that the secret to his success lies in his commitment to prayer.
When I asked Gordon to share with me how prayer has been foundation for him all these years, he said the following:
“The inward and the outward go together. Lots of people are talking about the inward journey, but not talking about Jesus Christ. It’s not just a general inward emphasis. It needs to be focused on Christ. The inward journey is a relationship with Jesus. Surrendering to God in the person of Christ.”
He went on to say, “A lot of people who are talking to this emerging and new age stuff are not coming to Jesus. This is a radical gospel. Jesus must be central.”
He said over the years people have been very interested in the outward ministries of Church of the Savior but have become impatient with the inward journey. People act like, “We’ve seen what we want to see,” and then they quickly want to move on to what is next. But Cosby says, “We have to encounter the Spirit from which the outward comes.”
When I asked Gordon to share about where his conviction came from to start the church, he always took me back to WWII where he was a chaplain in the army. He said he had buried more people than anyone he has ever known. He remembered before going into one battle the commanding officer pulling them all together and saying that tomorrow they would lose half of their men.
He was there in the midst of hundreds of thousands of people dying at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. I’ll never forget what Gordon said as he summarized his story to me, “I saw them as they looked death in the face…and I had not prepared them at all.”
This is what led him Gordon to move to Washington, DC and identify with the suffering of this city. And to be radical in that commitment.
Gordon is someone who always challenged me and others to keep Christ at the center. To not be so fascinated with building the Kingdom, that I forget about the formation that must happen inside of myself.
I’m so grateful for his example to me. I have always felt like if I could accomplish 1/10 of what he did for this city I would die a content man.
You will be missed Gordon, but please know that your work and this message of Christ will continue to spread in this city and beyond.
My friend Richard Twiss passed away today of a heart attack. This came very sudden and as a shock to all of us.
Richard was in town this week for the National Prayer Breakfast and we were actually going to have him speak last Sunday at our church but it didn’t work schedule wise.
I have so many great memories of Richard. His humor and his love of God was something that we all appreciated so much. Richard and I roomed together a couple times at speaker retreats and conferences. The late night conversations with him were always so thoughtful and encouraging to my faith. He would always end our conversations in prayer, staying rooted in the love of God.
Richard was a true bridge builder between the evangelical church and the Native American community. He was never afraid to speak the truth in love. His prophetic voice will be a huge loss for the church.
I am comforted knowing that Richard is with his Creator who he followed so deeply. Please keep his wife Katherine and the rest of their family in your prayers.
Below is a statement they released this afternoon:
The Passing of Richard Leo Twiss, Taoyate Obnajin “He Stands with his People”
As of Saturday, February 9, 2013 Richard Leo Twiss, Lakota, co-founder and President of Wiconi International, passed into the eternal kingdom of the Creator as he took up the journey of life on the other side, to be with the Lord whom he loved and served so diligently on this side of life.
Richard walked the good road with Jesus from 1974, and continues his walk now on the other side of life.
In the final hours of Richard’s journey on this side, he was surrounded by his wife Katherine, his four sons, Andrew, Phillip, Ian and Daniel, along with close friends who sang, prayed, laughed and reminisced together about his impact in life among them, and within the wider kingdom of his Creator.
A fuller description of the impact and ministry of our brother, Richard Twiss, will be posted at a later date.
I’m excited about the Missio Alliance gathering happening in the DC area this April 11-13. It’s an incredibly diverse lineup of evangelical speakers who are committed to both Jesus and justice.
Amy and I along with @justinfung will be doing a few workshops. I’ll be doing one on faith & politics with David Fitch (@fitchest) and another on urban church planting with Kevin Haah from New City Church LA and Felipe Assis (@felipebassis) of Crossbridge Miami.
Here is a quick summary. I hope you can make it. You can register for Missio Alliance here.
Faith and Politics: Should the Christian/Church pursue God’s justice through the State? How do we lead churches in a nation divided by politics?
This seminar asks the serious questions of how we lead our churches for God’s justice in relation to national and local politics. We ask whether national politics can be a partner in God’s justice? If so, how do we discern it? Can it be a distraction? Is there a prioritization participation in local issues of justice over nation-wide political engagement? Is there ever a time to withdraw entirely from the nation state politics for the sake of the Kingdom? The presenters will offer divergent perspectives and draw upon these for broader dialogue.
Planting Urban Churches: Embodying a Theological Vision for Mission in Cities
Cities in North America are not only ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse, they are also spiritually diverse and pluralistic. How can the gospel be contextualized in places of so much diversity? What does it look like to plant urban churches that truly exist for the sake of the city? To lead people to faith in Jesus and mobilize them for the work of justice? To develop worshiping communities that help heal and restore long-time racial and socioeconomic barriers? Hear the stories of three pastors who have planted urban churches in Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC. They will share their theological vision for urban mission and stories of how this vision is contextually embodied in the life and ministry of their churches.