Living in Unity

Normally, I write my weekly newsletter blogs to my wonderful congregation, sharing my heart for some attribute of discipleship I think is important. But today, this article is different. My thoughts are written for a very few, to somewhere between forty to forty-five people; pastors in particular. The Under-Shepherds posted as God’s lead servants to the churches scattered throughout the Oak Harbor and greater North Whidbey region. This is my tribe of people. They know my story and I know theirs. What I have to say to them also applies to you, so please listen in.

We are of various strands and types, flavors and styles. Some are conservative, and some are liberal. Some are traditional, and some are charismatic and Pentecostal. Some speak and lead in the English language and some in a variety of other foreign language communities found among us. They are all under divine assignment to shepherd Heaven’s Whidbey Island flock. We need to hear (again) what the early disciples found themselves saying to each other.

When the disciples were out “fishing” and discouraged because they had caught nothing all night (every pastor’s worst nightmare – to spend our lives for nothing), Jesus sent them out again. This time, under his direction, with his blessing and under his power. Their togetherness was never more palpable. Their catch was enormous; “…so they signaled to their partners in
the other boat for them to come and help them” (Luke 5:7 NASB). What I want to say to you today (my fellow pastors of North Whidbey) is that I need you and you need me. We need each other. We are not meant to stand alone as spiritual leaders with separate tribes.

In my thirty-four years of pastoral ministry, I have always belonged to a group of pastors who knew my journey, understood my role, faced my giants and spoke my language. Are you linked with other pastors? Would you like to be? For all my career in the ordained ministry, I have taken seriously what it means to live in connection with fellow spiritual leaders as collaborators and not competitors. This is the way of Christ’s kingdom.

I love meeting with pastors who come from the broad swath of ecclesial traditions. I am enriched when I can share time and reflection with Mainline, Independent, Evangelical, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Anglican, Orthodox and Catholic leaders. I also know that parishioners who share the same journey of cross-pollination spanning their reach from one tribe to another, become more grateful for the one “BODY OF CHIRST!” It is my hope that we will see
(more-and-more) ways to bridge gaps and come together as one people.

This Sunday, eleven church (so far) are committed to locking their buildings and moving their “church” (the people of God) down to City Beach West Amphitheater for a united worship service at City Beach! The service will start at 11 am. I understand the park may not be ADA friendly for those in wheelchairs, but I encourage everyone to make a special effort to come out
and celebrate our unity as one family in the Lord Jesus. We are (the larger ecclesial body) a “forever family,” and that journey should begin here, not in heaven!

Though we are many, we are called to form one body ~ Romans 12:5

Pastor David 

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