One of the core values for the Desert Southwest Conference Initiative on Vitality and Growth is Authenticity – We live into our identity as followers of Jesus, while upholding the diverse expression of God’s calling in each ministry setting. Merriam Webster defines authentic as true to one’s personality, spirit, or character.
What a difficult time it is right now. Fires are absolutely devastating parts of our country. Hurricanes do what they do to add to the destruction. I think about how many lives have been absolutely torn apart by the disasters and I know it is more than I want to think about or imagine. These major traumas capture our attention. In many ways, I am grateful for the stories of human compassion that have shared through it all. At a time when it seems that our nation, our world is growing in selfishness and anger, my soul needs to know that kindness and compassion is still a part of us.
I was doing a study on the word that is translated respect in the passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 & 12. It was interesting for me to read that the word translated respect in the CEB version, is derived from a word that talks about seeing with one’s physical eyes, moving to the metaphorical of seeing with spiritual eyes. The word implies that having regard for, cherishing, paying attention to another, begins with “seeing them.”
During the Annual Conference, Bishop Hoshibata announced the formation of the Growth & Vitality Implementation Team composed of clergy, laity and Conference staff. The team feels that it is important for them to be sure they are working on areas that will be of the most value to you. To this end, the team has created a short survey and would greatly appreciate your help by your taking a few minutes to complete it before Friday, September 1.
Jeremiah paints a vivid picture about what trust can do in your life, when you trust in God. You have life and nourishment that leads to growth. From what we see in those words it seems to make sense why the Desert Southwest Conference has named Trust as one of our Core Values. Trust is defined as, “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.”