This Week's News and Updates
July 16, 2019
See highlights from last week's service by clicking here.

Failing Christianity
Rev. David Wynn

“Failing Christianity” is the title of one of Barbara Brown Taylor’s chapters in her book Holy Envy.  It’s a little tongue and cheek since her book is basically a memoir of the World Religion’s class she taught for many years. It seems her Christian students were as ignorant of their own religion as they were of others. I find it poignant as I have spent a good bit of life feeling like I failed Christianity. I just could not get behind so much of the theology I heard in a vast array of churches…and let’s face it, there are so many kinds of Christians. At one point I decided that if God was like the God, that many of the preachers/Christians described…I was not the least bit interested. My parents had decided this many years before me, so there was no pressure to follow Christianity, or any spiritual tradition.  However, I am, by design, deeply spiritual…as I believe we all are…by design.

The two things that ultimately landed me in Christianity were the sheer rage I felt for “toxic” Christians who made it dangerous for me and my other queer friends and family to live in the world…and the Christians who saved our lives. It seemed poetic to overcome a group, by joining their group. I now consider myself an “antiviral Christian”, living a way of life used to prevent and treat the virus of hate and exclusion.      

In this chapter in BBT’s book she notes this from Gandhi speaking to an Indian missionary “Let us think of the bulk of your people who preach the gospel, do they spread the perfume of their lives? That is to me the sole criterion. All I want them to do is live Christian lives, not to annotate them.” I love this. Bottom line is…Jesus was antiviral. He was the steady drip of love, mercy, healing, inclusion, and grace. These things were the perfume of his life. What is the fragrance of your life? What is the fragrance of Agape'? Let’s check it out on Sunday… 
Sprit Café will be taking a summer break. We will let you know when we are ready to resume activities!

My name is Sarah Frantz and I am a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology. I was born and raised in Fort Worth and now attend graduate school in New York City (The Graduate Center, City University of New York). I am writing to you because I am in town until mid-July working on my dissertation research and I feel fathers involved in your church, Agape' MCC, would be great participants for my study.

My research is on the ways in which societal expectations and gender norms impact how gay and straight fathers in North Texas and New York City raise their young children (2-10 year-olds). There is very little psychological research on fathers in general, but especially on gay fathers. From the research we do have, it is very clear that gay fathers are wonderful parents and their children are thriving. Unfortunately, bills have been passed recently in Texas that greatly limit the paths available for LGBTQ couples to become parents.

This study is social justice oriented and I hope to provide a voice for gay fathers while demonstrating their many unique strengths as parents. It includes a short interview and a survey. Total participation time is less than an hour and I can meet participants anywhere that is convenient for them. Additionally, every participant receives a $20 Amazon gift card as a thank you.
Summer Flex-Time Art Workshops now available!

 Judy Hudson, Gnarly Grove Studio, will be presenting a series of Summer Flex-Time Art Workshops in the Agape' MCC Social Hall. Below are the workshop listings. Click on the class name for additional class and registration information.
Underwater Class - July 18 and July 19 - 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Creating a Textured Canvas with Pastes and Cutouts
July 22, 2019 9:00 AM-4:00PM

Agape' MCC | 4615 E. California Parkway | Forest Hill, TX 76119
Isaiah 55:8-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
  and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God, we live at a time where so much is happening. There are so many opinions about where politics should go, and where our hearts and minds should be focused. And we can see that so many good things have happened that have set people free in recent history, yet so much has happened where the momentum seems to be in warp speed reverse. It can be so hard to see beyond our own lenses. It is easy to get stuck in our own way. Creator God, help us see the big picture more clearly. It is not so easy for us to see all that You see, and to think in Your ways, and understand all the things that happen around us. Give us Your vision and Your ways of peace and justice, so that we can move forward with a better way of being. Help us to mend the broken fences. Help us to love the way You love. Help us to show the compassion that You have for all of us. Help us to be a bridge so that all people can see You through us. 

Jesus, You tell us that what we do to the least of these we do to You. Sometimes we think the least are only the poor and overlooked. But who is poor and overlooked can differ in each of our minds. Help each one of us to look inside ourselves and consider whom we are most tempted to devalue. Who is it that we overlook or despise? Help us to pray for them and to want Your best for them. 

For MCC, we want these same things. Help us to have Your thoughts, Your vision, and Your compassion. As we move forward, help us to see the future in ways that will help each one of us to see each other, and move forward with momentum together. Help us heal, as we look to bring Your healing presence to the world. Help us be Your community, as we seek to bring Your community into being in the world. Help us to be our best, so that we are closer to being Your best. We want to be a prophetic voice. Give us what we need to be that voice. Help us to love more like You so our caring and sharing with each other and the world exudes You. In Jesus name, and all Your other holy names we pray, Amen. 

Associate Pastor, LifeJourney MCC
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

I have reached 100% of my goal for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, for this, I am truly grateful. T he Susan G Komen Organization has a goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the US by 2026.

Their mission statement reads: “Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

PLEASE continue to sponsor SGK by donating to my walk!

July Birthdays
07/03 Max Robert
07/04 Graeme Haub 
07/05 David Wynn
07/06 Tonya Reed
07/06 Kim Pena
07/17 Linda Gray
07/19 Lilia Orander-Cruz
07/21 Bailey Shackelford
07/29 Patti Stephens
Sunday - July 21, 2019

The Gathering - Media

Call to Worship - Rev. David Wynn

Song of Welcome - "Power of Your Love"

Words of Welcome - Rev. David Wynn

Time of Greeting - Community

Time with the Children - Trish Ashton

Response - "This Little Light of Mine"

Song of Preparation- " You Are Mine"

Sacred Text - John 14:6 - Carrie Wynn

Song of Response - "You Are Mine"

Time of Teaching - “Failing Christianity" Rev. David Wynn

Centering Song - "Fill Me Now"

Community Prayer - Kevin Harkins

Prayer Response - "Fill Me Now"

Time of Offering - Cassy Batts

Celebration of Holy Communion - Rev. Robert Myers

Song of Sending Forth - "I Am"

The Sending Forth - Rev. David Wynn
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