The Compartmentalized Life

The Compartmentalized Life

What does if mean to live a compartmentalized life?  It means we are one person at work/school, another at home, another in sports or clubs, another with our extended family, another at church, and yet another as we live out our civic lives.  But God invites us to live lives centered in Christ.  That life centered in Christ has three core claims:

  1. God creates and calls us to live in an integrated and interconnected way, holding faith in Christ at the center.
  2. Vocation, the call to be God’s hands and feet, bridges the gap we often feel between Sunday worship and Monday-Saturday life. 
  3. Our vocation is lived out in the many roles/arenas of daily life—family, occupation, citizen, neighbor, and the list goes on. 

Let’s start with that list—what are the varied rolls you inhabit?  Grab a pen and start writing all your rolls.  An example from my life is, I am: husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin. But as a cousin I am a cousin in three different systems (Ferris, Svangstu, and Carlson). Take time and make your list.

Look at your list, all of these roles/arenas pull us to be a different person.  In some roles we feel drastically different, in others just ever so slightly.  This is what is meant by the Compartmentalized Life—we have all these different roles and we are lead to believe that they need their own compartment.  Vocation bridges all of our roles.  Vocation empowers us to live as integrated whole beings. With Christ as our center we are free to move in and out of the different roles while always being who we are—a Child of God.

Vocation Small Groups

Vocation Small Groups

Henry has been reading for his Vocation small group. Join him in reflecting on how we are claimed by God’s love and called into service for the thriving of neighbor and world. Sunday 10a or Wednesday 6:15p at Peace Lutheran Plymouth.

What will the Vocation small groups discuss? Grace & vocation.

God already loves you. You can’t do anything to make God love you more than God already loves you right this minute. God has already claimed you and called you. As it says in the verses from Isaiah 43, “I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…You are precious in my sight…and I love you.” You don’t have to prove or earn anything! This is where we, as Lutherans, start: with God’s action towards us.

If we don’t have to worry about our own status with God – if God already loves and accepts us – then we are free to turn outward and love our neighbor. We are free to love because God first loved us.

In Matthew 22:37-39 we hear Jesus lay out the cornerstones of his ministry: love God, love your neighbor. Jesus even suggests that these two are connected. The love we have from God and for God plays out in the love we share with those around us.

So you see, the whole idea of “vocation,” how God invites us to live as God’s people in this world, starts with God’s love for us. How we respond to that love, then, is our vocation, our calling! And that vocation or calling is lived out in a variety of ways and in a number of different roles in each of our lives: as a parent or spouse, as a teacher or business person, as a neighbor or volunteer.

Vision Team

Vision Team

Peace’s foundational claim is that, in the waters of Holy Baptism, each person has been claimed by God’s grace alone and called to lives of service for the well-being of our neighbor and the world God loves.  Starting with the fall, Grace & Vocation sermon series and small group study and continuing into 2020, Peace is increasing focus on this theological claim.  To hone that focus and do what matters on a daily basis to get better results Peace is engaging the help of Vibrant Faith Ministries, a church consulting organization.  Through the Vision Team, Val Sorenson, Inger Trooien, Janelle Leppa, Pastor Kjell, Kate Tofteland (not pictured) and Jen Stoffel (not pictured), Peace will clarify our identity, strengths, challenges, and opportunities for ministry, and develop a written strategic plan that guides the congregation toward living into its mission, vision, and values.
  With council the team members will:

  • Assess the congregation’s uniqueness and strengths through interviews, surveys and observations of its norms.
  • Listen and learn about the local community and how the church might serve and connect with its residents.
  • Host a visioning retreat designed to clarify congregational priorities
  • Create a ministry plan or road map to guide the congregation’s efforts for the next 3 years.
  • Introduce the plan to the congregation and assist members with discerning how they might contribute to its fulfillment.

Please keep the Vision Team and their work in your prayers and look for the upcoming dates to participate in the conversations.

Users guide for the Bible

Users guide for the Bible

There are a number of misconceptions about the Bible, that start when we try to make the Bible do something it wasn’t created for. The Bible is a book of faith, it doesn’t seek to be a science or history textbook.  If you make the Bible be a science book then you have to explain things like dinosaurs, evolution and the age of earth using the Bible and that leads to people fabricating truth in order to support their beliefs.  For example some Christians say everything is in the Bible, so there fore if it isn’t in the Bible it isn’t real.  Well the Bible doesn’t talk about dinosaursso they say, “dinosaurs aren’t real,” and they makeup stories to try and explain how the fossils are fake.  Because their faith is connected with this misconception they have to make up stories trying to prove dinosaurs aren’t real.  Dinosaurs are real and the Bible doesn’t talk about them because paleontology isn’t the Bible business.  The Bible tell us about God and God’s love for us.  
Another misconceptions happens when you try to determine the age of the earth by reading the Bible.  I’m going to give you  a little test.  Are you ready?  Is the Bible a geology text book? — The answer, of course, is, “No.”  God gives us vocation, calling us to serve and take care of the earth.  Part of our vocation is our work and those who ask questions about the age of the earth, studying rocks and meteorite material, have determined earth is 4.5 billion years old.  
There are other misconceptions and a good tool for recognizing them is to ask, “Is the statement using the Bible as a book of faith or science/history textbook?”  If text book then likely misconception.  I might be wrong but this is a good rule of thumb.  The Bible is very good at what it sets out to do.  The Bible tells us story after story of God’s love and faithfulness, how God wants joy in our lives.