Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ervin Stutzman: Discerning God's Will Together

Church Matters: Discerning & Guiding
Philippians 1:3-11; Matthew 16:13-20

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In our continuing worship series on practices of the church, Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA used Philippians 1:3-11 as his text. The Apostle Paul expresses his joy in the fact that the church at Philippi is a partner in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul goes on to pray that the church will be able to discern what is best. Ervin spoke of the challenge of discernment. He acknowledged that challenge of discerning good from bad. It is not just individuals who must discern, and it is not always a matter of good or bad, but of discerning God’s leading. Congregations also engage in discernment. Even denominations engage in this practice, as MSUSA is right now around the issue of same-sex attraction. Ervin spoke of the Quaker practice of indifference. This is not apathy but a shedding of our strong opinions so as to be open to God’s leading. As we discern, Ervin invited us to pray a prayer of relinquishment, surrendering ourselves to God, and to God’s purposes.

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