Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

First Church Wethersfield

Last weekend I (without Kris) flew to Hartford CT to speak at First Church Wethersfield, and I said “without Kris” because I messed up with the tickets — well, I forgot to book any tickets. Having now confessed my inattentive stupidity, let me say a few things about a wonderful weekend.

1stChWthrsfld.jpgFirst, and for anyone it would be first, the architecture of this early American, historic church — Jonathan Edwards attended this church in his school days and George Washington attended here once or so — was intimidating. I preached just under that sound board and I was above the folks in the pews and almost at eye level with the balcony. (The smaller area kept me from walking around, that’s for sure.)
Saturday morning (9-12) we had a Jesus Creed session with some Q and A, and it all ended with everyone thinking about issues they wanted the Lord to resolve. I had not seen this but they had some paper that dissolves in water immediately and folks wrote something on paper and then put it into a bowl of water, and with one little twirl with a stick the paper disappeared — to emphasize that God can resolve our concerns.
I was then kindly taken by Judy and Dick Franzen to the Mark Twain Home in Hartford. A real joy for me — but I have to say that house is one exotic place, but what does one expect of Twain? The evening dinner with folks in the Morgan Home at the church was special — everyone was asked to share a word for the year and I said “One.Life” (more about that someday on the blog). Someone made a pineapple dish … can’t even begin to describe how good it was.
Sunday morning I preached from Jesus Creed ideas, but focused on how James — brother of Jesus — urges us to practice the Jesus Creed by caring for orphans and widows.

But there’s all the personal stuff that makes trips like this so memorable. The church staff, including Deryk Richenburg, the new pastor, and Mike and Cindy McDowell guided us through the weekend — and Deryk had to give me some special directions so I wouldn’t fall out of the pulpit.

Alan Johnson invited me and his invitation letter, a typed letter (a rare occurrence these days), convinced us that this was an opportunity where we could bring what was needed. And Alan was my tutor about all things in the church, including regular bits of information about Jonathan Edwards — including a room in his honor in the Morgan Home. 
I stayed at Walt and Anne Kelly’s home, and got to hear Walt’s amazing conversion story, enjoy discussions with Walt and Anne, and meet their three little dachsunds, and no one can forget little Annabelle. OK, the house was awesome and perched gently over the Connecticut River. I’d love to be there when their wildflowers are in bloom.
Glenn Sunshine, a former student and now a professor at Central Connecticut, was there and I got his new book (Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
). Folks, there had to be at least a dozen folks who said they attended North Park and a number of others said they grew up Covenant. 
I could go on, but what I want to say is this: we’re figuring out a way to visit First Church at either a concert or Church holiday event. We’d love to participate in a worship service at First Church (and preaching doesn’t count the same way).
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posted January 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Wow…this was an adventure I guess. Forgot … Explains the late Monday post?
The pictures look great.

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Scot McKnight

posted January 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Yes, it was RJS … and yes that was why my early Monday morning post was late. When I got home I didn’t have any juices left.

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posted January 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

There is something very cool about appreciating and having such history & tradition, and seeing it overlap with warm fellowship.
Perhaps a lesson Wethersfield can teach the whole church, especially Evangelicals.

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posted January 14, 2010 at 6:15 am

I can say as the pastor of the church, that everyone had a great time with Scot around. Scot’s teaching and personal interaction meant so much to everyone there. We laughed, some cried (not at Scot’s singing voice but from his moving illustration) and by God’s design many of us were confronted with blue parakeets that day.
As a staff, we also have ended our prayer time with the Jesus Creed and will end our worship services that way as a reminder of our foundational calling.
Great time Scot and you and your family are always welcome back.

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posted January 14, 2010 at 7:50 am

It was a joy and a pleasure to help host Scot in Wethersfield this past weekend. We were blessed by his challenge to us to embrace the Jesus Creed by reciting the “Shema” daily anad to focus on God’s commandments to us found in His Word. Come back any time, Scot and we are looking forward to having Kris accompany you!

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Your Name

posted January 14, 2010 at 11:41 am

Scot, thanks for this great blog and especially for your time with our church family last weekend. (Also, I’m glad you enjoyed our little dinner party with the staff and committee.) Mike and I soaked up your teaching and we are devouring “Praying with the Church” as we continue to get the word out to protestant evangelicals about praying the hours, the Lord’s Prayer and the Shema. Hope you and Kris will come back real soon!

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Lucinda Secrest McDowell

posted January 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

Oops, forgot to sign my name, sorry! Scot, thanks for this great blog and especially for your time with our church family last weekend. We expect much Kingdom fruit from your efforts… (Also, I’m glad you enjoyed our little dinner party with the staff and committee.) Mike and I soaked up your teaching and we are devouring “Praying with the Church” as we continue to get the word out to protestant evangelicals about praying the hours, the Lord’s Prayer and the Shema. Hope you and Kris will come back real soon!

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Mike McDowell

posted January 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hello Scot, what a profound joy and gift it was to have you in our midst this past weekend for ministry to 115 church leaders on Saturday and then have you preach to our four Sunday morning worship services! Our people continue to respond with great enthusiasm to message of The Jesus Creed. Many of our members are already finding that God is using the prayerful recitation of the Jesus Creed in significant ways in their lives! Last evening (Wed. Jan. 13) 27 of us met to begin a seven weeks study on The Jesus Creed. Other groups, we hope, will use the materials in other groups. We are trusting that God will use this time to help all of us become more conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. We are eager for you and Kris to return to First Church in Old Wethersfield! Gratefully yours in Him, Mike McDowell (Associate Minister for Adult Learning & Discipleship

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