Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.
We’re glad to say that last year’s conference was not just a one-off, but that a second annual Canvas Conference is planned for August 11th-12th, again in Portland, OR.
By taking off the pressure of having to excel, we allow ourselves to live in the moment. Released from the burden of needing to be better than good, needing to claw our way to the top, hit the sermon out of the park, we can relax a bit.
In part one of this series, I provided observations of the grey milieu in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), exploring themes of ambiguity, disorder and confusion, and emptiness and loss. Additionally, I suggested a framework for grey theology. Here in part two, my aim is twofold: first, I articulate briefly why this grey reality exists, and second, I reflect on the construction of a grey theology.
Passover is a springtime celebration—a time of new plantings and new beginnings. Passover and Israel’s exodus from Egypt marked a new beginning for Israel and served to illustrate God’s redemptive work. This is the event that the prophets and psalmists look back to and celebrate, even as followers of Jesus look back to and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and our deliverance from the bondage of sin to freedom in Christ.