Communicating Through Prayer & Telephones

Today began with a lengthy and deep discussion about one of my favorite Spiritual Disciplines – Centering Prayer or Contemplative Prayer. if you want to learn a little more, check our Father Thomas Keating or Father Richard Rohr’s work through the Center for Contemplative Outreach.
20130717-204557.jpgWe concluded the morning by “sitting” in a Centering Prayer group for 20 minutes. One can only say that we were filled with peace and awed in the presence of God. These times of prayer are always significant minutes for me.

Later in the day, Tony Jones entered the room. Tony is kind of like a time-bomb going off in a room that nobody was expecting in any way, shape, or form. A refreshing and shocking change of pace to the week. Maybe that’s why the entire week is called Re:Fresh. 🙂

Tony sees himself as an ecclesiologist. In his own words, “that’s like a proctologist for the church.” He’s is also a pastor at a really cool emergent congregation in Minneapolis called Solomon’s Porch. Tony challenges groups of pastor’s across the country to see the church differently. To see that many of the walls and institutions and silos and structures that Christianity has existed in for centuries are no longer effective in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if we’re honest with each other, they really haven’t been working for a long time.20130717-204808.jpgI found one of his insights extremely interesting today. He said, “We don’t use rotary dial telephones anymore. Why do our churches still look and feel and behave like they do.”

I’m not sure I think this is true across the entire Christian church, but it is causing me to think a lot this evening about what kind of telephone, if they even exist in 20 years, the Christian church will be known for using. And how will that telephone communicate the good news of God’s grace, mercy, and love for all people.

What kind of telephone are you using?


About Bishop Craig Schweitzer

The Rev. Craig Schweitzer, of Bismarck, was elected as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod on July 17, 2020, in the first-ever digital Synod Assembly. A historic event, Schweitzer is the first bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to be elected in an online assembly. Bishop Craig Schweitzer began serving the Western North Dakota Synod-ELCA on September 1, 2020. He has always seen himself as an easy-going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in his life and the world in which he lives and serves. Prior to service in the Office of Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Craig served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND as Music and Worship Minister (lay staff from 2002-2010), Associate Pastor (2010-2014), and Senior Pastor (2014-2020). Beyond his service in the church, he has an eclectic background that is a diverse collection of musical, educational, and business experiences ranging from live concert production and promotion to recording studios and live performance to music education. Throughout all of his professional and personal experiences, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome have been a guiding light that has kept him grounded in whatever work God was calling him into – “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Bishop Craig is a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership. He also holds a certificate degree in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on September 16, 2010. Outside of his life as Bishop, Bishop Craig enjoys reading, all music, a little golf, a cold beverage with friends, and intentional times of quiet. And, of course, spending time with his wife Wendy and their adult twin daughters Ilia and Taegan. View all posts by Bishop Craig Schweitzer

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