- Saturday, May 2, 2015
- How to Sing in a Strange Land: Go Deep, Go Out, Go Together
- First Baptist Church in Asheville
- The Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta
In Psalm 137 the Psalmist asks, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" The Israelites are in exile in Babylon. They are strangers in a strange land, and they ask themselves how they can sing the praises of the Lord in this context.
The 2015 Mission and Ministry Conference asks this question of us in our time. In a certain sense we are all dislocated simply because of the rate of change and the increasing flow of information. Think of the difference in our modes of communication now as compared to 1980. New technology and these constant changes cause fear. Think of the impact of the internet on our world view. And think of the rise of secularism and the data that shows the fastest growing religious segment are the "Nones"-as in "None of the Above" on surveys of religious affiliation.
How do we sing the Lord's song in this world? How can we sing the song of praise in a key that makes sense for 2015? How can we sing because even among the changes and chances of this world, we praise the goodness of the Lord? How can we sing in a way that can resonate with those around usespecially those who have never heard or even distrust these songs? And how can our actions of justice and mercy be our song?
These are some of the questions for the Mission and Ministry Conference on May 2. Other topics and issues will also be addressed.
Our keynote speaker will be The Rt. Rev. Rob Wright of the Diocese of Atlanta. He is outspoken on justice issues. Georgia Trend magazine recognized Bishop Wright as the only clergy person in the "100 most influential people" of 2015. He was chosen because of his activities on health care and gun issues. Bp. Wright has spoken out against capital punishment. He supports the blessing of same-sex relationships. We look forward to his message for us.
The booklet detailing all the workshops will be sent to each parish and will be on-line right before Easter. Be sure to register early to get your first choice of workshops.