Archive for March, 2010

Special Announcements

Veritas on Noise Trade

Just wanted to let the Emergent Brethren community that you can download some great tunes on Noise Trade from the Veritas Community. Last summer we produced a CD with original music from several musicians within our community. We called the CD “Music From Our Community”. We were finally able to upload several of the Tracks on Noise Trade and now you can download some great Veritas music. So go to for some great music, share with your friends about the music and Veritas via Social Networking media (Twitter, Facebook, etc…) and if you feel so led you can also support our Veritas community by donating when you download the music.

Books / Readings, Ministry Formation, Missional

Celtic Way of Evangelism

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, which we celebrate tomorrow, I thought I would share some thoughts from the book “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” by George G. Hunter. (We had an amazing Saint Patrick’s Day Party this past Saturday by the way which I’ll write about tomorrow).

I read the book a few years ago and as I look back on it I realized just how influential this book has been in my life, my theological journey and the ministry and mission of Veritas. Here are some random quotes from the book.

“Indeed, the fact that Patrick understood the people and their language, their issues, and their ways, serves as the most strategically significant single insight that was to drive the wider expansion of Celtic Christianity, and stands as perhaps our greatest single learning from this movement. There is no shortcut to understanding the people. When you understand the people, you will often know waht to say and do, and how. When the people know that the Christian understands tehm, infer that maybe the High God understands them too.”

“The apostolic band would probably welcome responsive people into their group fellowship to worship with them, pray with them, minister to them, converse with them, and break bread together. One band member or another would probably join with each responsive person to reach out to relatives and friends. The mission team typically spent weeks or even months, as a ministering community of faith within the tribe. The church that emerged within that tribe would have been astonishingly indigenous.”

“So the British leaders were offended and angered that Patrick was spending priority time with ‘pagans’, ‘sinners’, and ‘barbarians'”

The Celtic model of reaching people: 1. You first establish community with people, or bring them into fellowship of your community of faith. 2. Within fellowship, you engage in conversation, ministry, prayer, and worship. 3. In time, as the discover that they now believe, you invite them to commit.” (Sometimes what we call belonging before believing)

“Evangelism is now about ‘helping people to belong so that they can believe.”

“The Irish and other Celtic peoples were predominately right-brained and, in reaching them, Christianity adapted remarkably from it’s earlier Roman reliance upon words, propositions, concepts and theological abstractions.”

Those are just a few of the thoughts from this great book. As I flipped through it, I realized that I need to read this book again very soon.

I close with this prayer from Saint Patrick:

…Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Change!?!, Spiritual Formation

Lent Devotional from Psalm 3


Our church is doing a Lenten series based on the Psalms. I was invited to write a few Lenten devotionals for our church website. In case you are looking for something devotional, I offer this:

Fear is a huge motivator that affects our behavior and emotions. In our community group curriculum we read, “Fear is also at the root of our self-protection mechanisms (defensiveness, contempt, criticism, shame, stonewalling, etc.). As eroding as these things are, the worst thing about fear is that it keeps us from love. . .”

In thinking about “Fear” today, I want to take a look at Psalm 3. In the NIV we read, “O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” (v.1-2)

I often get a kick out of how Eugene Peterson paraphrases scripture in The Message, “God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms, mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God!” (v.1-2)

There are different kinds of fear that affect all of us. At times, we, too, may feel surrounded by insurmountable fears! Some might include going to the dentist, being rejected by a close friend, not doing well on a test, not living up to expectations of your boss, etc. Some fear we anticipate, like the test or dentist appointment. Other fears can come upon us when we least anticipate it.

Last year, after twenty-nine years of employment, I was laid-off. I can’t say it was totally unexpected, but I was still surprised. For months afterwards, I experienced a new kind of fear. It’s one that I’ve not experienced before: fear of what might happen in the future, specifically, financial failure.

This is not a fear that I think about during my waking hours. God is providing in marvelous ways! Instead, this is a fear that can haunt me at night. It wakes me up with crazy thoughts!!

Pastor Matt said the first thing we need to do when we are afraid is to face our fear. I find that when I’m awakened in the middle of the night, the best thing I can do is get-up to journal, read the Bible, and cry-out to God, as David did. I find spending time in these activities to be so much better than wrestling in bed, trying to sleep, with crazy thoughts spinning in my mind.

Fear of what we’re facing can sometimes cause us to doubt that God is really present in our situation. At the Mt. Helix Community Group this week, we had an ice-breaker activity of writing acronyms for the word, DOUBT. I want to share two from our group. Here’s the first one:
D – Disbelief
O – Often
U – Unwittingly
B – Brews

I like this one because when I don’t face my fear, I do feel tormented! In addition to the activities named above that help, I’m a part of a great small group of guys with whom I can share anything. Having this kind of support is invaluable in so many ways!

The second acronym is this:
D – Devoting
O – Ourselves
U – Until
B – Belief
T – Transpires

Sometimes, in spite of what we are feeling, we need to move forward in our faith walk. This may even mean leaning on others to help us trust God in facing our fears. Moving forward can help us find a better place to be with God, to see and experience God’s blessings.

In verses 4 – 5, David writes, “To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.”

In his crying aloud to God, a wonderful transformation takes place! Peace comes to David so that he can sleep. The next day he awakes and feels the Lord’s strength and power to sustain him.

How do you experience God in the midst of your worst fear? How do you find strength and help from God? What’s your story?

Jeff Glass