Thoughts From Your Regional Minister Article
Written by Ken Marston, CCK Regional Minister
Published in April 2021 issue of the Kansas Messenger
As I sit wrestling with what to write as one of your Regional Ministers, there are two things that are currently tumbling through my mind. Actually, there are more than two things tumbling through my mind, but only two I wish to address in this article.
The first thing on my heart is the need for the church to be engaged in the important work of identifying the ongoing racism that exists in the world around us. For me, this is not a political issue. It is about justice and about living out Jesus’ command to “love others” as he has already “loved” (John 15:12-13).
It is about taking to heart what the Apostle John writes in his first letter, “We love because God first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; …those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also” (1 John 4:19-21). One of the ways we as the church address the hatred of racism is through Reconciliation Grants. The application deadline for grants have been extended through the end of April.
The second thing that is on my heart is the journey we are on to call a Regional Minister for New Church Ministries. We can consider doing this because of gifts that have been given to the Pentecost Offering over the past decade. In case you have forgotten, the Pentecost Offering goes to support the work of starting new congregations.
It has been more than a decade since we have last tried to start a new congregation in the Kansas Region, and it is time that we change that. It is time, because starting new congregations is one of the ways we fulfill the Great Commission to “Go forth and make disciples” of all people. It is time because it is a mark of a vital region and a vital congregation to be involved in such work.
And so, I invite you to support these two endeavors (the work of reconciliation and new church establishment) through your church first with your prayers. Second, I invite you to support these two endeavors through your offerings. And third, I invite you to pray how you can be involved in the hands-on work — the healing work — of reconciling the brokenness of racial hatred, and the work of bringing hope to those who do not have a life-giving relationship with God by establishing new church ministries.