Called to BE the Church

This morning our pastor, Jen Howat, preached on Acts 1:1-9. Her sermon focused on how we are called to BE the church, which means doing the work of Jesus & not necessarily gathering in church buildings. This is my sermon sketchnote and narrated sketchnote of her sermon. I  integrated a couple tweets which I shared during the first part of the sermon.

 

A Fast to End Injustice and Oppression

From the verses in Isaiah I used last week for an Ash Wednesday sermon, starting the season of Lent:

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.'” (Isaiah 58:6-9 MSG)

These verses are on my heart as I think about the challenges schools so close to our home face, and my own prospects for teaching in the year to come.

Sketchnotes About a Sermon on Racism in America

These are my sermon sketch notes from January 18, 2015, at First United Methodist Church in Manhattan, Kansas. The sermon was preached by Pastor Patrick McLaughlin, who is Associate Pastor of Missions & Outreach at FMC. The title of the sermon was, “Would Jesus Call the U.S. a Racist Society?” This is part of a series titled, “Pastor’s Press Conference,” and archived versions of sermons are available online. The initial Bible passage Patrick started the sermon with was Colossians 3:12-17:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sermon Sketchnotes: Jan 18, 2015 by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Wesley Fryer 

While these issues are extremely important and timely for Christians in the United States to consider today given our recent events, I was surprised that the “closing prescriptions” offered by Patrick did not include any citations or references to Scripture. Because of this, his message overall was not differentiated from secular “calls to action” for social justice which we hear from different non-profit groups and organizations. The message itself is and was good, but it was essentially “missing Jesus.”

In his sermon, Patrick read verses from Colossians and Ephesians, but his message sounded and felt like more of a history lecture on social justice rather than a sermon in a mainline church. In the sketchnotes, I inserted the words “Let our hearts be transformed by God’s Love and His Word.” Patrick emphasized the importance of us loving each other, and put the focus of action on what WE as human beings could and can do. This made his message strike me as somewhat Gnostic, since it did not emphasize our need for Christ and the idea that WE cannot do anything (including change race relations in our communities and culture) without God’s power and actions.

I think this was the first time I’ve heard a pastor give a personal, racism-based “confession” during a sermon, and I think there was value in this. It took courage for him to admit mistakes he had made as a youth, which particularly focused on using the “N word.” I totally agree that we need to be having dialog within our churches and our communities about how we can constructively move forward with improving race relations. Patrick’s suggestions about “listening to the stories of others in our communities” and “sitting down at the table to eat together” particularly resonated with me. As a Storychaser, I especially agree with the first one, but the second one is an important strategy I don’t think we discuss or utilize nearly enough to promote understanding and the overall strengthening of relationships.

From a technical standpoint, I was able to use a stylus for these sermon sketchnotes (unlike last week) and again used the iPad app ProCreate. I exported my finished sketchnote as an image to the photo roll and uploaded it to Flickr, and also exported it as a video. I imported the video into iMovie for iPad and added voice narration, doubling the time for the playback so I had more time to talk. Lastly I uploaded the combined video using YouTube Capture. Here’s the narrated version:

I added this to my Flickr set for visual notes / sketchnotes. I was visiting FUMC in Manhattan, Kansas, today with my parents. I’m a member and elder at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma.

If you’d like to learn more about sketchnoting, see my resources on visual notetaking in “Mapping Media to the Curriculum” and my eBook single on “Visual Notetaking.”

Redeeming the Family: Blessing Children of Incarcerated Parents

(cross-posted from Redeeming the Family)

This is a 14 minute video reflection by Wesley Fryer, who volunteered with Redeeming the Family on May 15, 2013, at the Cimarron Correctional Facility (prison) in Cushing, Oklahoma. Oklahoma currently has 17 prisons, and Cimarron is one of three which is privately operated. Corrections Corporation of America has owned and operated this prison commercially since 1997. Last week Redeeming the Family volunteers assisted 50 incarcerated dads to record video messages of love for their children, which will be mailed to their children before Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16th.

Sixty-six men had signed up to record video messages for their children on May 15, but because of security conditions at the prison not all those inmates were allowed to record their messages. Redeeming the Family will return to the Cimarron Correctional Facility again in the fall to record more messages which will be delivered prior to the Christmas holiday in December.

Redeeming the Family

Redeeming the Family

Redeeming the Family

Redeeming the Family

Podcast9: Discussing Urban Ministry with Shelly Fryer

This past week, I interviewed my wife about her work the past 3-4 years in urban ministry in Oklahoma City.

In addition to the Spreaker-hosted version of this podcast, I uploaded the mp3 audio file to Amazon S3 for backup. I don’t want to lose this recording, as I lost podcasts in 2009 which I’d recorded in our 5th grade Sunday School class!

I also created an 8 minute screencast about how I created this, using the free app “Spreaker DJ” for iPad.

Confronting Evil as Christians

The Christian life is not about escaping evil and seeking complete separation from the world. Rather, our focus is and should be on confronting evil.

John 17:14, 15 NIV
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

See it at YouVersion.com:
http://bible.us/111/jhn.17.14.niv

Solar Under the Sun: Kenya (December 2012)

This evening I helped Robert Menja, who went on a mission trip to Kenya with Solar Under the Sun and Upendo Kids International in December 2012, create a 5.5 minute narrated slideshow about his experiences.

We’re going to work together on another video next Monday. I’m very excited to be able to help Robert with this! For more related resources, see my presentation wiki, “Telling Your Mission Story with iPad Video.” I’ll be sharing a presentation about this at the 2013 Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference on May 4, 2013.

Robert Menja in Kenya with Solar Under the Sun

Don’t Blow Your Trumpet When You Give

Some clear teaching here from Jesus about the way we should act when we give to others and do good deeds. We should not do these things to seek recognition from others.

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4 NLT)

Tony Evans on Racial Unity Through Service

I heard Tony Evans preach at a Promisekeepers event years ago and was very moved by his inspired message. I agree with his points in the video below that we need to find unity between our churches through collaborative service. He says it well: “We may have come over in different boats, but we are in the same boat now.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRo_AZ4L38Y

Learn more on http://www.tonyevans.org

1 2