Generating justice and hope in our neighborhood must be at the heart of us.
Our compassion teams and mission teams have the “right to die,” that is, they are not obligated to create a permanent program with interchangeable participants.

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Acts 13:1-12

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

More thoughts for meditation

Leaders in the church in Antioch were worshiping the Lord and fasting when a new enterprise came to mind. The Holy Spirit led them into what is next. That meant the good thing they were doing in Antioch had to change. The foursome of leaders who enjoyed their worshiping and fasting split up when they sent off Barnabas and Saul to do something new.

It was probably tempting to ignore the movement of the Holy Spirit and keep the group together, since they had power, notoriety (at least they were famous enough to get into the Bible!) and, most of all, because it would look like what they had been doing was wrong if they changed it. What’s more, they liked each other and their particular group life was probably hard to build.

It is not easy to change, to leave the past behind, to let something come to the end of its usefulness. Circle of Hope has been fairly successful at letting things “die” when their usefulness is over. When people mature and need to try new things, we try not to keep them stuck in the old things they were doing (even though the things were probably good and they were probably very good at them). We hope everyone will have an apprentice so the next leaders can emerge to catalyze what the Holy Spirit is doing next.

Our compassion and mission teams, in particular, need the freedom to end. They run on passion and mutual commitment. The church, as a whole, does not institutionalize teams or find people to run them when they can’t generate their own energy.

Suggestions for action

Pray: Set me apart for the work to which you have called me…again.

Pray for any or all of our compassion teams or missions teams.

Here is a list:

Compassion Teams:  BGX (Free Baby and kids Goods eXchange), Circle Counseling Support, Circle Mobilizing because Black Lives Matter, Circle of Peacemakers, Circle Performing Arts Alliance, Circle Thrift Advisory, Debt Annihilation, Development without Displacement, Neighborhoods Investing in Childs Elementary, Friends of HA Brown, Friends of Hagert Street Playground, Friends of Treehouse Books, Heads Together Haiti Support, Prison Connections, Solidarity Beyond Borders, Urban Farm, Watershed Discipleship, Circle Kids support, Good Business Oversight, Community Workshop

Mission Teams: Circle of Hope Audio Art, Circle of Hope events, Circle of Hope Teens, Frankford Ave. Baby/Toddler Playgroup, Marlton Pike Playgroup, South Broad Game Night, South Broad Men, South Broad Playgroup, South Broad Women

Pray that they feel “sent off” by the Holy Spirit.

Today is Nicholas Black Elk Day! Visit this notable spiritual ancestor at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.