By Gwynne Watkins
Several young pastors in the Church of God contribute to a blog called Belong. The following blog post provides an introduction to an ongoing series of posts that share stories of faith and life experiences in the Church of God. These stories can be found at www.mthaley.org/belong.—Ed.
In the initial post on this blog, David Aukerman wrote these words:
We have so much in common, and yet we love our differences. We share a common theological heritage, but we don’t always agree with each other. We are ministers and missionaries, hopers and dreamers, thinkers and feelers, friends and companions. We care deeply and laugh loudly. We desire the best for each other, our congregations, and the movement which we call home. We live in different parts of the world, but we yearn for the annual pilgrimage. We are growing and being grown, shaping and being shaped, loving and being loved.
But most of all, we belong.
As David points out, everyone contributing to this blog has been drawn together through a common theological heritage and shared experiences. But we also have very different journeys that have brought us to the places we are today and the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), this movement we call home. Our unique stories shape our perspectives and our approaches to following Jesus and serving the church.
There is great power in a story, and this is why I am excited to introduce the next series on this blog, “My Story: _____.” With this series, we will introduce you to the people who will be contributing regularly to this space—our “conversation starters”—if you will. This series will help us recognize the uniqueness of our individual stories and share more about what brought us to the Church of God and why we are committed to this movement. We hope that by acknowledging our differences, we can more fully appreciate the unity we share in our commitments to Christ, the church, and the Church of God.
Because significant portions of my story are closely tied to one of the other contributors, I will share more about myself at the end of the series. In the meantime, we hope some parts of our stories will resonate with you. Most of all, we want to lay a foundation for the conversations to come and begin to cultivate a space where real dialogue can happen, different perspectives can be shared, and, despite the differences that may exist between us, acknowledge that we belong.
Enter into these stories of life in the Church of God at www.mthaley.org/belong.