Bursting & praise

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We are bursting at the seems with folk becoming regulars in our community. Please pray for us as we figure out how to accommodate the growth – spiritual needs, variety of worship expressions & preferences and culture differences.

Praise God that a friend I helped with his CV has had a glimmer of hope. He has over 30 years experience with a country’s helicopter service. We worked on reflecting this in his CV; making it very professional. He literally went to where the helicopters land/takeoff and told them he needs work. They were dubious until they mentioned a fault in a gauge that a company could not fix. A true miracle happened – they jokingly asked him to fix it and he did! They were so impressed they asked for his CV. Which he furnished and they were gobsmacked! They have forwarded this into their managing director. I hope to help him follow up with him and the company. This has been such an affirmation for him and I pray it will bring further fruit.

Special Guests – Dr. Hud & Nancy McWilliams

This week we have Dr. Hud & Nancy McWilliams staying with us. Today he is leading a seminar on grace filled relationships for the church, then speaking at our church gathering. There will be many quotes I will find worthy of posting; some his, some others. Here is one from the seminar that I think is worth posting.

“Grace is control of inward attitudes and outward actions by means of love without any penalty.”

I will ruminate on this for awhile…

Goodbyes

We have said goodbye to too many people the past few months. This week is even harder. Last month, a member of our Mosaic community got married and then moved to Singapore. Two days ago Carol and I said farewell to Stuart a friend that was reuniting with his family in Australia. These friends are travelling to places we may never go to; and they may never come back here. Tomorrow we say farewell to our friend Mridu, who is from Nepal & has been living with us for 8 months. She however will be studying at Harvard for 3 years. There is a possibility we will see her again. All of these goodbyes are making me long for stability in relationships. Aside from selfish motivations, there is the mutual benefit we receive as we share in all things – caring for one another, learning from one another, and being united in the Spirit (to name a few). I never thought about this aspect of being in a community here – our focus has been on growth/development of a church and you tend to view leaving as a detriment. However, if we have truly been living in the Spirit and a spiritual community, these people will have grown up in the Lord and they go on prepared to plant the seed’s of Christ love elsewhere. Goodbyes then can be seen as throwing seeds into the air to take root elsewhere.

In the home stretch?

We are entering a really busy month. I’m still trying to figure out if we are ‘in the home stretch’ or just starting the journey.

  1. We have introduced in Mosaic the concept of the ‘promise’ – a commitment to particular practices that will help Mosaic live out its vision. Commitment is more easily adopted in secular groups (teams, organizations, etc.) but when it comes to the church, people tend to want preference and consumption without sacrifice or participation. We need to go further in helping people see the biblical basis for commitment or covenanting. I see this as  matter of aligning our head & hearts with what God wants for our community. That isn’t always easy to correct our preferences, traditions, habits, etc. and align them with what God calls us to. That is discipleship though.
  2. We have two sets of guests arriving – Dan & Bert. One set are friends who will be here for a week. One will stay on until May. We also have my sister in law and niece coming. They’ll be here to help with our kids while Carol and I are away for 5 days at a conference in Portugal (we’ve also been able to tack on 4 days in Paris – for FREE!!!).
  3. This week will also be heavy with conversations about our future (I’ll post in a couple weeks in detail) and the reason for Dan & Bert’s visit. It is the beginning steps of a longer and more settled future for us.
  4. We are starting lent and this elads up to Easter…school breaks…etc. It is always a packed time.

However, I am tending toward the positive with all this. It is good stuff, healthy, exciting and I see it as the culmination of things that started long ago (2000 years ago for one event!). I see it as both the home stretch and the start of a new chapter.

Membership, covenant, commitment, etc….The Promise

Mosaic is wrestling with the idea of commitment. Last Sunday we presented The Promise – our attempt at articulating some core aspects of committing to Mosaic in order for us to grow and fulfill God’s will for us as a community. Using our values and life practices as a starting place we identified 5 aspects that will help us pursue Mosaic’s vision as a community. They are:

  1. Living out our life practices – these are based on our values of communion, community and co-mission. Won’t go into them here.
  2. Regular participation in our weekly gatherings
  3. Missional living at work – wherever we spend most of our time.
  4. Sacrificial giving
  5. Regular involvement in a small group

Some of this is a result of reflections over the last few years, some recent feedback & challenges the community faces, and a great deal has to do with us trying to work toward the same goals for Mosaic and God’s mission in the world. We cannot move in a united direction if we are all pursuing our own will or we have different objectives. This still gives a great deal of personal flexibility and is not something to be policed but embraced; only the person will know if they are wholehearted or ‘ticking off the box’.

For those who are followers of Christ and can embrace these five aspects, they would become ‘promised’ people in Mosaic (we termed this ‘aprentices’) and they would be given responsibility according to gifting, character, and calling which flows into ministry and leadership. Those who are not a follower of Christ or a Christian who is determining if Mosaic is a community God wants them to participate in would simply be ‘friends’. This would be an opportunity for them to discover the claims of Christ and/or discern their ability to embrace Mosaic’s values and mission. 

I think in some ways this puts us closer to being a missional community; even urban monastics. Western culture doesn’t do well with commitment and I know Mosaic/us as leaders aren’t perfect, so please be in prayer as we consider being promised, seek unity and forge ahead in fulfilling God’s will for us in 2008.

Goodbye

Yesterday at our Mosaic gathering we said goodbye to a family we have known for a little over 2 years. The Crockett Family is from Australia and today they board a plane to head back to their homeland. For the past 2 years we have taken turns walking the kids too and from school. This year I collected their 2 kids and Margaret walked ours to school. It is through this link that we became friends and journeyed in life together. Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things about living here; many people come from all over the world to work here and are here only for a short while. We have been blessed to get to know them and we will miss their friendship. Here is a photo of Lily & their youngest daughter Megan – it says it all.

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Arrived safely

I’m back from the USA, a little jet-lagged, but grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Norwalk. The people were generous, friendly, and for small town America much more familiar with life outside the States than our media would portray. A number of people had been to the UK/Europe and even an 8th grade class was familiar with some of the news/life in the UK. We will debrief and plan our next steps but our ultimate aim is to have cultural exchange and to develop a experiencial worldview between Glasgow & Norwalk.

In the next few days I’m helping with our Mosaic gathering, we have a number of parties for the kids, and planning for our Mosaic ‘community conversation’ (a time to listen and share a bit of our vision).

Lapsang souchong, jumpers, and brollies

Lapsang souchong, jumpers, and brollies confirm that we have returned to Glasgow. We had a great time in the States this summer and we were blessed by the great generosity of so many people. My conference in Hungary over the weekend was really good but I am also thankful to be back home (finally) as school started today for the kids. As we walked them to school these unusual words above were no longer abstract but once again a regular part of our lives here. Lapsang souchong is a smoky tea I like to drink (doing so now to warm up) on cold blustery days like today where you will need a jumper (a pullover, fleece, etc.) and after awhile, as is normal in Glasgow, we looked to be in need of a brolly (umbrella) as it started to spit rain.

We’ll reconnect with our team next week and plan out the autumn & winter schedule. This Sunday we host Mosaic’s gathering ~ a Sunday Feast ~ a bbq which looks like it will be indoors as the weather is not looking that great (19C/66F). Until then, our goal is to get back to a rythm with the kids & school and to catch up with our responsibilities that have been on hold. Take care, Mike for the family.

Last days

These are our last two days in the U.S. for our summer holiday. It’s been 3 years since we last came as a family. The kids have grown, we have aged, I am even sporting a short haircut and a ‘soul’ patch! Carol is as lovely as ever. A friend from high school said yesterday that Carol hasn’t changed – I agree as I still see her as the beautiful youthful lady I married over 10 years ago. 

We arrive back in Glasgow on the 8th and on the 10th I head to the annual CAI staff conference in Hungary & spend some time also in Vienna – two places I have never been. I leave the conference early since the kids start school Aug. 16th; it’s quickly back to the routine of normal life. Our time in the U.S. has enabled us to recharge, spend time with family & friends and we have been blessed by so many people. After my conference I’ll post some reflections about our future endeavours in Glasgow both personally and for the church. Thanks to everyone who made it possible to be here!

The New Site & Email addresses

Our www.jump-in.org website is expiring at the end of the month. Sorry for the short notice but with being in the U.S. visiting family, I have been out of email contact and so the last minute notice that we are letting the site and thus our personalized email addresses die a rather quick death. I don’t want to pay for the cost now that blogs and email accounts are free. We’ll be switching over to mikeATglasgowmosaic.com & carolATglasgowmosaic.com and getting rid of the @jump-in.org accounts. I put the word ‘AT’ in place of the ‘@’ symbol to avoid spam bots that look for email addresses in websites and then get you on their spam lists.

Hope you enjoy the new site – please let us know by leaving comments! I’ll try to add regular posts about Mosaic, our family, and how missional living continues to form us as we live out the Christian faith in Glasgow.