Next Courageous Step: Unafraid

by | Feb 1, 2018

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

John 14:27

In my Diocesan Convention address, Loaves and Fish and the Next Courageous Step, I spoke of the wondrous “loaves and fish” stories from across the diocese, examples of how Jesus is blessing and multiplying the courageous offerings of our people. I then invited all to consider–as individuals, faith communities, and the diocese as a whole–what is the next courageous step that God is calling us to take to go deeper in relationship with Christ.

At Convention we distributed a paper copy of Taking the Next Courageous Step which lists upcoming opportunities in each of the key priorities of our diocese: growing Christian community, growing in faith in every dimension of our lives, and striving for justice.

Take a moment to read through these steps, and consider where God might speak to you through them. For the next few weeks, I will highlight here one of the courageous steps and its transformative potential.

On Monday evening, March 12, Adam Hamilton, one of the most inspiring and influential Christian leaders of our country, will speak at Washington National Cathedral. Hamilton is Senior Pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, a church which he founded 20 years ago and is now the largest Methodist church in the country. It is a church that bridges the divides of our nation and witnesses to the transforming power of Jesus. One of its stated mission goals is the renewal of mainline Christianity.

The Cathedral event is Hamilton’s first stop on a national tour to discuss the themes of his most recent book, Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. Pastor Hamilton gave me the honor of reviewing his book before publication. It is a remarkable resource. Like many of his works, Unafraid comes with study guides and age appropriate curriculum for adults, youth and young children. It could be the foundation of a 5-week series in your communities later in 2018.

Listen to Adam Hamilton’s personal invitation to join him on March 12. He was inspired to write the book, he says, in response to the pervasiveness of fear in American culture. In it, he explores the top fears we face as a people, offering insights to address them from many fields, and most especially from the resources of our Christian faith.

You may reserve your seat and copy of Unafraid  here. The cost is $30. I have set aside $1200 from the bishop’s discretionary account to pay for the ticket and book for up to 3 people from any interested congregation, diocesan campus or school. The Diocese of Washington is co-sponsoring the event with the Baltimore-Washington United Methodist Conference. Many of your Methodist friends will be there as well and I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them.