2017 Forum on Faith & Culture
What an amazing weekend we just enjoyed here at First Pres! We had the privilege of hosting the 2nd annual Forum on Faith & Culture, and it was a rich time of lecture and conversation. The Forum is a collaboration of about five churches in our community to bring dynamic speakers to our area who will help us think critically about the intersection of Faith and Culture and its implications for us as followers of Jesus Christ in our day and time. This weekend we had the good fortune of having award-winning author James K.A. Smith (Jamie) to speak. He shared with us thoughts from his new book You Are What You Love, as well as other insights about living for Christ in this cultural moment. Many people in our congregation, including staff and some committees of Session, have been reading this book, and it’s having a profound impact on our conversation about discipleship and worship in our church. I commend the book to you.
Jamie also preached on Sunday morning, and he tackled the tough question: “Why Is There Pain and Suffering in the World” – no easy task! It was a powerful message. Jamie explained that to this deep and profound question, in the Bible God doesn’t really give us an answer. Instead, He gives us His Son. God sent His Son Jesus Christ into our broken world, and on the cross He took upon Himself all the evil and pain and suffering the world had to give. And in His resurrection, Christ overcame evil and sin and death. Thanks be to God!
If you missed the Forum or missed Jamie’s sermon, we have them posted below. Check them out. I love being in a church that takes its faith seriously, and we are all blessed to be in a community that can bring people of Jamie’s caliber to help us wrestle with the call to discipleship. May the Lord use all the experiences of this past weekend to take us deeper into the heart of God through worship and discipleship, and may He help us become more fully engaged in the mission of God as we seek to reach and serve a lost and broken world to the glory of His name.
2016 Forum on Faith & Culture
The 2016 Forum on Faith & Culture weekend was a rich and wonderful experience at First Pres. Andy Crouch was the guest speaker for the inaugural Forum on Faith and Culture our church hosted. Four different churches and several Christian leaders in our city came together to sponsor this first-ever event in Winston-Salem. And the Forum did not disappoint. Andy’s messages were so thought-provoking, and they provided remarkable insight into what it means to be a human, what it means to be made in the image of God, what culture is and how it’s been affected by the Fall, and how God wants Christians to view and engage and even transform it. He also talked about power and vulnerability and the issues of justice. It was a rich and wonderful weekend which prompted lively conversations that continue today. I’m eager to see what the Lord does with all the ideas and seeds of faith He planted in our community by Andy’s wonderful messages. If you happened to miss any of Andy’s talks (or his Lenten sermon he gave Sunday on the two Jerusalems), you can listen to them from the media player below. Check them out, and take advantage of the depth of Andy’s insights. He is one of God’s choice servants. Let’s join together as we grapple with issues related to the intersection of faith and culture. And may our wrestlings and our conversation lead to greater flourishing for us as individuals, as a church, and as a city.