Comings and Goings is a blog written by Theology, Formation, and Evangelism Director Charles B. "Chip" Hardwick as he travels throughout the church. God is on the move out and about in the world, working to redeem all things in Jesus Christ. As we join this mission, by the power of the Spirit we see God on the move. This blog contains glimpses of how Chip finds this to be true in his comings and goings.
You can follow Chip on twitter (@chiphardwick) or find him on Facebook (Chip Hardwick).
My colleague Michelle wanted to encourage the women at the Presbyterian Women's Conference to do some theology—that is, to write something they like about God on a beach ball, with a sharpie. The globe was getting filled up with statements like “God keeps me SANE!” to “God loves the whole world, even me,” from “God sees everyone as equals” to “God sent Jesus to save us.” It was really inspiring to see what these dedicated churchwomen appreciated about God’s love for us. One woman, however, had nothing to write.
Earlier this month I visited St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, to lead an officers retreat, preach, and teach Sunday School. On the first night of the retreat, I helped the officers and staff come to grips with the changes in our culture over the last couple of decades. We discussed the postmodern, post-Christendom, post-Christian, post-denominational nature of our current culture, and the challenges and benefits of these changes to the church.
During my recent visit to the Dumaguete City, Philippines, for a consultation on theological education in Asia (which you can read about here and here), I had an amazing opportunity to visit a ministry called the Little Children of the Philippines (LCP). This decades-old ministry reaches out to the poorest of the poor in multiple sites around Dumaguete City, housing orphans, running community centers, giving job training and opportunities, and holding Bible studies and worship.