A New Way of Being Human

Kindred in Christ,

After an inspiring pilgrimage following the footsteps of the Apostle Paul through Greece and Turkey, I am looking forward to being back with you this Sunday! Along with visiting the lovely Greek islands, numerous monasteries, and ancient churches, a significant portion of our journey was visiting the ruins of Ephesus, Philippi, and Corinth (all three pictured above). As you may be familiar, the Apostle Paul spent significant time in each of these cities planting new communities in the way of Jesus. And he wrote several pastoral letters to each of these early churches, a few of which are preserved in the New Testament.

As our tour guide waked us through what used to be the markets (agoras) of these cities, she explained that it was common for philosophers and thinkers to stand in public and share their new ideas to the gathering crowds. In fact, in an age before social media, people went to the agoras to hear new ideas from these visiting, street performing philosophers.

As a Wesleyan who loves our history of John Wesley proclaiming a new way of doing church and being community out in the streets of England during the 18th century revival movement known as Methodism, I deeply appreciated seeing the places where the Apostle Paul would have stood and preached to the gathering crowds about a new way of being alive in God.

The Apostle Paul and the people of The Way [what the early Christians called themselves] proclaimed “a new way of being human” (N. T. Wright) that viewed everyone as equal and valuable in God. This message was in sharp contrast to the Roman Empire which relied heavily on a strict social hierarchy and colonization.

Join us this Sunday as we kick off our new series, A New Way of Being Human. We will explore together how we are being invited into new ways of being fully alive in our present!

Alongside you,

Rev. Paul Ortiz