Search Menu
8001 W Capitol Drive Milwaukee, WI (414)461-2491

But who are we?

  • Written by Nathan Willowby
  • Published: 15 August 2012

For this blog offering, I thought I would share a few annotated quotations from some of my recent reading.  These get at some of the challenges facing all of us who live in the 21st century, because we often fail to spend the time in honest reflection of who we are and where we are going. You'll note from the page numbers that I'm perusing several book introductions lately.

“Without some sense of the whole, the telos, there is no way of knowing when we are improving at being human.” Anthony D. Baker p. 1 in Diagonal Advance

“Decisions in any community—such as how much space for parks should be protected, or if it is right to go to war in a particular situation—depend upon a prior vision of what constitutes that community, and what goods it believes it should be pursuing.” p. xx in An Eerdmans Reader in Contemporary Political Theology

These two quotations remind us of the importance of pursuing discipleship with both an understanding of who we are and where we are going.  The emphasis in brief for the walk of a Christian disciple must begin with the understanding that we are God's creation who are called to a life in relationship with our creator. The end comes in the kingdom Christ proclaimed and announced. The goal of our worship and life together is that our weekly corporate worship, bible study, and fellowship would hold our identity and our goal together.

Evaluating Traditions

  • Written by Nathan Willowby
  • Published: 29 July 2012

This week we looked at Mark 7 and the questions Jesus faced regarding the tradition of ritual washings.  I raised the experience in the Church of God of our evaluation of our practice and traditions regarding Christian Unity.  I drew from a paper presented at the doctrinal dialogue at the North American Convention in 2006.  I thought it would be good to share a link to the other papers.  You can check them out at the Anderson School of Theology web page.

NAC 2012 and 2013 Global Gathering

  • Published: 05 July 2012

The Church of God 2012 North American Convention (NAC or for people like me who are used to the old name--Anderson Campmeeting) was recently held on the campus of Anderson University. Our congregation was represented by myself and Kathy Brad (who was able to attend many of the Christian Women's Connection events in addition to some of the other conferences and services). Most of my time in Anderson was spent attending the General Assembly meetings where various issues are presented and discussed. The three biggest topics of this year's assembly meeting were a resolution on Conditional Deeding, the transition plan for the retiring General Director, and the feasibility study regarding locating the NAC in different rotating sites. If you would like to watch a video of one of the services or the Hymn Sing, they can be found at this website. If you are only going to watch one, may I recommend one of my favorite preachers--Diana Swoope and the Monday service.

Read more: NAC 2012 and 2013 Global Gathering

What do you think of when you hear "church"?

  • Written by Nathan Willowby
  • Published: 26 July 2012

If you've been listening to sermons then it's no secret to you all that one of my favorite preachers, teachers, and Christian theologians is James Earl Massey. He has shaped many aspects of my understanding regarding what it means to be part of and pastor within the Church of God. I was recently browsing the internet for a quote from him when I came across this video of him from the Faith and Leadership group at Duke Divinity School. Here's the clip:

This got me to thinking--how well are we discipling at Crossroads? It is an important question for us to consider as a congregation. When we look at the discipling Jesus did, he called people from all walks of life and as we read the stories--the disciples grew, changed, and eventually blossomed into leaders of the church. My hope for us all is that as Massey states at the end of this clip, we will together grow, change into the likeness of Jesus, and blossom into people whose activity flows out of our understanding that our meaning comes from following and conforming to Christ.

Hopefully the word "church" means much more than a building or a calendar of activities--but an identification with a group of people called disciples. Disciples of Christ sent out to the world. If Jesus is your Lord--then you're part of church.

Let's try this again...

  • Written by Nathan Willowby
  • Published: 15 June 2012

It's no secret that I haven't done really well at keeping new content and communication in the "Pastor's Blog" section of the website. Well, one of the steps we're trying to take as a congregational leadership team is to provide more communication through the website.

The plan will be to have a new blog post every other Friday that addresses something we've discussed at the recent leadership team, something that has come up in my sermon preparation, or some tangential insight from other theological or biblical reading. Sometimes it will be some material that seems interesting to me, but just doesn't fit into the flow of a sermon--often because it is a long or dense quote.

This week we will start with a passage from Søren Kierkegaard. In these few paragraphs about one of Jesus' parables, I hope you'll be led to reflect on the relation between promising, commitment, and fidelity. This coincides with the present sermon series from Christine Pohl's Living into Community that I'm using with the series and reviewing for the Wesleyan Theological Journal. She is the one that led me to Kierkegaard this time. He offers a profound framing of this story that really highlights the importance of how we choose to use our promises. S.K. illustrates one more way in which our lives together are intertwined with each other and even a tendency to too quickly say "Yes" has further rippled effects on the community and our relationships.

Read more: Let's try this again...


Notes from the pastors of Crossroads Church of God