As children of God, we often feel like there is a clear-cut list of dos and don'ts. But in reality, we live our days in gray areas where the rules are not always evident. We create great expectations and routinely let ourselves down. Perhaps we should go back to the source and look beyond our own expectations to the One who calls, claims, forgives, and loves us to the end. Let's journey together to see how this might look for us today.

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As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

1 Thessalonians 2:5-8

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The mainline church (mainstream Protestant denominations and the Anglican and Catholic Churches) often does not want to talk of evangelism. It seems like a dirty word that no one wants to touch.

Evangelism is actually defined as “the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.” It can also mean zealously advancing a cause. Who would not want to participate in this practice? Why would we not want to share our love of a gracious and forgiving God with the world?

What the world is hungry for now is a message of hope, love, and peace. We love the world and God’s children so much, that we zealously want to share the good news in Jesus Christ. We need to share that we are called, forgiven, and loved — that all people are loved and forgiven. Perhaps we can be expectantly waiting on the opportunity to share, not boastfully or with too much pride, but from a place of deep humility, the love and mercy of God through our deep and faithful witness.

Leslie Manning

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God, help me to share your Good News with the world! Offer me as a beacon of your light and love. Inspire me to share your good news of peace, reconciliation, justice, and love with a hurting and broken world. Lead me to share your story with the world. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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“Go forth into the world in peace.
Be strong and of good courage.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the afflicted.
Honor all persons.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit
and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be among you and remain with you now and forever. Amen.”

—The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, II

Leslie Manning

Leslie Manning currently serves as the Director of the Sawyerville Day Camp ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Prior to this role, Leslie served at a number of parishes and the diocese as a youth minister. Leslie also serves as a consultant for the national consulting firm, Ministry Architects. Leslie is married to the Rev. Bentley Manning and has a three year old daughter, Mary Bentley, and two smelly dogs. They all reside in Birmingham.

Speak to Us, Oh Christ

Ken Medema

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