As a pastor and a church planter one of the churches I respect more than any other on the planet is The Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C.
Founded by Gordon and Mary Cosby in 1947, The Church of the Saviour eventually became nine scattered, independent congregations, each with a separate vital mission.
One is committed to medical care for homeless persons; another works to help jobless persons find jobs. Yet another restores buildings in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in D.C. in order to provide affordable housing.
For each congregation, all of their work is grounded in prayer. They understand the power of prayer as well as anyone I know.
The Church of the Saviour championed the idea of missional church and accountability groups long before these were buzzwords in the church world.
Our readers may be surprised to learn that the good folks at The Church of the Saviour are, for the most part, political and theological liberals. They love Jesus, they pray, and they have been changing the world for more than 65 years.
I am convinced that they have been able to do so much to change the world because they know the value of prayer.
Since they began back in the 1940’s, Gordon Cosby has led them to balance the nurture of their inward journey as followers of Jesus, with the outward journey of taking action to change the world.
As a pastor, I believe it is vital for healthy Christians and congregations to take care to maintain a balance of these two things: the inward and the outward spiritual journey. That is why I love The Church of the Saviour’s daily devotional by the same name: Inward/Outward.
People related to The Church of the Saviour sponsor a daily devotional project called Inward/Outward which will come to your e-mail box every day. The one that went out on New Year’s Eve was written by Elizabeth O’Connor, one of the founding leaders of the Church.
I subscribe to this devotional and it gives me a great start to the day. I offer it to the readers of Toledo Faith & Values and encourage you to check out InwardOutward.org.
I wish you all a blessed and transformed world in the New Year!
From the Daily Devotional Website: InwardOutward.org
By Elizabeth O'Connor, The Church of the Saviour, Washington, D.C.
Use New Year's Eve or New Year's Day as a time of reflection on the year gone and the year to come:
What took place in your home relations? Your work relations? Your church relations? What events in the larger community of city, country and world most captured your attention?
Who were the significant people in your life? What books and art instructed your mind and heart?
Did you create anything this year? Did you make any new discoveries about yourself? How were you gift last year to a person, a community or an institution?
What was your greatest joy in this year gone? What was your greatest sorrow? What caused you the most disappointment? What caused you the most sadness?
In what areas of your life did you grow? Were these areas related to your joy or your pain?
What are your regrets? How would you do things differently, if you could live the year again? What did you learn? (continued at InwardOutward.org Dec. 31, 2012 entry)
Source: Letters to Scattered Pilgrims