Archives For Baptism

Rituals Define Reality

Charles Kiser —  November 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

Baptism

[This is a guest post by Paul McMullen, a fellow leader in the Storyline Community.]

I was fortunate to take an intensive theology course this summer. The title was, Theology as a Way of Life, and it focused on the ways in which liturgical and ascetic theology spiritually form the community of God’s people. If that sounds a little heady, it was a bit beyond me, especially since it was taught out of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, which I’m unfamiliar with.

One of the big takeaways I did have is that God has gifted us with (at least) two rituals filled with power and mystery: baptism and communion. As followers of Jesus, these rituals form us. They define reality. Another way to say this is that, in a mysterious way, these rituals connect us to God’s story on the cosmic level.

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New Life

Charles Kiser —  February 24, 2009 — 17 Comments

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This week has been full of new life on a couple fronts.

Front #1: on Sunday afternoon, Storyline house churches gathered for the baptism ceremony of Lowell Rhodes. We met Lowell at our first neighbor’s lunch last fall and he has been part of Storyline ever since.

While we stood around the pool, Lowell shared with us that he had been baptized at a very early age but didn’t understand its significance. He wanted now to be baptized because Jesus was baptized — and Jesus is the one who he wants to follow in every way.

Lowell also brought an internationally recognized, one-volume encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals: the Merck Index.

He explained that he bought it many years ago because he wanted to learn how to make drugs that he could sell to other people at high prices and become rich. In fact, in his old life Lowell was a drug dealer for quite some time.

Lowell declared in a public way that he had left that life behind forever.

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After Lowell was baptized, he threw the Merck Index in the trash as a symbol of the old life he was leaving behind and the new life of which he was taking hold.

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Rejoice with us for Lowell’s act of faith!

Front #2: Last night, ten of us gathered at 1001 Ross in Downtown for the first meeting off the 1001 Ross House Church. More people participated in house church gatherings last weekend than any other weekend since Storyline started.

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God is sending us a new wave of growth that we are attempting to ride with faith and obedience. It’s an exciting, stretching time for us.

Please pray that God will continue to nurture the new life that is sprouting up in the Storyline Community.

Sergio’s Baptism Video

Charles Kiser —  December 22, 2008 — 2 Comments


Thanks to Patrick Cone, our resident filmmaker, for preserving this great memory in video form.

Worth the Risk

Charles Kiser —  December 15, 2008 — 11 Comments

Yesterday was a wonderful day in the life of the Storyline Community. Our first worship gathering went off without a snag.

Worship Gathering

No explosions. No violence. No earthquakes. No fainting. It was great.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us in prayer as we prepared. I’m so proud of my team. All of us worked together with God to do something greater than ourselves.

We talked yesterday about the story of Zechariah and Mary (Luke 1:5-56). One doubted God’s promises; the other trusted. One decided it wasn’t worth the risk; the other decided it was.

Contemplative Stations

Contemplative Stations

For all the challenge of planting a church, I’m sitting here this afternoon thinking: It’s worth the risk. God is worth the risk.

And of all the amazing ways to bring our gathering to conclusion – one of our Storyline people decided that yesterday was the day for him to declare that God is worth the risk of faith.

Sergio Sanchez doesn’t have much in terms of a spiritual/religious background. He grew up in Spain where most of the people he knew were atheists or agnostic. One of his parents is nominally Catholic; the other non-religious.

Sergio Sanchez

Sergio Sanchez

He’s always sensed that God was there. Sergio came to the US this past summer to teach Spanish in the Dallas Independent School District. We connected to him through a mutual friend and he began to explore the story of God more deeply.

Yesterday, Sergio made God’s story his own story and was baptized into Christ.

Sergio wore and old shirt that he used to wear for good luck and then threw it in the trash after he was baptized as a way of symbolizing that the new creation is here: the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

What’s great is that Sergio’s parents were visiting from Spain and were able to see it. The don’t speak a lick of English, so our first baptism ceremony was bilingual. Sergio’s girlfriend, Kara, translated for us and did a marvelous job.

The Water Was Cold

The Water Was Cold

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Rejoice with us for the ways God is alive in the Storyline Community!