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Yesterday in our worship at St. Philip, we received the gift of a luminous Ephiphany sermon from Jungian Analyst Judith Slimmon.
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When the “mä’-gos ” arrived in Jerusalem, they explained to King Herod that they were seeking “the child who has been born king of the Jews.”

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The “mä’-gos” who traveled to Bethlehem to kneel and pay homage to the baby Mary bore, and to offer “gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh”, point the way for those who seek skills of wisdom for the journey of life.

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Every year, for the past eighteen years, I have written a story to read to the children who attend the church where I serve on Christmas Day.

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We need a new model of what it means to be church. The traditional consumer and military models are old, tired, and no longer useful.

In the consumer model, church is a spiritual service organization. The church hires employees or recruits volunteers to provide services for religious consumers. The aim of the church is to produce the best possible products in the hopes of attracting the greatest number of spiritual consumers who will over time join the ranks of willing workers to offer more services to attract a greater number of consumers. Success is easily measurable by counting average Sunday attendance and examining the church budget.

Failure on the part of the service provider will result in decline in both attendance and income. If a church is experienced as unfriendly, the music stale, the preaching dull, or the children’s program inadequate, the consumer feels perfectly justified in leaving in search of a spiritual service provider that promises a better product.
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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

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