July 2006

Worship is about individuals experiencing God while gathered as a group. Most people have been trained and conditioned to experience God through a group of sacred rituals that have become community traditions that are directly related to their culture. When rituals, culture, and traditions become more important to the community rather than experiencing the presence, power and protection of the Lord we find churches that are unresponsive to the ever changing needs of the community around them.

Corporate worship has four basic elements.  Prayer, group singing, scripture reading and the sermon are the essentials of worship.  I believe every sermon demands a response but other than it does not matter where the flowers are placed, the style of music, whether the pastor has on a robe or not or if the worship leaders do everything just right.

God is looking for true worshippers not true traditionalist.

Advocate for True Worship (ATW)

Rev William T Chaney Jr
Senior Servant Leader
West Baltimore UMC

It is About Time!

Today the Marriott International Inc. announced the nations largest hotel chain announced that they will ban smoking in all of its 400,000 rooms in the USA and Canada. My question is what took them so long.  It is no secret that second hand smoke is just as harmful as lighting up.  

Watson, Kristen – Prevention; Jun2006, Vol. 58 Issue 6, p40-40, 1/4p

The article reports that exposure to secondhand smoke raises the risk of breast-cancer in premenopausal women by 70%. In confined spaces, smoke is concentrated, increasing toxins inhaled by 10 times. California has placed tobacco smoke on its list on environmental hazards with the same ranking as automobile and industrial pollution.

It amazes me that people have been so intoxicated with marketing rather than facts. The research is available and education is liberating. Smoking cessation classes are sponsored by most county health departments at a reasonable cost or free. I would like to appeal to people’s common sense; there are toxins in cigarettes that are used in rat poisoning.  So why are you still smoking?

If you do not value your own life value the lives of the people around you.

It is about time!

Reflecting on the Obvious

William T Chaney Jr

Is there Hope!

How is the church to be an oasis of hope in a world of such hopelessness? There is war in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Israel, Genocide in Rwanda, Dafar and in the Sudan. Worldwide hunger, poverty and HIV/Aids are rising rather than declining. The abuse of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and global warming seem to be overwhelming to the people who congregate weekly and believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior.

Churches seem to caught up in the latest worship and the hot new slogans but rarely in engaging the real world.  People all around us are trying to cope with the lack of adequate healthcare, rising old prices, violence in our streets and the church seems to be hiding their heads like turtles in their shell.  What can the church do to turn this travesty around?

Churches must begin to equip their people to live lives of significance.  When the people of the church begin to realize that they are important to the ecology of hope vs hopelessness then the balance will change.

sig·nif·i·cance  n. – The quality of being important  

If every church adopted on social issue to tackle that was important to their community most communities would improve the quality of life for their community with a mighty impact. Drug dealers would be scared out of business, domestic violence would cease, obesity would get a run for its money.  

As long as churches are content to worship and are not willing to engage the community we will continue to experience the decline in mainline churches and the pimping of men and women intoxicated with the prosperity gospel.

There is hope – Search for your personal significance.

Creating an Oasis of Hope

Pastor William T Chaney Jr
Making Disciples to Impact the World

Religion functions as the moral and ethical interpreter of community norms.  These norms are expressed as beliefs, values, rituals, sacraments and proverbs.  Each religion has a set of sacred texts that communicate the essential and critical thought constructs that shape and form the religion.

I am concerned that many of our churches do not communicate the religion I see Jesus teaching about or embracing.  There were two simple commands.  Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself.  The definition of neighbor most people have is “only people who look like me, act like me and think like me.”  Shouldn’t the definition be all of God’s children?

Have an awesome Day – WTC