“The Second Mountain”

I have been reading a just released book, “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life.” The author is New York Times columnist and regular on the PBS NewsHour and Meet the Press, David Brooks. Brooks is a very thoughtful and sane voice amidst the craziness going on around us these days. In the Introduction, Brooks writes:
I now think the rampant individualism of our current culture is a catastrophe. The emphasis on self — individual success, self-fulfillment, individual freedom, self-actualization — is a catastrophe. I now think that living a good life requires a much vaster transformation. It’s not enough to work on your own weakness. The whole cultural paradigm has to shift from the mindset of hyper-individualism to the relational mindset of the second mountain. 
The challenges in this book are very important for the Church to be grappling with, as well as people of faith. I am only a few chapters into this book and I can already say that this is one of the most important books about our current times to come out. 
I am wondering if any of you would like to be in a book group that would get together a few times to discuss it. If so, please let me know. 

A Good and Faithful Servant

On Sunday evening we lost one of our dear servants, Jim Swenson. Maybe “lost” is the wrong word to use. For Jim is certainly not lost to God or to us. Jim has entered into the Divine Mystery of God. Well done good and faithful servant. And Jim was a good and faithful servant, whether giving leadership to our endowment funds, serving on the Leadership Council, making weekly runs to the Food Bank for the Neighborhood Services Center, or serving in the Kairos prison ministry. This is just the last few years. His whole life was defined by service. 
  Jim died peacefully after a yearlong struggle with cancer. We will gather on Saturday, April 20, at 3:00 PM to celebrate a life well lived. Let’s give Ann our love and support and prayers. If you would like to honor Jim, memorial gifts can be given to any of these favorites of Jim — The First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, The First United Methodist Church — Neighborhood Services Center (NSC) or Kairos Prison Ministry. 
  In life, in death, in life beyond death, we are not alone, God is with us. Thanks be to God!  

Pastor Steve Lundin