Dear Friends,

I hope that you are engaging in the discipline of Lent this season. Part of Lent involves examining what we need to let go and what we need to do more of. Last weekend, I offered several questions that stemmed from Jesus’ admonition to Peter to keep his mind on divine things, not human things. For several of you, these questions stirred you and you asked to see the list. (The list was adapted from Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yacanelli.) So, here is a portion of my sermon:


Let’s consider our church life, are we formed by culture or Gospel? I’m going to ask a series of questions, and I invite you to try to listen for one that hits you in the gut:


  • What motivates us, our church – fear and worry or love?
  • Is our faith about having fun, a good time, or is it about relationship?
  • Is the rector a program director or a spiritual director who points to the presence of God?
  • Do we teach civic values or the way of Jesus?
  • Do we come here as consumers and for entertainment? Or are we rooted in prayer?
  • Are we seeking to develop a different way of life? Or are we just hoping that you can fit into our scheme for volunteers?
  • Are we seeking control? Or are we seeking how we can be present to others and to God?
  • Are we seeking the professionals to do the work of the church for us, or are we seeking the processes, trying to see what we can do to uncover Jesus’ way of life in ours?
  • Do we want a product on Sunday morning, or do we seek the presence of God in the Word and sacraments?
  • Do we look for charismatic leaders or someone who can guide us?
  • Do we feel good about results, numbers, metrics? Or do we feel good about relationships?
  • Do we want members to conform, or do we want them to be creative?
  • Do we want a swarm of activity, or a spiritual awareness of our needs and the needs of the community?
  • Do we seek the right answers or the right questions?

I hope one of these questions invites you to deeper thinking, deeper imagination.


For each of these questions, the movement toward being formed by the Gospel and not by culture answer will come this way: by praying, loving, and giving.


Again, I would love to hear what these questions stir in you – your thoughts and reflections.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your spiritual development.


Peace and grace,

Fr. Jonathan Evans