By Jennifer Schroeder
My boys have recently acquired an Alexa Dot for their bedroom to listen to music and podcasts, and with this introduction of technology comes the really loud playing of music on repeat. Their most recent constant is “Whom Shall I Fear.” They turn the Alexa volume all the way up and sing at the top of their lungs. I will admit that there have been moments that a wave of sympathy for our neighbors washes over me because our house is reverberating with so much sound, but then I am reminded that this song comes from a place of confidence—from a psalm of confidence.
Psalm 27, on which this song is based, is a psalm of confidence shared even in the midst of trials. And it is comforting to me in this quasi-post-COVID world where some things feel very normal and others are far from it.
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
I know who goes before me.
I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.
As I think back to Summit this spring, one of the overwhelming reflections I heard from so many who were able to attend is how encouraging it was to spend time in community together and hear from each other. Doing so was a tremendous reminder of the presence of God despite what might be happening throughout each of our churches. I know who goes before me.
As our four ministry communities—general interest, preaching, small church, and worship—met and engaged in conversations about ministry and current challenges, not only were there moments of renewal and support, but equipping as well, and it was evident that God is working both in this world and through the lives of amazing congregational leaders. In spite of the trials of the past couple of years, so many people spoke of the divine presence and protection of a God who remains ever-constant. I know who stands behind.
Another reassuring moment of Summit was the Thursday evening Anchor Point dinner where all of the ministry communities were able to come together. We were blessed to hear noted ACU professor and writer Richard Beck remind us that, despite this skeptical age where cultivating faith may feel seemingly difficult, we have the capacity to experience the living God in every aspect of our lives—from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The God of angel armies is always by my side.
In reflecting on all the good things that happened at the Summit gathering this Spring, I am hope-filled by the kingdom-impacting work that is so evidently present within our churches, and I am excited for Summit this fall.
I am excited to once again experience a deep level of connection with different ministry communities such as children’s ministry, Hispanic ministry, recovery ministry, and youth ministry, to name only a few.
I am excited to hear the textual depth that will come from Dr. Jeff Childers and Dr. David Kneip as they study 1 Peter in the general interest community.
And I am excited to engage with ministry leaders from near and far and to learn from them.
But I am most excited about confidently—and constantly—seeing the presence of God at work in so many different ways.
As my boys like to sing, “Whom shall I fear?” In the answer of Psalm 27, “No one. God’s got it all taken care of.”
If you haven’t made plans to join us at Summit this Fall (October 13-14 coinciding with Homecoming), I hope you will strongly consider it! You can find out more at this link – ACU Summit!