Simple Living Works!

A Personal View of the Ascension

Posted on: May 19, 2014


Feast of the Ascension, May 29

When Jesus ascending into heaven, he was taking a risk leaving the disciples on their own. He was making room for new leadership, both human and the Holy Spirit.

Personal Example

Every organization of consequence I’ve led has failed.

I started an effective student recruitment program at Calif. Concordia College, Oakland. When I moved on, I recruited another leader, who ended up doing little. I offered to come back two years after leaving to keep it going. They declined my offer. A few years later the college closed permanently.

In 1995, I was called to lead Alternatives for Simple Living, a national non-profit, affiliated with numerous mainline denominations. When I retired 12+ years later at the end of 2007, my goal was to make the transition to new leadership as seamless as possible. I did promptly everything the new leaders asked of me. Unfortunately, they were not able to sustain it and it was dissolved in early 2011.

I was not willing to let the vital message and treasury of educational and inspirational resources of an almost 40-year-old organization disappear. So I revived it in a different form as Simple Living Works! through social media. And the ELCA is maintaining Alternatives’ archives.

After I retired I got active in the local Sioux City Peace Coalition. We had monthly meetings and demonstrations for a wide range of social justice issues. You can read about it here.

When we moved to California, I recruited a well-qualified leader, who ended up doing little. The organization was closed down. I diverted my energies to Lutheran Peace Fellowship (national) and People of Faith for Justice (local).

Since our move, some of the advances of the Green Team that I headed in my local congregation have reverted to pre-green status. I left my records with the new, young congregational leadership, so I have hope that they will take steps to use recycled paper, for example. And install solar panels!

I left each of my ministries to make room for other leadership. In some cases I came back in a different form. Each of us may need to do the same.

(No, I am not comparing myself to Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I do adhere to the ELCA motto: “God’s Work. Our Hands.”)

Related: My Blog on Motivation

Ascension ART from Worship Alternatives: 2468, 2469, 2470, 4047

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GRAPHIC – Worship Alternatives: ART #2470

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative Giving. Give away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2.

We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

10 Responses to "A Personal View of the Ascension"

[…] A Personal View of the Ascension […]

It’s one of the things we learn, isn’t it. That when it is time to let go we have to really let go – and let things fall as they may. I’ve sometimes found myself in the next position after yours, presiding over a decline. It’s important to remember that what is best for each of us (to leave or not to leave) is also best for the group – that’s how God’s economy works, and the outcome is not in our control. A fascinating idea to compare this social process to the ascension!

[…] A Personal View of the Ascension. Jesus was taking a risk leaving the disciples on their own. He was making room for new leadership, both human and the Holy Spirit. […]

[…] A Personal View of the Ascension. Jesus was taking a risk leaving the disciples on their own. He was making room for new leadership. […]

[…] A Personal View of the Ascension […]

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