Meet Rev. Ian Lynch

 Rev Lynch

My sense of being called by God and the church to authorized ministry...

The ministry of presence has been a hallmark of my calling since my early days ministering among homeless people. I didn't need to preach for them to know they were being sheltered in a church. They needed my ears more than my mouth. When I was asked to baptize an infant in intensive care I knew that my presence and later my tears at the funeral spoke more loudly than any words. When a tornado ripped through our small town, as the church opened its doors to become the town's relief center, I was on my bike, to remind people that God was most surely already there. I now understand that I am to preach at all times, using words when necessary. I also embrace that "to be" means "to be with." When Jesus prayed that we may all be one, I don't believe he meant just church members or even just Christians. The Church is not a building or an institution, it is beyond walls, both physical and virtual. My call is an unfolding response to serving not just a congregation but an ever-expanding community, whether connected by physical gathering or social networks.

 

Passions...

Every day brings the possibility of discovery. At the same time, things that are sought sometimes elude. I choose to receive the unexpected as gift and use the disappointment of misses as motivation to continue the chase. The wild goose is a Celtic metaphor for the untamed Spirit of God. I love the idea of chasing an unpredictable God into those places I wouldn't find otherwise. As a merry fool for God, I believe that God can use even me to change the world. I love discovering the presence of Christ in the world today, typically among those who are least, last or lost. I am passionate about experience over possession. I am passionate about journey over destination.

 

Additional Thoughts...

Where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet, it is said that there is a third, mythic river called the Saraswati. The Hindu principle of Sangama asserts that where the two flow together a third is present. Today, many previously opposed groups are finding not so much common ground as common direction. The virulent political entrenchment fueled by the media seems to deny that, but where people have tired of being oppositional, there is an exciting convergence. At virtual places like Darkwood Brew (live, interactive worship at www.darkwoodbrew.org) and physical places like the Wild Goose Festival, post-Evangelicals and post-Liberals are sharing gifts from their traditions instead of casting the stones of tribal bickering. My personal journey has taken me through those different lands. For a long time after leaving Evangelical theology, I defined myself by what I no longer believed. That made it difficult to accept those with whom I disagreed. As I've learned to hold doctrine more lightly, I've not only let go of dogma, but also been able to appreciate again the reasons I once believed as I did. During my ministry among homeless people in Salem, MA, not only did I receive gifts from the wisdom among those I served, I also learned from the diversity of those who came to help. I've found that focusing on the right practice of faith transcends the

sort of difference that divides.

 

Education/Seminary...

Grove City College – B.A. Philosophy & Religion

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Andover Newton Theological School – M.Div.

 

A Meaningful Experience I Have Had in Ministry...

The experience that best typifies the significance of my ministry happened on the Sunday after an F3 tornado hit Brimfield. Years of encouraging a parish to get beyond its doors came to fruition; the church walked the talk. A young man in our congregation had chosen not to receive Communion until Confirmation. This Sunday would have been his first...had he not been helping to clear debris at the home of one of our parishioners! To find joy in the Eucharist that day I had to walk through the devastation to him, where he was showing what it meant to be church. I was simultaneously proud and humbled as I broke bread with him in that sacred moment.

 

Additional thoughts...

I'm an avid technophile though not formally trained in technology and certainly not an expert. I'm adept and busy in social media (Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.)  I'm also an early adopter, I was part of the pastoral staff of Koinonia Congregational Church in Second Life and have been viewing Darkwood Brew since the earliest broadcasts. For the past year I have volunteered as a blogger and chat administrator for Darkwood Brew. After experiencing the weekly Worship Team during a visit while on sabbatical, I decided that I could utilize this planning in my local church worship. I now attend the meeting each week via Skype.

 

Pastor Ian, his wife Gina and their daughter Angel


Lynch Family

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