Rev. J. Loring Carpenter
Rumney Baptist Church welcomes Rev. J. Loring Carpenter as the interim/transitional pastor.
Rev. J. Loring Carpenter has served congregations and missions for over 45 years. God has led him to pastor many churches in transition, a camp and conference center, a Christian school, and maritime ministry locally, nationally, and internationally. He desires to serve where God leads to strengthen Kingdom ministry.
He lives in Mendon, MA with his wife MaryAnne. Together they are blessed with three grown children and seven grandchildren.
To read more articles from Pastor Carpenter's blog, please click on the link below.
by Rev. J. Loring Carpenter - October 14, 2018
“Acknowledging the truth to yourself and God is the first step in yielding your place of brokenness and helplessness and inviting him to fill you and fix your inadequacies. In our struggles with sanctification, we can’t tell God, “Thanks for saving me, God. I pretty much got it from here.” When we come to the end of what our natural self can do, the supernatural Holy Spirit begins to kick in. At that moment the Spirit fills that vacuum of inadequacy and supernaturally fills us with a love for people we’d naturally hate. I’ve stood weeping, overwhelmed with love for the people I shared the gospel with, aware that left to my own devices, I wouldn’t give a rip about them. Why am I telling you all of this? To reach the unreached at the ends of the earth, our Jerusalem changes only when we change first.”
These words from Peyton Jones are so fitting as we look ahead to the Solemn Assembly on Nov 11. The beginning of change is acknowledging the need for change. Though God could transform the world mightily, force each of us to be obedient, the essence of what He desired in creating us was a relationship. This meant loving us in a way we would want to obey, and at times allowing us to experience the folly of our desires.
It is easier to drift through life tolerating the unhealthy situations we have caused or allowed in our lives, putting up with unholy attitudes and hurts of others, and turning a blind eye to injustices around us or in our families (even our church families). Addressing ungodly things in our family or sharing a hurt honestly in love is much more difficult when we are unsure of the reaction we may receive. Yet God asks us to love one another, speak the truth in love, and together become His community of faith that mirrors His Lordship.
A Solemn Assembly provides a chance for us to see ourselves through God’s Word, seek His forgiveness and love in visible and faith-building ways, and choose to live as if we mean what we say in the Disciples Prayer: “Thy will be done.” A Solemn Assembly is acknowledging the individuals and corporate life or culture that is not consistent with God’s heart.
Early in the year RBC went through an assessment process after some difficult years. I sense that most knew things needed to change but were not clear or united about specifics, nor how to address the issues. I heard some were upset with the Assessment, thinking “How dare these outsiders say these things about my church. They don’t know us.” But those completing the assessment were only reflecting what they heard from those interviewed.
If RBC is to move forward, if God is to be allowed to transform us into the church reflecting Him, into the true Bride of Christ, we first need to seek God, as did Israel when life’s struggles seemed unwinnable. Seeking God also means addressing the factions, the “elephant in the room’ and those things that are preventing us from enjoying the life that comes from devotion to a loving Father seeking us to live by His way and not ours. A Solemn Assembly allows this log-jam of life to begin drifting away. This is a way God can remove the logs from our eyes (see Matt. 7:5) that we might see and hear His loving call and challenging words for our lives, individually and together.
Place Nov 11, 10:00 AM on your calendar now! It can be an experience of seeing God at work in amazing ways. Let’s come together and see what God can do in us.