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“Which commandment is the first of all?” 

Jesus answered, “The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.”                Mark 12:28b-31

I am a second year seminary student concerned about declining participation in mainstream denominational churches in the United States, and interested in understanding the attraction of independent worshipping communities. I wonder about the wariness of mainstreamers to embracing an active, dynamic Holy Spirit, just as I am apprehensive of those who profess their faith and obedience to Jesus, yet condemn others whose beliefs differ from their own.

While I do not suggest that I have all the answers, and some may even conclude that few answers will be found on these pages, I hope this becomes a venue for dialogue and faith sharing. As discovered, resources towards the formation of disciples of Christ Jesus – those inside and outside the church – will be posted. For we have no higher calling than to love God with all our strength.

Grace and Peace,

Alan Layman

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