Members of the community are invited to come to First Presbyterian Church Valparaiso this Sunday as a Valpo native returns to share his personal story of ministry and faith in action.
In a unique, multi-generational Faith Formation discussion, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Rodriguez-Schlorff will share his unique experiences in outreach and ministry. Aware of the congregation's commitment to be a Matthew 25 church, and will speak about his personal and professional experiences as a part of the church's ongoing commitment to the Matthew 25 initiative. Launched in April 2019, Matthew 25 is a bold vision and invitation within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and several other denominations to actively engage congregations in the world around them, based upon the message given in the Bible scripture with which it shares its name. These ideas include building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.
“We have been forced to go from an inward focus to an outward focus; we are not doing things the way we have always done them because we can’t,” said Kim Adams, senior pastor. “Now that we have the space to be creative, to dream, to look at the gospel, pray for the spirit to illuminate the gospel so we can hear new things — this real positive thing (of the initiative) came out of it.”
Dr. Schlorff, a 1998 graduate of Valparaiso High School, has lived in Connecticut for the past 11 years. Locally ordained in 2000, Daniel is ministerially affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the American Protestant Union. He is also the current Board President of the Society of Certified Spiritual Directors, a nonprofit organization committed to excellence of training and certification of spiritual directors. His ministry training and community outreach has taken special focus upon traumatized, LGBTQ+, and low-income seekers.
Schlorff is excited about the opportunity to speak.“I myself identify in many different ways, and feel it important that everyone finds a way to connect,” said Schlorff. “We are called to love all people. I call that the core of what guides me in my ministry.”
“There’s a phrase my generations says: 'haters gonna hate,'” said Schlorff. “and they will. The question is, are we going to be obedient to the good news of our faith, or will we be controlled by trying to please those who just don’t get it?”
“We were excited to extend an invitation to [Schlorff] to speak, as his personal experiences both here in Indiana and his professional experiences line up so well with what we home, as a congregation, to continue to do as a welcoming faith community,” said Sharon Kinsey, elder at First Presbyterian and the moderator of their Faith Formation team. “Being able to connect both to the local environment and the larger mission field is a unique and connective perspective we felt was important to share.”
Schlorff is set to speak at 9 AM at First Presbyterian Valparaiso, 3401 Valparaiso Street in Valparaiso, in the church's Friendship Room. Members of the community are invited to visit Schlorff's website at https://schlorff.com to learn more about him and his background.
For more information, visit www.fpcvalpo.org