Project Zion Podcast

Episode 235: A Prophetic People with President Scott Murphy

November 26, 2019
Project Zion Podcast
Episode 235: A Prophetic People with President Scott Murphy
Chapters
Project Zion Podcast
Episode 235: A Prophetic People with President Scott Murphy
Nov 26, 2019
Project Zion Podcast

On this episode of Project Zion, Carla continues to look at what it means to a prophetic people. This time she is joined by First Presidency member Scott Murphy. Listen in as President Murphy shares some personal stories of when he has experienced the church becoming prophetic. 

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Project Zion, Carla continues to look at what it means to a prophetic people. This time she is joined by First Presidency member Scott Murphy. Listen in as President Murphy shares some personal stories of when he has experienced the church becoming prophetic. 

Speaker 1:
0:18
Welcome to the Project Zion podcast. This podcast explores the unique spiritual and theological gifts Community of Christ offers for today's world.
Carla Long:
0:34
Hello and welcome to the Project Zion podcast. I'm your host Carla Long. And today we're talking about what it means to be a prophetic people. And I'm super excited about our guest today because he is a member of the First Presidency of Community of Christ. So he has perhaps a more intimate look of what it means to be prophetic. So Scott welcome. Hi. Thanks for being on the podcast.
Scott Murphy:
1:01
Hi Carla. It's great to be with you and the listeners today.
Carla Long:
1:04
Scott tell us about yourself.
Scott Murphy:
1:07
Well as you indicated I have the privilege of serving in the First Presidency and Community of Christ President Stephen Veasey and President Stassi Cramm. And so I have just been richly blessed to be able to serve in that experience with both of them. I currently live just outside of Independence Missouri and a small community called Green Valley. We moved out here with our our youngest son at the time when we moved here and wanted to have a little bit of land so I have the privilege of having some woodlands in the back of our of our property and so I love to sit out on our deck and enjoy just the nature. And now with the cool weather seeing that the colors change and and all the trees I am married I have a wonderful wife named Sandra. I have two boys Michael and Ryan.
Scott Murphy:
2:02
Our oldest Ryan lives up in Des Moines Iowa where I got served as Mission Center president for Lamoni Heartland Mission Center. Before coming to Independence and then our youngest son Michael lives out in Seattle Washington north of Seattle. We're so he kind of went back home from where we're from out in the Seattle Puget Sound area. So I up and those two boys they're both married and we Sandra and I have a eleven year old grandson named Braden and we now have a six month old granddaughter and her name is Linen. So we're we're really blessed to have that experience with our our boys and their families as the. It's been fun to watch them grow and mature and see the families and begin to take on those new experiences.
Carla Long:
2:56
Six months old! That's when they start to be a little bit more fun and not just like lying. Cool yeah.
Scott Murphy:
3:03
Sandra and I had a chance to go out and visit in July and you know Linen was just a couple months old and so there wasn't wasn't that real opportunity to bonds.
Scott Murphy:
3:14
She still really connected to mom but now that she's getting older we're we're looking forward to being able to get to know her a little bit more. So we're grateful for face time when Michael and the kids get on with us and we can we can see Linen but we're looking forward to getting back out there and being with them and get to know her a little more.
Carla Long:
3:35
Absolutely. Oh my gosh. I hear having grandkids is just the best thing in the whole wide world.
Scott Murphy:
3:40
You know it's. It is. You know I've always heard people talk about it and I can honestly say it is a wonderful blessing to have that kind of relationship with with your grandchildren.
Carla Long:
3:51
I love that for you Scott. That's really exciting. How cool. So Scott let's just jump in to the podcast about what it means to be prophetic people. But first I want to hear about what does the word prophetic mean to you and what is the understanding of prophetic in Community of Christ for you.
Scott Murphy:
4:24
You know if I had to define the word or describe the word prophetic I would probably put it in this way. It's about being awake and revealing the presence of God's call and movement in the midst of life I hear I actually find some really powerful connections that if if the listeners have been exposed to the mission prayer that's been in the life of the church now for the last several years and I encounter it being used frequently as I travel around the church there's something really in those first two sentences that remind us of this nature of prophetic and how we begin to understand it in Community of Christ.
Scott Murphy:
5:09
So when the prayer begins God Where will your spirit lead today. The first thing that he acknowledges is that God is in our midst. That God through the presence of the Holy Spirit is in our midst and that God is up to something but then the words helped me to be fully awake and ready to respond become that active participation or what Vilma Rush who writes about the prophetic calls co laborers with the Divine.
Scott Murphy:
5:46
It's that being prophetic is really about this awakening to God's movement and activity both in our life and in the life in the midst of human life. And then what is our response to that. I guess in many ways I've come to understand that the role of the prophetic is really is less about the words we say and more about the life we live.
Scott Murphy:
6:27
Yeah in when we live prophetically it is endeavoring to live the life modeled by Jesus and I you know I really like the words that Matt Frizzell and his his thoughts and reflections on this question you know reminds us that Jesus is that living expression of God revealed in our midst.
Scott Murphy:
6:53
And so when when we're endeavoring to live more than just the words we speak and that that life that we live begins to endeavour to model the life of Jesus then we are attempting to live and be that prophetic life in the midst of the. The voices of life that we find in the midst of culture I.
Carla Long:
7:32
love that. I especially love though the words I mean sometimes things sound a little too ethereal and I just don't totally get it. But but I can really get behind the term being awake.
Carla Long:
7:38
That's something that I think that I hope that everyone has experience. You know like that feeling of where you just understand things and and it and it feels good and it feels right. And you know you're an exact place where you should be. That being awake I can totally step behind that. And I talk to people out here in Utah every once in a while about how we are, We talk more about pre Easter Jesus than post Easter Jesus and they're like What do you mean by that. And it's exactly what you're talking about. We're trying to emulate what Jesus did right here. Bring in the marginalized people heal the sick comfort those who need it. That's exactly what we're called to do. Is that what you're talking about?
Scott Murphy:
8:19
Absolutely. And I think it in some ways you know if we acknowledge it in culture part of the problem that we experience is the conflict between what we say and how we live. I mean in many ways the the message of Jesus the message of of a Christian life has in some ways been hampered or even to some degree damaged because so many people see the words people speak but their lives don't necessarily model that. And so to be prophetic is really to endeavor to live in that space of distortion and to model the different ways that bring words and actions more together in our human nature because that for me when I reflect on the life of Jesus that was what Jesus was up to when he spent his time in the midst of humanity he kept calling and challenging the leaders that there was the Jewish laws but they certainly weren't upholding those in the way that they were intended to be. And I think that I loved the writings of Barbara Brown Taylor and she she talks about the pollution of words that we live in in our culture and that people have become deaf in one sense.
Scott Murphy:
9:52
And so this this aspect of being fully awake and ready to respond home invites us into that space of how do we live. How do we love the words that and the awareness that that is emerging for us that mimic relationship with with God. And how did you begin to live that in a way that people aren't deaf to the words but are awake to the actions.
Carla Long:
10:24
That just makes so much sense to me and the fact that you take kind of a a bit of a scary word prophetic and prophet something that seems really far removed from me in my life right now and put it in those terms meeting I guess that I might be a prophetic person if if that's what it takes to do it. So and I think you kind of already answered this but let's just focus in a little bit more. And so how has your understanding of prophetic people evolved over your lifetime and experience in this church.
Scott Murphy:
11:01
You know the first thing for me is is just acknowledging that humanity has always had an need for voices to help center, refocus, ground us, to call us back into being to point to where we are going in many ways. God has always worked through the infallible and imperfect aspect of human life and called some to be that voice or the redeemer of God's message to the people. That's what I love in in the stories of of the Old Testament and in the different individuals that we have identified as being prophetic.
Scott Murphy:
11:44
And these are these are just normal people who God is disrupted and said I need you to be a voice for me. And yet it's the powerful aspect is that God never functions and operates independently from God's involvement with human life. Again going back to what Velma Rusche defines as co labours with the divine. There's this powerful aspect of this being a prophetic people that God doesn't do this alone. God God always invites us into this this experience. And so when you know over time I have just I've emerged in my own understanding and part of that journey of recognizing this shared relationship of what it means because it's not about professing proclaiming what I want it's really about trying to be open to my sense of of God's presence and movement.
Scott Murphy:
12:53
And again that can be a fine line. And I liken it to you would understand this Carla from your your journey in seminary and hopefully some of the listeners will but in some ways I liken it to the aspect of biblical interpretation. So we talk about the role of exegesis which means drawing out of Scripture letting the scripture speak its message to us versus the eisegesis which is about putting our message into it. In some ways being a prophetic people faces that same challenge in art need to be careful about letting the prophetic message find its place in voice through us rather than us putting our voice in message into it one of the things I've been I've had the privilege to do. The presidency has been going through a process of reviewing the second volume of the Doctrine and Covenants commentary at and Dale Luffman has been been writing and what's been interesting. The second volume mail picks up with Joseph Smith III and we'll go through.
Scott Murphy:
14:14
President Veasey and as I've been reading those sections now in this review process there's just been this powerful experience for me of experiencing the church through this prophetic role that we are blessed to have in the church and in recognizing this progressive development that has occurred so many times when we use the Doctrine and Covenants we we we do it through these kind of spot encounters where we will go to a section if we're where if we're preaching or something or or studying rarely do we we read through the Doctrine and Covenants in a progressive process. And there's just this powerful experience of the prophetic role working and moving in the life of the church and calling the church forward at times in very disruptive ways but in ways that it's taken us deeper and so has is I think about my my ongoing and emerging understanding of being a prophetic people. There has been that progressive role so I can think back to my when I was younger and the role of the one being the prophet of the church. And then when a President McMurray in 1996 brought words of counsel to the church and disrupted us with the call to be a prophetic people wow what a what a powerful moment that was absolutely.
Carla Long:
16:05
Oh absolutely. So you kind of led into my next question actually. What are, can you like describe some prophetic moments in your life you know moments when you felt you were fully awake moments when you weren't doing Isiah Jesus versus Jesus moments when yeah you recognized perhaps maybe even later you recognized that it was a prophetic moment?
Scott Murphy:
16:35
Yeah you know I think it let me let me offer this this words as a precursor to sharing some some reflections on one experiences. But you know this aspect of being awake doesn't doesn't mean that you're going to be in a prophetic role 24/7. That the aspect of it in the discipline of a prayerfulness having been open in discerning means that you try to be mindful of when those disruptive moments occur that you you have an awareness that it may be something different than just your own human emotions. I think part of being this prophetic understanding the prophetic nature is also a process of each of us in our own spiritual journey trying to understand how it is that God speaks to us and that can be a lifelong journey in that way. But you know the prophetic encounters that we have can be I think you know, Ron Harmon we talked. He talked about that disruptive experience and that is true because they come at moments when we may be least expecting it. And yet at the same time when they do come that awareness through our own journey and discipline of beginning to recognize this is something different than I normally experience or these words that I'm beginning to encounter may be different than the way that I would express things so I had one of those experience probably let me name this one that was in 2012. I was it SPEC and it was on the it was on a Thursday so it was the final day of classes and at that SPEC in 2013 we had provided in the adventure classes for for the youth to be able to choose from a class that was that engaged in exploration about the question of same gender relationships.
Scott Murphy:
18:59
And this was provided as part of the discernment journey for the church in the US A. To help people in their preparation for the national conference that would occurred in that that April of 2013. And so a class had been created. And Larry McGuire and another facilitator were leading the class and so on that day I just wanted to see at the end of the experience how that how that went and so I just went in and I sat in the back of the room there and just listened and around the table there must've been 20 people in that session of the class.
Scott Murphy:
19:48
And it was you know it was youth and it was adults from some of the delegation staff that had come. It didn't take long to be able to listen in that it was not a group that all had the same perspective. There were differences of perspectives on either side of the question around same gender marriage and ordination that was being discussed but there was this powerful experience of people sharing together. And then at the very end as the facilitators were beginning to wrap up the class there was this one youth, this young woman who who spoke up and she she simply said as I don't want this experience to end.
Scott Murphy:
20:44
And talk about how much this experience had meant to her. That people who were adults and other youth who sat together and she could ask questions or share perspectives without feeling judged or being told as she had been told back in her congregation when she would ask questions trying to understand this issue and people would convulse would tell her in the church well when you're older you'll understand.
Scott Murphy:
21:19
And so there was just this dismissive experience that she encountered. And yet in this class in this space she encountered something so different that impacted her life. And she just verbalized it and said I don't want this to end. And Carla, the only way that I can explain it to you and the listeners is this As I sat there all I what I encountered was this this overwhelming flood of presence that rested on me and not in my words but in words that emerged in my own consciousness simply says what you are seeing is the church being experienced and made real and I sit there in all because in that moment I was awakened to what for me clearly was a defining divine experience that helped me to understand further the journey that we as Community of Christ are at the church at its heart and in its best way of being is about creating that space of sacred community where even in the diversity the unity in diversity and the principles that we talk about at the church is ultimately experienced and made real when we can be together in that sacred space of trust and love and respect and to be able to learn and grow from each other and that being the church has nothing to do about all of the schedules and details that we work out in and and just the worship experiences that we go through on Sunday morning.
Scott Murphy:
23:30
To truly be the church takes us so much deeper into each other's lives where we encounter the pursuit of peace the aspect of reconciliation and healing of the spirit that begins to bring wholeness of life a body mind and spirit for for every human life.
Scott Murphy:
23:53
That was a powerful disruptive moment for me and that became a prophetic awareness and has been a part of my work now in the presidency and in my role as director field ministries to help engage congregations and leaders and people out in congregations to talk about what does it really mean to beat the church and how do we how do we be open to other ways of experiencing worship and living and being the church that may look different than the standard forms of what church has been in the past but how do we create those experiences for new generations of people who are looking for places of belonging and so that was a powerful transformative disruptive moment for me that has been prophetic in how I live and how I lead and how I am now trying to help the church engage in those conversations.
Carla Long:
25:02
What what a good story. I'm I'm a little bit clumped right right now. I think that that young woman put words to how a lot of us feel a lot of the time. I think when that when those moments occur you don't want it to end and you're like I just I just want to feel this way over and over I feel connected and I feel like you understand me and I understand you and it is such a beautiful feeling so thank you for sharing that story. You're talking about you know what it needs to be the church and how it's more than just schedules and meetings and I'm going to ask you a question that actually your brother asked me to ask on this podcast not this one specifically for you. But yes he really like the prophetic people podcast me ask about the term prophetic courage and it seems like that's kind of where you're going. How do we develop this prophetic courage to become the church or to become the prophetic people? What does it take yeah?
Scott Murphy:
26:18
Well thanks Mark. I'll have to give him a call and talk to a more about that.
Carla Long:
26:27
If you could record that call we'd love to hear.
Scott Murphy:
26:29
Yeah, so let me let me see if I can describe it this way. Carla in and again. So this this is a question that's come into me cold. And so but it resonates because it's been a part of my journey and reflections here and lately so this aspect of being a prophetic people I I feel that this is so powerful about who Community of Christ is called to be in the midst of the world so there was something again when we go back into the doctrine covenants and in and allowed the the role of continuing revelation as an enduring principle within the life of the community inform us and for us in our development you know before President Grant McMurray shared the words in 1996 about this call to move from being just a people with a prophet to being a people a prophetic people in 1992 in Section 158 President Emeritus Wallace B Smith shared words with the church that I believe were the catalyst and the foundations for where we are today and in Section 158 verse 11 B. He said I am reflecting this period I am longing to pour out greater blessings than you have ever known. If you might people will open yourselves through preparation study and prayer.
Scott Murphy:
28:25
Those words at the heart of those words remind us that God is yearning to go deeper with us in and again Ron talked about that in his reflections that that God is yearning and longing to bless us in more profound and tense ways if we as a people will open ourself through preparation study and prayer. Those are the factors of discernment. The act of preparing the act of studying and allow us to be able to go deeper in this a blessing that God is Willing and desiring to pour out onto us. And so when President MacMurray says we need to become a prophetic people and then he is in Section 161 lift up your eyes and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which you were sent. I don't know for me when those words came I thought whoa how do you do that. How do you how do you look beyond the horizon in focus. But in those words is this profound call for how we open our self to the revealing nature of God in the mission of Christ that we're called to live out. And so this message is calling us to be able to go further and deeper prophetic courage is a willingness to live into that I have heard the criticisms and people feeling like there has been a loss in the church. There's been a spiritual loss in the church because we somehow rarely hear the words thus save the spirit but I I have a counter perspective on that that I don't feel like there's been a spiritual void occurring in the church I actually feel that there's a spiritual deepening that's occurring in the church that doesn't require us to have to see the sea of the Spirit in some ways. And I don't mean this to be disrespectful but as I have wrestled with this in my own reflections some times I have wondered if if we had become spiritually lazy and there was a need for people to say does say of the spirits because that was the that was the alarm. Notice that say OK. Wake up.
Scott Murphy:
31:30
Something important is going to be set here but when we think about these words that President Emeritus Smith shared with us about the longing to share greater blessings if we the people will open our self this call that President McMurray shared about lifting up our eyes and looking beyond the horizon to where we're sent to be a prophetic people to have prophetic courage means we are not excused from doing the hard work of responding and listening and going deeper in our own essence of that awareness of what God is up to and so for me what is happening in the church that if we want to go deeper then we need to be willing to roll up our sleeves and do the work and discipline of listening of seeing and living differently. For me this is what prophetic is about and this is why in the church you are hearing the president seeing church leaders talk more about the importance of spiritual formation in the life of the faith community if we cannot be formed spiritually if we cannot open ourselves through these spiritual practices and missionary practices then I don't know how we develop the courage to live as a prophetic people.
Scott Murphy:
33:10
And so for me to to have that kind of courage is an outgrowth of our willingness to do the work our willingness to be co laborers with the divine and to be awake and to be open. And if that's the case we don't need to necessarily hear the words of "thus sayeth the spirit" because we will be awake and aware of the words that occur when a young woman in a class says I don't want this to end.
Scott Murphy:
33:45
Or other experiences that occur in a world conference when people come together and are talking and they stand and say I came with a perspective. But being in this community I am now finding a different perspective. That kind of courage to be able to speak those kind of words is powerful. And just as spiritual filled as if they began those words with thus sayeth the Spirit. So that's my kind up off the cuff response to that to that question about prophetic courage and I apologize for rambling there. I hope there's something to hold on to or that the listeners can reflect on in the midst of all of that.
Carla Long:
34:38
Absolutely and I I'm sorry I threw it at you but here I I think that we can both say to Mark now told Jack he did it. I appreciate you. All right. I appreciate your answer very much. Thank you. Especially talking about spiritual practices. I think that that is I think that that is actually our gosh should I say this. I don't know. I'm just going to say it. I think it is the only way that we understand the heart and will of God and who God is calling us to. I probably shouldn't say that there's probably other ways, but,
Scott Murphy:
35:17
Well practices, being engaged in those practices come out of our our personal initiative to do that. And for me that's what's important that's kind of the first step. Spirituality isn't something that just happens. It's something that we have to work out in and engage in it in our life. And so I. Yeah I agree with you.
Scott Murphy:
35:42
Without the practices we just would just kind of go through the motions and it's not intentional.
Carla Long:
35:50
It's true. My life is completely different when I am engaged in spiritual practices and when I'm not. It is night and day different.
Scott Murphy:
35:58
I agree with you.
Carla Long:
36:00
So here's a question that I ask everyone on this podcast on the prophetic people podcast. Scott I was hoping that you would talk to me about we have a list of things that's the concept of Zion, ordination of women, lenses of discernment the LGBTQIA plus community, diversity and leadership attention to the poor international diversity non-violence process of common consent, signal community. So I had this huge list and I wondered if you might talk about what when you saw prophetic in one of one or two of those things you could choose one you could choose to but when. When was that a prophetic moment for you? And choose one and tell us what you're going to talk about.
Scott Murphy:
36:45
So let me let me respond to a couple of them here and I'll try to try to be brief in this time the the whole experience that the church has been going through since really the 80s and has been on a journey but that led us into to the national conference with the the LGBTQIA plus community you know if I'm to be honest here in this conversation it was a journey for me and it was not always something that just immediately wasn't an Aha. Yeah. It was it was a journey of trying to understand. Of trying to be aware because. I for me personally had had no understanding of what that felt like to be of someone attracted to the same sex or other feelings that emerge in this whole development and an understanding of human sexuality.
Scott Murphy:
38:08
And so as the church was going through this journey I was going through my own questions and trying to understand that probably the to define it in terms of a prophetic moment came for me when I was serving as a mission center president and I had a strong sense of call for a it was actually the son of one of the pastors in the congregation in the Mission Center. And since I I knew that a priesthood called could not come through the pastor I had taken it on myself to be really personal and intentional about this. This individual over a you know a period of time and the sense of call for this individual became so strong and powerful in my in my own journey and discernment that I did present the call in and met with the individual and he accepted that call. And I'm not I'm not exaggerating. Two months later I discovered that he was a gay man.
Scott Murphy:
39:30
And that just completely disrupted me. Because here I was in a position having the responsibilities of administratively upholding the the the policies of the church and yet at the same time I could not deny the experience that I had in terms of the priesthood call and is as powerful as any experience of calling for priesthood that I have ever had in my role as a pastor or Mission Center President and through my role in the presidency. That was a.. That was a prophetic moment for me of the movement of what was happening in the life of the Church of what what God was inviting the church into and struggle. And for me in my own personal discipleship the experience that invited me to go deeper and to understand this was not nearly a black and white issue that the church was dealing with. I was grateful for that and I am grateful for that experience which helped open me and those experience really opened me to other encounters with other people throughout the church. And then going through the National Conference even as difficult as that was in the life the church a truly prophetic experience that has stretched the church and stretching is not always easy.
Scott Murphy:
41:09
But it is what takes us deeper so that is one experience I think the other one real quick let me speak to the aspect of the prophetic movement that's occurred in the diversity of leadership in the church. I had the privilege in in December of 2016 to travel to the nation of Nigeria with apostle Bunda Chibwe and then a bishop Catharine Mambwe to take part in the 50 year anniversary of the Church in Nigeria and part of that experience is that people from all throughout the state an area of a Catacomb from where the church 50 years prior had been birthed out in the villages there in Nigeria people came and there were hundreds and hundreds of people gathered for that celebration. That morning a song, Who is the chief of the village and also the mission center president as he was doing the greetings and opening that that celebration 50 year anniversary celebration. He began to introduce us. Bunda myself and when he came to Catherine he introduced Catherine as the field Bishop of Africa and indicated that she was the first female African to be called and served as a bishop in the church in partnership with the apostle Bunda Chibwe. In that moment, in that announcement this amazing thing happened every female in that gathering stood in applause and their African cheers in celebration and I sat there in all as I watch this movement through this gathering of hundreds of women standing applauding and cheering.
Scott Murphy:
43:30
And in that moment I became aware that in Catherine's role of leadership and the diversity and the call of the first female African woman to serve in that role of a bishop this essence of justice came into the midst of that setting. And those women stood because in Catherine they found this expression of the justice in the worth of females in that culture to say that they belong and that there is a place and a role for them. I was just in all of that experience. And so when Catherine's called to be an apostle came and we shared in that experience at the World Conference in this at last April and in her ordination that occurred in the temple on Tuesday night of the conference there was this powerful expression but the joyful celebration of any of our listeners were there. And remember the real celebration occurred after the service it ended and they were all on the stage celebrating because of the significant message and role that in Catherine's call to be an apostle the justice of the worth of all and especially females in the culture becomes a prominent message of Community of Christ throughout the church in other nations.
Scott Murphy:
45:14
That is a powerful prophetic message that I experience in the life of the church and that I see happening as diversity of leadership begins to expand and grow throughout the church.
Carla Long:
45:29
Oh those are really good stories Scott. Oh and thank you for being vulnerable and sharing about those stories. You know I just can't tell you enough how important it is for I think members and friends of Community of Christ to hear people in leadership positions be vulnerable. I really appreciate that. So I actually have one more question for you and I haven't found a really good place to put it in. So I'm just gonna have to stick it in and I think I cannot miss this opportunity having you as a member of the First Presidency on this. Are you getting nervous?
Scott Murphy:
46:05
I'm being patient.
Carla Long:
46:07
So I mean when we talk about prophetic people and you know how important it is for each of us to take on that responsibility in some ways and to help the church become the church that God is calling us to. So for you what is the difference in the role of the Prophet and the role of the president. Is there a big difference is there a small difference what what is that difference for you?
Scott Murphy:
46:38
Yeah yeah that's really a good question, Carla. Let me see if I can put it this way the role the prophetic role or the role of the prophet is to be the division and declare for the church the one called in that prophetic function is always trying to remain open and in a spirit and condition of discernment to discover God's movement and work in the church and to help point the church just see what God is up to and in what the churches in where the church is called to go.
Scott Murphy:
47:24
So as I've had the privilege now of serving in the presidency with with President Veazey that is a role that he does not take lightly. It is a role that I I feel like I can say without putting him on the spot that he struggles deep in his soul regarding that to make sure that anything that he brings of inspired counsel to the church is not just something that's personally in him or just his personal emotions but his struggle to truly reflect in the best way he can and with the best words that are available within his cognitive capacity to help point to church to where God is calling us and so it that that role of profit is to be in that space in and condition to be open and searching and trying to discover in and and be aware of God's call into the life of the church so one of the things that Stassi and I do is the counselors and members of the presidency and as I indicated to you earlier in a conversation we really kind of function as the chief operating officers of the church. Stacy really oversees the whole operations of the headquarters and that and the bishopric. I function in the operation of of the field in the work of the church out into the field.
Scott Murphy:
49:08
We do that to truly as much as we can allow President Veasey to give the time and focus to think about the church the issues that the church is facing in the midst of culture and in how does he try to open himself to guidance of of the divine. To be able to listen and reflect on and help point the church in that way. The role of the president is the role of presiding, so the president of the church and the presidency presides over the church meaning that it cares for the function of the church in terms of its its operations and its well-being of the faith community. So the president and presidency give oversight to to the vision that's been cast from the prophetic side before the church but oversees the functions of the church priesthood the sacraments the governance of the body of the church as an organization.
Scott Murphy:
50:20
The policies that are needed to provide structure within the church that that allows that that structure an organization for the for the body to be able to function in a healthy way so there. The prophetic role is really about the visionary in pointing to where God is out in calling us. The president function is really about administrative in the presiding of over the church in its in its kind of organization institutional structure that is actually really really helpful to me.
Carla Long:
51:03
I mean I I knew a lot of what you said but I really appreciate. Kind of like the define the definition of those roles because you know we throw out the term president prophet prophet president and you don't think about too much about that. That's a that's a pretty serious role. There's a lot to it. So I appreciate that so much.
Scott Murphy:
51:28
Well Scott we're nearing the end of our podcast. Is there something that you wanted to say that I didn't ask or that I missed or anything like that?
Scott Murphy:
51:43
You know I think your your questions have been really helpful and. And again I you know I would just say to the listeners if if they haven't had a chance to take part in listen to apostle Ron Harmon and retired apostle Linda Booths and then the director of Human Resources Matt Frizzell their podcast on this prophetic role being a prophetic people I really encourage people to do that because they each of them just bring this kind of experience and putting them all together for me just I think will give me a fuller expression and encounter into what this prophetic role and in nature is. But I just would certainly want to leave people with the call and awareness that you know in how we live our life says so much and yes as Community of Christ in our mission initiatives are enduring principles if we truly can live those out in the midst of culture in a way that begins to speak and in in some ways may be disruptive I truly believe we have a chance to fulfill a necessary kind of prophetic role as a faith community to live in that countercultural experience and message that I believe people are yearning to encounter and find but if if it's just going to be through our words I'm concerned it will just not be heard to that level but if we can live that if we can begin to experience that in a more authentic and meaningful way in the context of being a faith community lived out in our congregations in what it means to be the church and I think that there are some powerful experiences and blessings that will come that that congregations and people will encounter as they as they are courageous enough and vulnerable enough to live in that way. And so I just hope as we all journey together that we will have that courage to do so.
Carla Long:
54:07
Thank you so much Scott for agreeing to be on this podcast I know you're a busy guy and I appreciate your words today. I appreciate your stories today. And I'm really excited for the listeners to hear this.
Scott Murphy:
54:17
Well thank you for the privilege to be with you and the listeners today to, Carla.
Josh :
54:29
Thanks for listening to Project Zion podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on helpful podcast Stitcher or whatever podcast streaming service you use. And while you're there give us a five star rating Project Zion podcast is sponsored by Latter-day Seeker Ministries of Community of Christ the views and opinions expressed in this episode are of those speaking and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Latter-day Seeker Ministries or Community of Christ. The music has been graciously provided by Dave Heinze.
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