Monday, March 26, 2018
Thursday, August 10, 2017
The church I serve is a little island of open-minded, progressive, extravagant welcome in a rather large pond of more conservative, less accepting, no-go all congregations in our area. In fact, you would likely have to travel 30 miles or more to reach the next community of faith that shares many of our perspectives. Which makes collegial pastoral relations interesting.
I was invited to a pastor's prayer and conversation meeting soon after I arrived over 2 years ago, I've never been invited back. For about 2 years now I've been trying to attend a weekly coffee conversation with several other ministers, but I've had to curtail that in recent months. I was becoming the token Democrat, the token progressive, and far too many times the butt of jokes. I was leaving those gatherings more upset and tired, than fed and renewed.
I love my congregation, I love the people I am blessed and honored to serve, but there are many days when I am lonely. Days when I wish there were other church leaders in the area who shared some of my “liberal” perspectives and beliefs. Life is hard enough as a progressive in a conservative area, without adding being a pastor.
Please don't hear this as whining or complaining (even though it is), this is more about trying to raise awareness of the need for collegial relations between ministers that carefully avoid descend into theological critiques, us/them conversations, discussions about the latest “soul-saving” action by the local mega-church wannabe. Is it not possible to simply gather together, to support one another in our ministry, to see our differences but not allow them to be issues of division? Is that too much to ask?
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Monday, May 23, 2016
and does not understanding
raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
at the entrance of the portals
she cries out:
"To you, O people, I call,
and my cry is to all that live.
beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up, at the first,
before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths
I was brought forth,
when there were no springs
abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth—
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world's first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race."
Sunday, April 3, 2016
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.