Every morning as I get ready for the day, I ask God to help me to fulfill one of the promises made in the Advanced Course of Landmark Education that I took a few years back. I ask God to help me “make a difference at the different levels of world and self.” As I see it, making a difference is one way I can love my neighbor as I love myself. When I look back on 2012, I see three seasons of trying to make a difference in three distinct areas of my life. Perhaps you can judge whether I succeeded.
Huffington Post: For the first time since I was a teenager, I did not attend my own church for three Sundays in a row (for a reason other than sickness or travel). Over these last few weeks and months, I have been actively volunteering for the campaign to reelect President Obama here in Pennsylvania. As a Presbyterian minister, and someone who reads and reflects on the Bible daily, purposefully missing church like this was a big deal for me. And yet, what I found working in the "ground game" -- as the campaign folks call it -- surprised me. Continue Reading
What the church can learn from mothers has relevance to the themes of this blog, I would say. It takes immense courage to embark upon the responsibility of being a mother. And the unity of the mother and child is an image that has been used in Christian tradition to capture the connection between the faith community and believers.
I am excited to share another guest post with you. This one comes from a dear friend, Wayne Peck, who is pastor of Community House Church. In this post, Wayne talks about the ministry of Sasan Tavassoli, who he met while visiting Peachtree Church in Atlanta. As Wayne told me the story of Sasan’s ministry of reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in Iran, I was amazed.
I am blessed and thrilled to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Krehbiel, pastor at the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C., National Capital Presbytery, will stand with me as my candidate for Vice Moderator. Jeff inspires me by the way his ministry has the qualities of joy and transforming power that we all desire in the PCUSA.
I am so excited to share the guest post below with you. It comes from Rev. Jeff Eddings, a colleague in ministry who I deeply admire. Jeff is the pastor of Hot Metal Bridge, a faith community that is diverse in so many ways and is inspiring young people to join at rates far beyond what we are seeing across the PCUSA.
A few months ago, President Jimmy Carter took religion to task for contributing to discrimination against women around the world. From my perspective, President Carter’s comments definitely struck home. But it led me to also ask the question: What does religion, and specifically my faith, Christianity, really have to say about gender?
We all have passages in Scripture that rise to the top for us and become a personal sacred canon within the communal sacred canon of the Bible. Parts of 1 John 3—a chapter in the first of three letters ascribed to the evangelist, John, and directed to Christian communities steeped in the perspective of the Gospel of John—have been in my personal canon since I was a teenager.
I have never considered leaving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I know many have. I respect that choice though it makes me terribly sad. I understand the view that the unity Jesus is speaking of here is on a higher plane or in a spiritual dimension. I get that people can only stand so much.
To be the beacon of Christ’s love that we yearn to be in the PCUSA, we need all parts of the Body. We need all to be engaged on level ground. And we cannot say to each other, “I don’t need you!”