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Racism, the Rev. Dr. Mark Lomax told staff and guests at the Presbyterian Center on Wednesday, the actual birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a spirit fueled by hatred and fear, a spirit born of a lie “that you and I, fellow Christians, refuse to address. You and I live into the lie to this very day.”
Jane Kurtz, prolific author, artist, literacy advocate and a child of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission workers, has been named the recipient of the 2020 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award by the Presbyterian Writers Guild.
Visual Parables’ Top Ten Film list is usually different from most lists because ethical and spiritual values in the films carry more weight than aesthetics. That the latter is important, however, is shown each year by the fact that faith-based films seldom show up on the list, most of these being dramatized sermons rather than open-ended works of art.
By way of photo submission, Presbyterians are invited to tell the world the ways their church, mid council or organization is carrying out the Matthew 25 invitation and the Hands and Feet initiative.
Several months ago, I had the pleasure of purchasing a used copy of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. Bargain hunter that I am, I was thrilled, as it is it was only $3.50. It is my favorite of the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, and this particular version contains lovely color illustrations.
Years ago, I read a quote by the Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly that changed my ministry: “Yet ever within that Society, and ever within the Christian church, has existed the Holy Fellowship, the Blessed Community, an “ekklesiola” in “ekklesia,” a little church within the church.”
This inspiring passage was recently one of the lectionary readings in church — and remains a favorite for me. One word in particular caught my attention: redeemed. It is not a word most people use on a daily basis, and therefore, its meaning is a bit hazy to us. In his new book, Seventy Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know (Abingdon Press, 2018), Matthew Schlimm puts it this way:
“Outside of church, I don’t hear the words “redeem” and “redemption” very much. When I do, it’s usually to talk about coupons, gift certificates, or lottery tickets. When the Bible talks about God redeeming Israel, it’s obviously not suggesting that Israel is like a coupon that gives God a discount on something! … I fear that for many Christians, “redemption” is a positive word, but also an empty word whose basic meaning is filled willy-nilly with whatever comes to mind.”
I’ve been working with a pastor for a number of years, helping him invigorate a somewhat stagnant church. We’ve talked about a lot in the process, and the results of our conversations are showing signs of breathing new life into the congregation. But it’s still been a frustrating ministry for this pastor. He’s struggled because much of what he’s tried hasn’t worked.
A box to put memories in. That’s my current project in the wood shop.
I wish I was home for Christmas. Home means eating cinnamon rolls made by my mom, playing with my nieces and nephews, meeting up with friends we haven’t seen all year. Home means getting to have cheese fries at my favorite restaurant and hugging my partner’s 80-year- old grandmother who I love like my own.