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Everyday God-talk reimagined

A Reformed theology focus on environmental justice and climate crisis is seen through the contemplation of God’s Creation

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Everyday God-talk returns for its first official season using the lens of Reformed theology to focus on environmental justice and climate crisis.

“We’re encouraging people to contemplate the everyday realities of God’s Creation,” said host So Jung Kim, “and then change their lifestyles to serve the gift of God’s oikos (household) of the created world.”

After hosting a pilot season of theological conversations during the pandemic, Kim, associate for Theology in the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship, spent time reimagining Everyday God-talk.

 

So Jung Kim is associate for Theology in the Office of Theology and Worship. (Contributed photo)

With this ministry, Kim wanted to honor the feminist and womanist theologians who have circulated the term “God-talk” to wider audiences by advocating for the voices of marginalized communities in various contexts.

Housed in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Kim wondered how she might maintain intersection between a womanist/feminist heritage and the Reformed tradition. Dr. Christopher Elwood, professor of Historical Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, gave her an insight.

In his “A Brief Introduction to John Calvin,” Elwood stated that for Calvin, theology had “to be hot.”

“Calvin wanted theology to engage the emotions of the heart and soul,” Kim said, “and to deal with vital questions that cut to the center of our existence.”

And so, as Kim was putting together season one of Everyday God-talk, she began to gently tread on the journey of “hot theology,” of the heart and soul of both Reformed Calvinists and “God-talkers” on the margins.

Season one of Everyday God-talk focuses on God who creates, redeems, sustains, heals and cares. It’s based on the four major titles of John Calvin’s “The Institutes of the Christian Religion.”

Everyday God-talk’s first season will offer four different episodes encouraging those watching to contemplate the everyday realities of God’s Creation.  Each is based on the four major book titles of Calvin’s “The Institutes of the Christian Religion”:

  • God who creates
  • God who redeems
  • God who sustains and heals
  • God who cares.

“Each episode features three different rooms for God-talkers to begin to know the realities of God’s Creation at the center of our existence,” Kim said, “with a focus on our soul, our body and our heart.”

In the first episode of season one, which runs through July, Kim addresses theological matters pertaining to knowing God as Creator, in Our Soul of God who Creates (room one).

“Calvin addressed God’s Creation as ‘a theatre of God’s glory.’ He set this as the first theme in his ‘Institutes’ in 1559,” Kim said. “Our soul is made in the image of God and the knowing of God in that image.”

Valéry Nodem speaks as part of a panel during 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days. (Photo by Rich Copley)

After Kim discussed Calvin’s theology on God as Creator, she turned to three global partners in Our Body for God who Creates (room two) to talk about how this theological knowing of God impacts their ministries:

  • Valéry Nodem, Presbyterian Hunger Program, associate International Hunger Concerns
  • Fabienne Jean, coordinator, Hands Together Foundation of Haiti (FONDAMA)
  • Angelina Nyajima, executive director, Hope Restoration South Sudan.

“Nodem stresses the ‘power of the church’ to make changes in our actions to better serve or co-create God’s Creation,” Kim said, “while Jean and Nyajima address the situations of Haiti and South Sudan, communities dealing with issues of the climate crisis.”

New Worshiping Community leader Katy Steinberg takes Everyday God-talk viewers to the beach to witness a sunrise as a way of feeling God’s Creation. (Screenshot)

 

Then Kim moves God-talkers to Our Heart with God who Creates, (room three) where a new worshiping community leader, Katy Steinberg of Missing Peace in Ormond Beach, Florida, takes viewers to the beach to witness a sunrise.

“Here the focus is on our heart feeling God’s Creation,” Kim said, “seeing the mystery and gift of God in our everyday routines.”

 Watch the first episode of season one of Everyday God-talk, and then subscribe to receive notices for the remaining episodes of season one, which will come out monthly though October.

 In August, episode two of season one of EGT will reflect on God who redeems.


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