Our family tradition includes a devotional gathering before the Thanksgiving Feast. This year that gathering will happen via Zoom. One blessing of this digital connection is that the oldest grandchild, Kasey, will be able to join us—wherever she happens to be. Kasey is a mental health officer in the US Army. She is on assignment with her unit, somewhere, assisting local medical resources overwhelmed by the current health crisis.
Friends, I will be attending a multi-part on-line seminar sponsored by Spiritual Directors International, that begins this week on Wednesday. The theme is, Knowing how important it is that we grow our spiritual and emotional resilience, I invite you to consider participating. Act now as the first class begins at noon ET, November 18. The rest of the classes on on Wednesdays in December. – KCW
Friends, I highly recommend this workshop to all pastors and anyone who participates in caring for others—oh yes, that is pretty much everyone. We are already seeing new depths of anxiety as we face the Covid 19 pandemic together. Other predicaments will come our way and our churches need to be ready to address a major and ongoing mental and spiritual health crisis. Be prepared, as they say, and do not be caught unawares.
BRIAN McLAREN is an author, speaker, activist and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” that is just, generous and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is the author of more than 20 books.
David P. Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He is Past-President of both the American Academy of Religion and Society of Christian Ethics. He is the author and/or editor of 24 books, including Changing Our Mind.
Jesus—”Be NOT prepared.” A deep spiritual insight is presented here; the only way to be prepared for the ventures of our lives is to be completely unprepared, totally dependent, walking by faith–with just a few instructions on how to handle the inhospitable people we meet on the way.
At this very moment, all I need to do to experience joy and sadness at the same time is to turn my attention towards an unfolding experience in the life of my extended family. There they are, waiting for me, smiles and tears, exuberance and grief, lots of pain and compathy, lots of gratitude and amazement; all swirling around and within me. Do you want to see what this looks like?
From the mid 70’s to the mid 90’s, my preaching ministry occasionally focused on the reading, thinking and experience that first convinced me that spirituality and science both contributed essential knowledge and wisdom to my search to understand reality–to know God and what God requires of us. Caring for the creation, protecting the future of our children and living justly and abundantly grow out of knowing the truth revealed by both disciplines. These sermons from up to four decades ago also illuminate the fact that for a long time humanity has known and ignored the truth that could have headed off many of the predicaments that are currently threatening the entire earth community.
The first two sermons in this series, preached in the mid 80’s, were written to discern and teach myself and my congregation in Littleton, Massachusetts the Biblically grounded and Christ-centered process by which difficult moral decisions are made. The rest of the sermons represent just a few of my many attempts, throughout 40 years of preaching nearly every Sunday, to grapple with the ethical issues confronting me personally, my people and our country. I want my readers to know that in every case my message was based on weeks and even months of study and prayer. Christians, to say nothing of citizens, need to do their homework, which is both intellectual, spiritual and experiential.
In my book, “God Is Just Love; Building Spiritual Resilience and Sustainable Communities for the Sake of Our Children and the Creation,” any and all moral conclusions you will find required even more homework. Those seeking to speak about the things of God are permitted mistakes but there is no excuse for carelessness.
God Is … LOVE!
An original poem by Traces of God Ministries.