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Articles tagged with: Pastoral Reflections

God’s Heart: A Dwelling Place for Strangers
August 2, 2016 – 12:10 pm | No Comment
God’s Heart: A Dwelling Place for Strangers

by Reginald Brantley

If we believe that God’s heart is a dwelling place for justice and grace big enough for us who were once estranged from God, then surely we know our expression of God must include making our hearts dwelling places of justice and grace for those whom we would call strangers.

A Dwelling Place for Social Justice
August 2, 2016 – 12:08 pm | No Comment
A Dwelling Place for Social Justice

by Mark C. Johnson

The notion of sacred places generally makes for good religion but poor theology. Great stories such as the one of the burning bush, Peniel, and the Mount of Olives, offer wonderful and metaphors, but what do they draw us toward? What makes a conference center hosted library for example, or a sanctuary, a dwelling place, sacred spaces?

Redefining Christian Identity in a Pluralistic Context
August 2, 2016 – 12:05 pm | No Comment
Redefining Christian Identity in a Pluralistic Context

by Rick Ufford-Chase

A proposed resolve to commit to actively learning and embracing one another’s rhythms and practices, both religious and traditional, appreciating one another’s core motivations and convictions, with the understanding that all are cherished and sustained by God.

Viewing Care for Creation Through the Black Lives Matter Movement
March 9, 2016 – 10:49 pm | No Comment
Viewing Care for Creation Through the Black Lives Matter Movement

by Tamara Henry

While churches have often focused on engaging in care for creation by directing attention to issues of environmental justice (i.e. stewardship of the earth’s natural environment) an equally important aspect of affirming the sacredness of creation today must also include emphasis and regard for the dignity of lives of vulnerable human populations, including young persons of color in the United States who have increasingly become victims of socio-historic modes of racism.

The Whole Universe Lives Within the Word of God
March 9, 2016 – 10:48 pm | 3 Comments
The Whole Universe Lives Within the Word of God

by Jill Schaeffer

A city is the whole shebang living within the Word of God. Preaching to and out of an urban scene locates the lives and stories generated in that scenario dwelling within the Word. There is nothing that cannot be said or proclaimed that lies outside that Word. And nothing foretold that has not been anticipated through that Word.

God Gave Women Authority, Too
March 9, 2016 – 10:43 pm | No Comment
God Gave Women Authority, Too

by Peggy Adrien

The Book of Genesis describes a beautiful story about the beginning of life on earth. However, it is also a story anchored in debate, fueling conversation known as “the battle of the sexes” and addresses the ongoing issue of female leadership. Should women hold positions of authority in the church?

Eleanor Speaks Out!
November 19, 2015 – 11:41 pm | Comments Off on Eleanor Speaks Out!
Eleanor Speaks Out!

by Lura Pierce

I like to say that Eleanor Roosevelt chose me. I certainly didn’t know that studying the woman I had disliked as an adolescent would renew my faith and spur me to action. I didn’t know she would become my mentor across time and help me to answer, “Who am I now?”

Mission Connectivity: A Tale of Two Cities
November 19, 2015 – 11:40 pm | Comments Off on Mission Connectivity: A Tale of Two Cities
Mission Connectivity: A Tale of Two Cities

by Kevin Yoho

Do you believe that anything is possible? Pastors and church leaders in very diverse ministries consistently tell me they want to make a difference in their community. Many do, but others retreat into their sanctuaries when unexpected obstacles and challenges arise.

A Longing for Connectivity
November 19, 2015 – 11:38 pm | Comments Off on A Longing for Connectivity
A Longing for Connectivity

by Insook Lee

We have shifted from the industrial age to the digital age of connectivity. Some people welcome the sense of connection beyond time and space while others are ambivalent and fearful of “techno-colonialism” and a “global cyberimperialism.” Whatever the consequences of digital connectivity are, “internet access springs from a powerful longing for community—the very same force that drives church congregations.”

Preaching That Shapes The Body of Christ
November 19, 2015 – 11:37 pm | Comments Off on Preaching That Shapes The Body of Christ
Preaching That Shapes The Body of Christ

by David A. Davis

Many preachers have experienced that moment of paralysis when they stand before a congregation yearning to hear Biblical truth just before the sermon. For many pastors that view of the congregation comes with the knowledge of the overwhelming, collective pastoral need. But by God’s grace and in the mystery of the Holy Spirit, we believe the Gospel strikes to the heart of the people of God.

“Heavenly Citizenship” at Philipi and the “Four Towns” of Senegal West Africa
August 17, 2015 – 2:08 pm | Comments Off on “Heavenly Citizenship” at Philipi and the “Four Towns” of Senegal West Africa
“Heavenly Citizenship” at Philipi and the “Four Towns” of Senegal West Africa

by Aiou C. Niang

Starting about 1649, French colonialists in Africa attempted to infuse French culture to the native inhabitants of Dakar, Goree, Rufisque, and Saint Louis in order to assimilate French language and culture—to “Frenchify” them. This notion was meant to imitate the experiences of ancient Greece where citizenship was conferred on those born in Greece and therefore superior to non-citizens in recognition and rights. France’s goal was to spread its culture and Christianity, much as St Paul had done with the building of Christian churches and communities.

The Mighty City and the Holy City: John’s Apocalypse at the Intersections of Power and Praise
August 17, 2015 – 2:07 pm | One Comment
The Mighty City and the Holy City: John’s Apocalypse at the Intersections of Power and Praise

by Jean-Pierre Ruiz

The author presents the point that John sets before his audience visions of two imagined cities, one the mighty city that was a distant presence looming large through its local surrogates in Asia, the other a holy city descended from above. He urges them to choose between them, to decide their allegiance. This decision is a matter of who is the proper object of worship: the emperor or the Christ. John positions his readers at the intersection of power and praise.