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Articles tagged with: Pastoral Reflections

Preaching and Teaching the Reformation in 2017
June 15, 2017 – 7:24 am | No Comment
Preaching and Teaching the Reformation in 2017

by Douglas S. Stivison

The Protestant Reformation not only changed forever the course of Christian belief and worship, it also elevated respect for individual conscience and honest inquiry. To preach faithfully in a contemporary Protestant pulpit demands that we help our parishioners appreciate the priceless and revolutionary concept that is the foundation of Reformed worship – freedom of conscience.

Comparative Books Review and Movie Review
June 15, 2017 – 7:22 am | No Comment
Comparative Books Review and Movie Review

by Neal D. Presa

The subversive beauty that lurks in the human story, which gives witness to the power of the hidden Christ, who is real in our speaking and in our living can be seen in comparing the works of Shūsaku Endō, Makoto Fujimura, and Martin Scorsese.

Lasting Shalom: A Word from Isaiah and Jeremiah
March 1, 2017 – 9:28 pm | No Comment
Lasting <em>Shalom</em>: A Word from Isaiah and Jeremiah

by John W. Herbst

We live in an age of distrust, far from Isaiah’s ideal. Individually and collectively, people seek security. The church needs to promote Isaiah’s solutions to local and global disharmony: concentration on God’s ways and values, and the promotion of justice for all people, everywhere. It is only in knowledge and justice that our society will experience true shalom.

Elusive Peace? — A Glimmer of Hope from a Medieval Perspective with an Emphasis on Saint Francis of Assisi and Christine de Pizan
March 1, 2017 – 9:26 pm | No Comment
Elusive Peace? — A Glimmer of Hope from a Medieval Perspective with an Emphasis on Saint Francis of Assisi and Christine de Pizan

by Albrecht Classen

Both Christine and St. Francis are deeply insightful, timeless, spiritual, and illuminating philosophers on peace and its universal meaning. We need only little translation to make both their teachings relevant today. The goals and ideas have not changed, but only the material and political framework.

“Do Not Be Terrified”: Remembering the Great War
March 1, 2017 – 9:25 pm | No Comment
“Do Not Be Terrified”: Remembering the Great War

by Jonathan A. Seitz

This personal theological essay reflects on the centennial of World War 1, asking how we make sense of a century that was horrifically violent even as the world is perhaps becoming less violent. It uses Luke 21 (which is sometimes used by missionaries) to gain perspective on the terror and promise of our times.

Peaceful Epiphany
March 1, 2017 – 9:24 pm | No Comment
Peaceful Epiphany

by Amy K Bell Finiki

To create a peaceable kingdom in 2017, we need to hold one another accountable. We need to ask the hard questions and we need to keep being persistent. The only way to live peaceably is to begin to understand our discomforts, especially those with other people. We can heal one another through our stories and eventually, no one will think twice when a group of young people of all colors come together to learn from one another.

Living in the “Now”; ESL Ministry in the Korean Community in Northern New Jersey
March 1, 2017 – 9:23 pm | No Comment
Living in the “Now”; ESL Ministry in the Korean Community in Northern New Jersey

by Janet E. Blair

The foundation of the ESL ministry of the Morning Star Fellowship in the Korean immigrant community in northern New Jersey is not English language teaching with a lopsided power differential, but mutual teaching and learning, sharing of Biblical insights and cultural experience, and brotherly and sisterly love. This new faith community is living out the peaceable kingdom as the body of Christ now rather than passively awaiting the not yet.

The Peaceable Kingdom Within
March 1, 2017 – 9:22 pm | No Comment
The Peaceable Kingdom Within

by Jerry Reisig

As we are daily inundated with images of war, we begin to wonder what an image of peace would look like. George Fox, an early Friend (Quaker), spoke of the need to become “patterns and examples” which reflect the God within. Friends have long looked to the Epistle of James for guidance in becoming perfect in their walks, warning of false images and the desires. Friends are called to become images of peace from God within, so that others might come to see the God within themselves.

Take A Moment, Breathe
December 1, 2016 – 12:11 am | Comments Off on Take A Moment, Breathe
Take A Moment, Breathe

by Nancy Fields

For a while, I struggled to find grace in the words, “They will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother.” However, as I listen to the politics of the day, I am convinced of the wisdom of those words. My challenge has been to put the words of rhetoric, debate, and argument in their rightful places!

Panting and Thirsting: Longing for God in the Bible
December 1, 2016 – 12:10 am | Comments Off on Panting and Thirsting: Longing for God in the Bible
Panting and Thirsting: Longing for God in the Bible

by Peter Lau

As we read the psalms, we find the motif of panting or thirsting, which is part of a larger theme of longing for God. This article will first explore the motif of panting and thirsting in five psalms, and then trace the theme of longing through to the New Testament.

Rethinking Breathing
December 1, 2016 – 12:09 am | Comments Off on Rethinking Breathing
Rethinking Breathing

by Rebeca Radillo

The theme of this article is “Breathing.” Its purpose is to expand our thinking to allow us to better understand the complexity of the human life by seeking in the biopsychosocial/spiritual/religious model new perspectives related to the intricacy of human life. Its goal is to expand our vision to the point that we realize that nothing in our daily life, even when it is as simplistic and routine as “breathing,” can be taken for granted.

I Can’t Breathe!
December 1, 2016 – 12:07 am | Comments Off on I Can’t Breathe!
I Can’t Breathe!

by Harold Dean Trulear

In a real sense, if we answer the question “How do we preach to them,” we run the risk of developing a formulaic response itself devoid of the Divine Breath. The answer lies not in a formula, but in an encounter with that Breath itself. Our encounter with that Breath as preachers gives freer passageway for the Breath to enter the places in congregants’ souls deprived of spiritual oxygen.