Monday, December 19, 2011

Of Even Greater Joy

Dear sister and brother travelers and followers of the way;

With you I share the joy of anticipation of even greater joy:

It is the joy that comes in the assurance of God’s love for us and God’s eternal presence with us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Wait?

It's early Advent and thoughts of waiting, watching, anticipation, longing and preparation are very present with me. In the meantime, I'm here in Logan Airport, Boston, listening to strains of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" that waft through the air. Keeping in touch with the spiritual richness of this season can be challenging to say the least. However, there are these moments when the themes of Advent surface with real clarity.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Three in One

No, I'm not going to launch into a theological reflection on the Trinity. I'm sure that most who might tune into this blog are quite familiar with that kind of thing and don't need or want me to give my latest version here. So, I won't. However, I did come across something that has a Trinitarian ring on a recent visit to the UCC in the upper Mid-west, in Minnesota.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Worshipful Work and a Wake Up

Here in the national setting of the United Church of Christ, we have just concluded a long weekend of meetings. The governing boards of the Covenanted Ministries, the Executive Council, the Board for Common Global Ministries and the Council for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations were in town, while the Pension Boards and the Board for Ministerial Assistance were meeting in Florida.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

An Ecumenical Visit to Germany and the UEK (Union of Evangelical Churches)

Peter Makari, Karen Thompson and I have been here in Germany for the last four days attending meetings of our German partner church the UEK /EKD (Union of Evangelical Churches/Evangelical Church in Germany). This is a relationship that has a long history. While here, I've learned that its beginnings go back much further than I had previously known.  I realized this on Friday night when we gathered for an evening meal during which story-telling about the UEK/UCC relationship was interspersed between the courses of the meal.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mission: 1 - The Buzz

These days there is a buzz throughout the United Church of Christ and it has to do with Mission: 1. There has been growing excitement about this new coordinated effort to address the needs of hungry people in the U.S. and abroad. As I travel about the church visiting congregations and associations, I meet many people who are taking the initiative in their churches and communities to advance Mission: 1. Yes indeed, there is a buzz throughout the UCC.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street – A Sign of the Times

As I looked through the postings on my Facebook page recently, I came across an illustration titled, "The Original 'Occupy Wall Street' Protester." It got my attention since it made use of a painting depicting Jesus breaking up business as usual and running the money changers out of the Jerusalem Temple. Indignation, anger and perhaps frustration were certainly in order in response to those who brought their unethical business activities into the Temple courts. They were exploiting the religious devotion of poor people and all those who had made a pilgrimage to the Temple.  Jesus was not out of line or out of place in his very visceral expression of his feelings.  In fact, as always, he was right on time!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ten years later, shoulder to shoulder

September 11, 2011, has come and gone, and I'm feeling that now, the heavy lifting begins again. The period of reflection and commemoration was as rich as it was long. There were ample opportunities to stop and reflect on the meaning of that tragic day 10 years ago.

For me the commemorative events got started early on Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C., at a press conference sponsored by an ecumenical/interfaith coalition called Shoulder to Shoulder.