What basic Christian tenet, doctrine or word have you struggled to “translate” into plain speech? That question is part of an essay prompt I’m considering for a July writing workshop with Kathleen Norris at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s Abbey and University in Minnesota. Can you help me think out loud on this one? I’d love to read your thoughts.
I’ve been an associate minister for two years. I love associate ministry. While I understand that it is a stepping stone for a lot of people, I feel deeply called to this role--both in general and in the specific context of the church I serve.
I used to be in solo ministry. When I made the transition, there were surprisingly few bumps--in large part due to my wonderful colleagues. And one of the big differences between solo and staff ministry is the increase in opportunities to work collaboratively.
It's the unforgivable sin, according to the gospel reading from Mark two Sundays ago.
I remember reading the gospel at the early service that day, out on the lawn, and when I got to this part, I saw one man near the front row raise his eyebrows. I'm not sure if he raised his eyebrows at the part about "blaspheming the Holy Spirit" or about "the unforgivable sin," or if it was a combination of the two. But my immediate thought was, "I should have preached about this. People are going to wonder about it."
The latest in can-you-believe-this-guy campaign-trail videos: Senate candidate Eric Hovde, who—like Montgomery Burns with a Wisconsin accent—reduces media coverage of low-income people facing service cuts to "sob stories."
A reliquary (stone box containing sacred relics) was discovered back in 2010 on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan (which means "St. John") off the coast of Bulgaria. Inside were eight pieces of bone, including pieces of a skull, face, and a tooth.
The “Jesus asleep in the boat during a terrible storm” story has always seemed unfair to me. I feel for the disciples when they wake him; they are understandably angry that he doesn’t seem to care that they are about to die. I’d be just as angry at Jesus for appearing so calm in the midst of real danger.
The disciples are uncomfortable that Jesus is not acting according to the category of “concerned friend,” much less “messiah”—so they kind of yell at him. And when it comes down to it, who hasn’t yelled at God during the storms of life?