We cause particular damage to teens when we use fear as a motivation or manipulation. The part of the brain that produces fear and anxiety develops far quicker than other parts. So, teens are often walking around like fear factories, but they don’t having access to the usual reasoning that quells fear.
It’s kind of hard to worship. I used to get frustrated with the retired ministers who worshiped in the churches I served. They used to take me aside to mentor me, but often it just felt like criticism. They pointed out the weirdest things, like the song didn’t rhyme like it should or the elder serving communion had the wrong sort of look on her face. Now, I suppose I understand them a bit more, because it’s difficult to turn away that critical eye.
During this General Assembly, the PC(USA) made some historic moves. One of the main ones was that there was an authoritative interpretation passed so that pastors who serve in states where marriage equality is legal can preside over those ceremonies.
I paced back and forth in a frenetic circle at the foot of my bed. Holding my cell, I concentrated on each syllable coming from the headphones. I was interviewing my mom for a book, when I realized the pent-up energy in my dizzying march.
When we get the age breakdown of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly, it’s nothing short of horrendous. 91 percent of the laity are 50 and older. 67 percent of the Clergy are 50 and older. A mere 23 percent of all commissioners are under 50. What can we do about it?
The cost of tuition has has gone up 1,200 percent in 30 years.The odd thing is that when a person takes full advantage of the educational system and earn a Ph.D., then the very same universities that have been trying to convince us that education is worth that much inflation, turns around and tells the Ph.D. that their hard work is worth about . . . 1-3K per class for an adjunct teaching position. So the value of education is being cut by the very same people who are trying to sell us an education.
The General assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) starts this week in Detroit, Michigan. I have a friend, Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana, who’s standing for Vice-Moderator, so I wanted to write a bit about Rev. Dr. John Wilkinson, who is standing for Moderator.
John Green was enrolled at University of Chicago Divinity School, preparing to become an Episcopal priest. He was doing his CPE, working as a chaplain when he conceived of The Fault in Our Stars. The book hit the top of the NYT bestseller list and Green didn’t go to Div School. Though, the book might be assigned reading in seminary now. At least Katherine Willis Pershey thinks it should be.
The thing about preaching and pastoral care is that we often recognize our own problems in everyone else. I suppose that’s why pastors are so often hypocrites—we’re always preaching about our own issues. Then we have to live with the words that we doled out.