The summer has brought some changes, big and small, to the congregation where I am a pastor. Of course, the big one is a new senior pastor. But there have been a few little ones, including some ways that our worship services have changed.
This Sunday’s lectionary texts are particularly awful. I’m like the boy who cried wolf with bad lectionary selections, but hear me out on this one. At my church, we are using track two, the thematic track, of the RCL. Here are the lessons for Sunday.
A curious thing is happening this Sunday in churches across America.
For some, this curious thing is Pulpit Freedom Sunday. The day, promoted by the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom for the fourth year, urges pastors to speak out in favor of candidates they support, defying IRS restrictions that forbid such political speech in religious nonprofits.
It has become an exercise in free speech and a challenge to the federal government. "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," the birth child of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, is designed to challenge the 50-year-old Johnson Amendment (501 c 3), which prohibits tax-exempt charities from publicly endorsing or opposing a candidate for office or working on their behalf. On Sunday, October 7, pastors who choose to participate will stand in the pulpit and endorse and/or oppose candidates for office—and no doubt focus on the presidential candidates themselves.