Lots of people struggle to build relationships when they get to new places. In my work as a university chaplain, my main experience is with new college freshmen. But people experience the same challenges when they move to a new town for work or even during significant shifts in their community when they don’t move anywhere (new job, divorce, etc.). Thankfully, watching freshmen succeed and fail at forming new friendships has taught me a lot about what is required to start building new relationships. [Read more…]
How do we affirm Paul’s “body of Christ” language when the world is not only divided between Jew and Gentile, but is made up of radical diversity even within the Church? In our unique university Christian community there are Catholics and Pentecostals Methodists and Evangelicals and lots of other kinds of Christians. Paul’s language call us to see those that are different as a gift to the whole of the “body.” Listen as we learn to appreciate the great gift that each member our diverse Christian community offers to us all.
This sermon was from the last service of McCleary Chapel last year. As students prepared to transition out of university life, feelings ranged from joy and hope for the future to grief for the friends that they would leave. I suggested that they could learn a lot from the exchange between Mary Magdalene and Jesus after the resurrection. (The sermon is only about 20 minutes long, the end of the video wasn’t edited properly.)
When I write in critique of the seemingly perpetual need to accumulate that dominates the Western mentality, I am still surprised how many God-loving and faithful Christians are convinced that this is only a concern of Godless communists. I’m fully aware of the ways that contemporary politics have controlled the concerns of Christians on the left and the right. Parsing out which policies to support from the various partisan options is difficult work. It is common for Christians in America that defend traditional notions of marriage and pro-life policies to also find themselves defending economic policies that put the poorest and most vulnerable citizens at risk for the sake of economic production. How are we supposed to make sense of Christian men and women that defend the accumulation of wealth as a biblical ideal?
With a look of panic Eve yelled at me, “You did WHAT?” [Read more…]
As of today, 197 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,500 have been injured in Israel’s constant bombing of Gaza over the last 10 days. Though Palestinians have fired lots of rockets and mortars at Israel in this same time frame, reportedly only one Israeli has been killed. This outburst of violence is the worst in five years. This is a guest post written by an American friend of mine that is a missionary to the West Bank. I asked her to give advice to all of us for whom this conflict is just a bunch of numbers: 197. 1,500. I hope this reminds us that each of those numbers is a person made in the image of God.
When my wife and I decided to have a child in 2011, we decided to foster parent as a response to a calling. There are more … ahem … “natural” ways to have children and we certainly considered that path. But we knew that we had the capacity and the life situation to consider adoption through the foster care system and that is what we did. We believed then as we do now, that fostering and adoption are faithful responses to the Christian calling to care for orphans. [Read more…]