21 Jul

Vacation Perspective

I just returned from a vacation to the Canadian province of Quebec.   It was a spectacular nine days—a river cruise on the Saguenay Fjord, whale watching (we spotted Minke, humpback and fin whales!), croissants and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) in quantities that should be illegal,...

14 Jul

The Belhar Confession

Institutions are indispensable. We cannot get along in our complex world without the order, stability and benefits supplied by our governmental, religious, educational, financial and social institutions. But as we all know, institutions are a mixed bag. They are necessary and they do much good,...

30 Jun

A Tool for Worship

My church is getting a new organ. It’s not a “new-new” organ, but it’s new to us. Another church in our area is being torn down to make way for affordable housing. That church’s congregation will move back in to the new high rise once...

16 Jun

How We Judge

“Do not judge,” says Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Those are very direct words Jesus uses and seemingly very clear ones, as well. Yet, I wonder how they are heard in a culture that claims to value tolerance yet still struggles mightily with...

02 Jun

Fasting to Stand in Solidarity

Giving, praying and fasting: these are the three religious practices Jesus specifically addresses in the Sermon on the Mount. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve explored the first two. Finally, we get to the last of the three, fasting. In many parts of the evangelical...

26 May

Prayer Works

Last week we looked at the first of three spiritual practices that Jesus addresses in the Sermon on the Mount—giving. This week we focus on praying. Prayer is, for a lot of people, a mysterious, challenging undertaking. For starters, nobody can tell us for sure...

19 May

Giving Connects YOU to God

The Sermon on the Mount covers three chapters in the Gospel of Matthew. In the middle chapter, Matthew 6, Jesus turns his attention to three religious practices that people of many faiths have practiced for millennia: giving, praying, and fasting. According to Jesus there is...