Getting to Easter through Good Friday

Posted on Apr 22, 2019

Good Friday stands on the calendar like an obstacle that must be crossed to get to Easter. You can't get there without going through Good Friday -- at least on the calendar. Theologically? Maybe that's up for debate.  

The prevailing view in the Church is that Jesus died on the cross to save humanity from their sins. Open a hymnal and you'll see what I mean. But there's a lot to question about this view of the cross. Did God really kill Jesus because God was angry at the sins of humanity? Why couldn't God be forgiving, instead of wrathful? And why would your sins and mine destroy our relationship with God? Can't God's love look beyond our problems?

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The sacred kaleidoscope

Posted on Mar 15, 2019

One of my jobs as a healthcare chaplain is to serve on the ethics committee. Hospital ethics committees are designed to be diverse and multidisciplinary; they often provide education about ethical dilemmas that emerge along with the benefits of modern healthcare. Ethics committees also provide consultation in patient situations where differing perspectives, goals of care or ethical principles seem impossible to navigate. 

To begin our monthly meetings I facilitate a centering moment. Recently I took a kaleidoscope to pass around in 'show and see for yourself' fashion.

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Stretch as you seek to tell that 'old, old story'

Posted on Feb 28, 2019

“Tell me the old, old story/of Jesus and his love.” So goes the old hymn, and it is still true that the church’s calling is to tell that old story. 

The challenge we face is how to tell it in new and fresh ways in a culture that keeps changing with stunning rapidity. How can we communicate the timeless truth of the gospel in ways that will touch minds and hearts bombarded by a steady barrage of competing messages and noise? How do we tell that old, old story in ways that are compelling and attractive? 

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Churches change

Posted on Dec 03, 2018

Churches change about every seven years.

That’s what a long-term pastor told me 30 years ago while I was in seminary. Rick was a visiting fellow on campus as part of his third sabbatical. For 21 years he had served his congregation and was using the sabbatical to prepare for another seven years. 

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Speak out against 'public charge' rule change

Posted on Nov 18, 2018

It will only take a few minutes to submit your comments, and it's important that you do so given the current administration's proposed rule that would drastically reshape who we welcome as newcomers to our society. The proposed rule would reshape immigration policy by expanding the definition of who is considered a "public charge," threatening millions of families - many of our neighbors.  

The Nuns on the Bus have made it really easy to express our concerns, and we have until Dec. 10 to take action. Submit your comments today opposing the "public charge" rule, and be sure to personalize them with your own faith convictions and stories of people you know and love who will be impacted by the change.

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Kevin David Rose

Posted on Nov 01, 2018

The Alliance family joins congregational partner Cumberland First Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Ind., in mourning the loss of Kevin David Rose, who served the church for 30 years as minister of discipleship and mission.  

A hallmark of Kevin's ministry included guiding people to find their own story within God's story. Kevin's creativity for teaching and facilitating this faith story intersection impacted many people. His ministry leadership will be remembered and treasured by those who learned from him – children, youth and adults. This singer, painter, writer, storyteller and lover of theater and travel was adept at sharing the gospel message with relevance and passion. His unwavering commitment to living in the questions of faith—not the solace of easy and pat answers, will always be valued.

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Lessons learned bring 'remarkable change'

Posted on Oct 23, 2018

I remember elementary recess. Tag was an all-time favorite game...Although recess usually ended too soon, we nevertheless experienced re-energization.

Thirty years later I have learned a valuable lesson from this game: labor, whether in adulthood careers or childhood schoolwork, requires recess moments. God understands this as well, hence, the Sabbath. As a kid gym and recess were my times to “cut loose” and enjoy myself. As an adult, Sunday worship is such a moment. 

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Fall Programming

Posted on Sep 14, 2018

Whether your congregation has a full slate lined up, or you are preparing to open your whole children’s department in a single classroom, fall programming is a vestige of 20th-century American Christianity—and I’m not just talking about the bright colored construction paper stapled to a bulletin board.

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Light that helps illuminate the paths

Posted on Aug 28, 2018

Sisters and brothers of the Alliance of Baptists, we live in a time of injustice and great uncertainty here in Brazil. It is a difficult and complex time, and we can only discern the best paths to follow with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Brazilian church is going through a period of great change. We perceive a numerical growth of neo-Pentecostal denominations that make use of the devices of the “Theology of Prosperity.” 

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God's Spirit of Reformation is infectious

Posted on Aug 28, 2018

I caught something during my recent trip overseas. My traveling companions and I were all exposed, and doctors are powerless against our infections. Since our return home, our families, friends and churches are also in danger. Our travel guides knew about the risks but failed to warn us. Now, because of their careless negligence, we are forever burdened with the consequences.

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