Sympathy for the Devil

This past Sunday our director of music (the wonderful Dr. Steve Katzenmoyer) and I did a duet in church. The song, “Salt of the Earth”, is one of the lesser-known cuts off of the Rolling Stones’s amazing album, “Beggar’s Banquet”. Released at the end of 1968 (not long after the release of “Their Satanic Majesties…

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Neutering the Gospel

The other day I was listening to a report on NPR that was focused on The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and one of his most iconic presentations, “I Have a Dream.” Throughout the entire report, well done as it was, the speaker kept referring to King’s presentations as “Speeches” instead of “Sermons.” Additionally,…

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What’s Your Narrative?

Every person, entity, and community has a narrative; a story that describes who they are and what they believe. Some call it an elevator speech; companies call it advertising. We use this narrative to help people who are unfamiliar with us to understand who we are at our core. Facebook has a spot where you…

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Our Own Worst Enemy

I think Jesus said it best: “Before you take the speck out of another person’s eye, take the log out of your own. Then you can help the other.” It is one of the many places Jesus put a mirror up to His followers and told them to make things right in their own lives…

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The First Black …

I was 27 years old when Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to start at that position in the Super Bowl. I remember when this happened like it was yesterday, not because I was surprised that he did this, but because it seemed ridiculous to me that it had taken that long for it…

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What is Wrong with Equity?

A teacher recently told me that although this teacher serves on a committee in school that is focused on Equity, nobody in the school system is allowed to use the actual word (equity). Those of us listening were astounded – appalled – incredulous – and many other fancy words to describe our utter confusion about…

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Hunger, Part 2 – Loneliness

It has been in the news for years; America is having an epidemic of loneliness. A national study by Columbia University showed that in 2019 – before the pandemic – 61% of Americans over 18 felt lonely, a dramatic increase over the 11% who felt this way in the 1970’s. Not surprisingly, the pandemic has…

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Hunger

If you have ever felt hunger, you know it isn’t something you choose willingly. Sure, some folks go on fad diets and go hungry for a long time, thinking that will help them achieve their goals. Hunger by choice isn’t the same as hunger from poverty. The faces of children are often placed in ads…

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Religious Anti-Semitism

It seems like an odd title; most Anti-Semitism, after all, is based on religious bigotry. The growth of anti-Semitic violence over the last decade continues, and the statements of public figures that denigrate Jewish people and Israel seems to be growing as well. Here is an article that gives an overview of this disturbing trend…

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It is the Lord’s Day, after all

This Christmas, like 6 years ago, will be on a Sunday morning. The last time this happened, we smug Mainline Church folks tsked at the Mega Churches who were closed. “It’s Sunday, you fake Christians!” (I am taking liberties – I don’t know what most people said). We were shocked and appalled that these decisions…

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