"There seems to be, in many cases, a disconnect between what one’s perception of God is and how that perception aligns with the beliefs and actions of the Church." — TJ Harper
* Quote from Professor Katherine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist and Evangelical Christian A blog by Rev. Dr. Jessica McArdle A few weeks ago, I attended a lecture commemorating the tragic aftermath of the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Millions of lives were lost. Yet instead of focusing on the dangers of highly communicable illnesses alone, the representative panel of disease specialists had a different take on what makes we humans susceptible. In short, pandemics don’t just erupt without explanation (though ...
The shifts and changes our secular culture is experiencing are having a dramatic effect on faith formation ministries.
"As we dedicate ourselves to building God’s kingdom, we must define what it looks like in the local community." —Debby Kirk
I was standing at the check-in counter for a routine medical appointment a couple years ago when I heard those words. They came from an older gentleman standing at the check-out counter not far from me. I guessed he might be a decade or two older than me. There was in his voice what I interpreted as a sense of grief and frustration. Something had happened, I don’t know what, that told him he didn’t know the rules anymore. Let me very cautiously say I understood the phrase. I grew up in...
"And churches stay on the ground, involved in helping people find their way into a new normal, long after the news crews have moved on to the next disaster or lead story." —Rev. Don Remick
The church is no stranger to controversy. Chapter 15 of the Book of Acts describes a heated debate among the apostles at a gathering in Jerusalem. Should Gentiles be welcomed as Jesus’ followers or only Jews who kept Moses’ law by getting circumcised? When they resolved the matter, the letter they sent out to the churches acknowledged God’s work in the midst of disagreement: “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us,” they wrote, that even non-Jews should be welcomed (Acts 15:28). Yet...
The Body of Christ is eternal. It is alive and well across the globe. And for the institutional church, the road ahead may look substantially different from the road behind us. This is such a profound and pivotal moment for the church. It is full of anxiety and excitement. Will we be the Body of Christ? Will that which is institutional within us find its way from cross, to grave to empty tomb and beyond? How do we effect faithful change in ourselves and our churches? These questions form ...
When it comes to emergency or disaster situations, once we know our families and pets are safe we are left to think about what we need to bring with us to either a friend’s home, shelter or hotel. We know the essentials but what about our little ones? The first thing I thought of was bringing the obvious – my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and favorite book. But wading through an evacuation or storm may take longer than expected. So here are some of the things I pack in a ...
"When the mission of the institution becomes sustaining the institution itself, the institution falls apart." —Rev. Michael Ciba