• Outlook Features 1 day ago

    Pentecost Scenario

    Pentecost Scenario

    by J. Barrie Shepherd
    Did they leap and wave and dance together before that rushing mighty wind; conflagrate, perhaps, above those wild astonished heads, like one enormous fourth of July bonfire? Or were they solemn, solitary, isolate, hovering in mid-air austere, remote as chancel candles, radiating still-as-crystal holiness? Those glad tidings, as they gave them voice, did they wear the sober garb of reason, developing point-on-point the history, background, rationale, all the reasonable explanations, implications of what had come to pass? Or was it more like one great shout of joy, the agony-born bliss… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 1 day ago

    The Pilgrim’s Regress: Wade Annotated Edition

    The Pilgrim’s Regress: Wade Annotated Edition

    by Michael Parker
    by C.S. Lewis, edited/introduced by David C. Downing William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 239 pages Fans of C.S. Lewis are in for a treat with this newest edition of “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” first published in 1933. Lewis annotated a copy of it in 1937 for his student Richard Thorton Hewitt, a copy that in 1987 came into the hands of the Marion E. Wade Center of Wheaton College. David C. Downing, a professor of English at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania who has written four books on Lewis, included Lewis’s… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Features 2 days ago

    Global perspectives on Pentecost: God’s ever-present Spirit

    Global perspectives on Pentecost: God’s ever-present Spirit

    Pentecost, I had always thought, was God’s way of saying that in Christ, we’re all the same. Culture and language may divide us, but God’s Spirit makes it possible for all to be one. Pentecost, I had thought, was a divine remedy for the confusion and division created at the tower of Babel when God punished human arrogance by creating different languages. More than 35 years of mission service in Latin America have led me to suspect that I got it all wrong. Babel, far from presenting linguistic diversity as… continue reading...
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First Mobile Church: Attending church together

Charlie Gross

by Charlie Gross In November 2013, I was brainstorming ways to connect the active people I saw in the park walking their dogs with a church service. As I fiddled around with ideas to make this connection, it hit me: Everyone has a cell phone. In fact, the national stance is standing like statues with one hand out in front of us, holding our phones. Well, that, plus a downward gaze as we stare at the small screen, figuring out our schedule, tweaking our to-do list or Googling an answer to some off-the-wall question. So, since the cell phone is the common denominator, I quickly deduced that the obvious way to connect people to worship is through a conference call. I’ve been using conference calls to get things done and connect people for some time. I know how to do conference calls. That was the key I was looking for – worship via a conference call. Later that month, I launched “First Mobile Church,” a specially designed worship service delivered live via conference call on … [Read more...]

Pentecost 2015

Jill Duffield

Ah, Pentecost, every year the same story, and only one account of it at that. How does the preacher or Sunday school teacher speak a new word on the liturgical day dedicated to the Holy Spirit? How does one keep Pentecost fresh when it is the same strange tale year after year after year? How many birthday parties for the church can one throw ­– complete with red balloons and cake? In my first call, when the head of staff was away, the Christian educator and I conspired to make sure Pentecost stood out. We gathered some brave souls to dance down the center aisle waving long poles festooned with red and orange fabric. As the Acts text was read, various people stood and joined their voices with mine – one in Spanish, one in German, one in Serbian. The choir sang a discordant anthem that featured wind-like sound effects and a minor key. It was brilliant, or so we thought. The polite congregants said, “That was interesting.” Some used words like “memorable” and “unique.” One who was … [Read more...]

Tagged With: Pentecost

Message of the presidents of the World Council of Churches at Pentecost 2015

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (WCC) Dear brothers and sisters in faith, In this season, we recall these words from Hebrew Scripture: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, Peace be within you. (Psalm 122:6-8). And, from the New Testament: And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. (Acts of the Apostles 2:1) “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” was the theme of the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (Busan, Republic of Korea, 30 October–8 November 2013). At that gathering WCC called us to join all people of good will on a pilgrimage of justice and peace. The world can offer peace only in empty words, saying “Peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). Without peace, can there be justice? Without justice, can there be peace? Too often, we pursue justice at … [Read more...]

Tagged With: Pentecost

Pentecost Scenario

BarrieShepherd-1312

Did they leap and wave and dance together before that rushing mighty wind; conflagrate, perhaps, above those wild astonished heads, like one enormous fourth of July bonfire? Or were they solemn, solitary, isolate, hovering in mid-air austere, remote as chancel candles, radiating still-as-crystal holiness? Those glad tidings, as they gave them voice, did they wear the sober garb of reason, developing point-on-point the history, background, rationale, all the reasonable explanations, implications of what had come to pass? Or was it more like one great shout of joy, the agony-born bliss of bursting from the womb, a life-embracing cry that even visitors from the remotest island archipelago beneath the fiery Southern Cross might recognize and claim and then be claimed by? —J. Barrie Shepherd … [Read more...]

Tagged With: Pentecost

The Pilgrim’s Regress: Wade Annotated Edition

The Pilgrim’s Regress- Wade Annotated Edition

by C.S. Lewis, edited/introduced by David C. Downing William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 239 pages Fans of C.S. Lewis are in for a treat with this newest edition of “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” first published in 1933. Lewis annotated a copy of it in 1937 for his student Richard Thorton Hewitt, a copy that in 1987 came into the hands of the Marion E. Wade Center of Wheaton College. David C. Downing, a professor of English at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania who has written four books on Lewis, included Lewis’s notes and added numerous others for this annotated edition. The total number of marginal notes comes to nearly 500. “Regress,” writes Downing, “was his [Lewis’s] first Christian book; it was his first book of fiction; it was the first book he published under his own name.” He wrote it at lightning speed, completing it in just two weeks in August 1932. But of all Lewis’s books, “Regress” is among the least read. This is due, as Lewis admitted in the preface to the … [Read more...]

New policy on dependent care seeks to broaden General Assembly participation

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LOUISVILLE (PNS) A Dependent Care Reimbursement Policy approved by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) will make it easier for young parents and other caregivers to serve as commissioners or advisory delegates to the 222nd General Assembly (2016). Under the new policy, commissioners and advisory delegates may be reimbursed for the costs of a variety of caregiving arrangements, as long as the expenses don’t exceed $800 per dependent or $400 per additional dependent. Commissioners can apply for financial assistance with such things as hiring a part-time sitter at home or at the assembly; transporting a family member or other caregiver to their home or to the assembly; placing dependents in a child- or adult-care center; or sending dependents to a camp or conference. To be eligible for reimbursement, the costs for these arrangements must be over and above what the commissioner or advisory delegate would normally pay if not attending the assembly. “We see … [Read more...]