Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Broken and Forced

Things break or wear down. Its natural. 

Someone broke the church office copier recently.  Don't know who. Doesn't really matter. But it was broken because a part was forced. Plastic snaps and breaks easily. Now we wait for the part and the repair.

We all have experienced the "forcing" of things.  Almost always this forcing breaks things or relationships or possibilities. Forcing is not natural and has consequences.

Perhaps a common task for God's people is to learn to wait, to breathe, to pause and not to force.

Friday, July 26, 2013

What makes for a healthy church

Rain on the window

What is it that makes for a healthy church, not just a local congregation but the "church"?  I'm always asking this of myself and others. And here are a couple links to recent articles and authors.  But before you read them, and I hope you do, here is my short and incomplete list.

A healthy local congregation
speaks the truth gently
understands faith as a gift
is committed to justice and mercy
does not understand the Bible literally, but seriously 
is committed to relationships with other denominations and faiths and most importantly, its own neighborhood
          stands in solidarity with those who suffer
          has as its goal not to "get to heaven" or "escape hell" but love the world
understands discipleship as following Jesus, i.e. walking behind him

And here are three recent readings that may help. Just click on the links.

A daily offering from Fr. Richard Rohr

A provocative piece in the New York Times on the rebirth of "mainline" denominations

A "new" perspective on Jesus from the author of the book Zealot



Monday, April 22, 2013

Love, Vows and a Hospital Room at the University of Utah

They asked for help in order to be wed while he still lived. 
So the nurses, the doctor and the chaplain's office all helped out.  We called the
County Clerk's office, explained the situation and they too
went above and beyond. Sherrie Swensen, the county clerk, personally
delivered the documents. He could not leave the hospital room.  So everyone came to them.
Later that day they were wed by an LDS officiant. What this picture doesn't show is
the whole room filled with family of all ages, gathered around these two,
community upon community.