Is the Bible "inerrant"? Pastor Dave gives us a new lens through which to consider this old, and largely silly, debate.
Being quarantine buddies and spending time at home with Tigress (my cat) I was able to observe her migration around my apartment throughout the day from sunny spot to sunny spot as the sun shifted its location through the day. And as the seasons changed these spots where the sun came in changed and so did her sleeping spots. In a conversation with my spiritual director I reflected on this we talked about how God shows up in different ways in different seasons, just like the sun shines through the window in different places in different seasons. So, how was God showing up in this season? At times lately it has been hard for me to see where God has been at work around me, as I have felt a bit disconnected with the continued online nature of life. However, when I paused to actually reflect on the question of how God is showing up in this season, I was able to think of some places where I have seen God showing up. Sometimes it takes a pause in our motion and busyness for us to be able to reflect and see where God is showing up around us. And sometimes we just stumble upon those places where God is speaking.
One of the places where I have seen God showing up around me throughout this season of pandemic has been at Interfaith Sanctuary. When everything shut down here in Idaho in March, our regular volunteers from Shepherd of the Valley stopped going down to Sanctuary. After a week or so of discernment I decided to start volunteering on those two Thursdays a month. The gift I found in this was community in a time where community is hard. I made connections with the staff who were there on the nights I volunteered, and with the few other volunteers I encountered. I also made connections with some of the guests I interacted with. In a time when most if not all of our social connection is virtual it was a blessing to have a place of in person connection. As the months went on I started going on the alternating Tuesdays as well, so I was going every week, and was able to continue to foster these connections.
Many weeks I was serving alongside a staff member, who when you look at us you would probably think we don’t have much in common. In moments when things were less busy we would start visiting and at times come across topics where we didn’t necessarily agree, but we could discuss it and share our views with each other. I appreciated a place of civil discussion that is so much lacking in our country today. We have even had some great theological discussions that made me miss late nights in conversation with friends during college. In these conversations I saw God showing up in our conversations as we would discuss big topics and not always agree but still come out of it appreciating each other and the ability to discuss.
What I found at Interfaith Sanctuary was a sanctuary of sorts. I found a place to serve, interact, and be. I found community, connection, and a place for real conversation, when that has been harder for me to find throughout the isolation of the pandemic. For me so much of how I experience God is through community so I guess this is not so surprising that this is where I have seen God showing up. Yet it still took pausing to think to realize how God is still at work all around me.
Sometimes we stumble upon the places where God is speaking to us in obvious ways. And other times it takes a pause in our motion and busyness to see where God is showing up for us. I pray that you are able to pause and reflect for yourself where God is showing up for you in this season.
What if discipleship in God was as near as our next word? Pastor Dave describes the mistake we often make when talking about disciples and how overcoming it give us permission to join in the fun!
How good is "Christian" music? Is it fundamentally different, or more holy, than "secular" songs? Dave has a backwards answer for a largely-misguided movement.
Ep. 103 - It's a new year! Justin and Dave talk about how the church defines itself over and against other "secular" institutions, and maybe loses its purpose in doing so. Do we value, or even have, the right language to talk about our mission in the world?
The Geek and Greek podcast is a show where two reverends talk honestly and clearly about faith, Christianity, scripture, and life.
Follow us at GeekAndGreek.com!
Back in April I adopted a cat. At the beginning of our time together she was very shy, and who could blame her. Who wouldn’t be a bit timid when you have had your surrounding change multiple times within the span of a month or two? At the beginning of our journey Tigress taught me that mutuality and a ministry of presences are not only important parts of my diaconal formation and ministry, but are also an important part of adopting a pet (you can read more that reflection here). Especially a pet that is a few years old and you don’t know their full story and lived experience. By giving her space and time, she settled in to her new environment and life with me.
Reflecting now on our journey over the past 9 months, I have realized that Tigress had continued to teach me lessons and give me insights along the way. One of the main things she has taught me about is the importance of patience and trust in growing our comfort zones. As I said, when I adopted Tigress she was rather shy. She would spend most of her time hiding under my bed or up in her cat tree. As time went on she progressed to laying where she could watch me from the other side of the room, so she could get to her hiding place if I startled her. She would sometimes come near for a moment or two to get pets then go back to her safe supervisory distance. Over time her supervisory distance grew shorter and shorter, and she would sleep on the foot of my bed. She would test out her comfort zones and see how I reacted to her and as she saw I was more friend than foe her trust in me grew. As time progressed she started to come sit next to me on the couch, and was less startled by my movements. Through all of this I had to be patient with her and let her go at her speed through the adjustment. If I tried to pick her up and put her on my lap or hold her it didn’t usually go well. I wished she would come sit on my lap rather than next to me on the couch, but was thankful for her progress. My role was to help create a safe, welcoming place for her to be able to grow her trust in me and her environment.
In late October, she took the next step and stated laying down in my lap in the evenings when I was sitting and reading or watching TV. She had tested out her comfort zones on her own terms and was finally ready to cuddle on my lap. Through all of this I had to be patient and let her go through the motion at her own speed. And now she is like my little shadow following me around and wanting to cuddle in my lap at almost every chance she gets.
As I have reflected on this it has brought back memories of transitions in my own life, moving away to college, moving to Idaho, and even the transitions and changes to life throughout the midst of the pandemic. When we go through transitions, big or small, we are often pushed to test our own comfort zones. When I moved away to college I had to push my comfort zones to make friends and connections in a new place. It took patience and trust to grow and make those lifelong connections and turn Valpo into my home away from home. Throughout the pandemic it has taken patience and trust as we have had to adjusted our lives to live in ways that protect ourselves and each other from covid. When things around us are in transition and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by it and close up ourselves up. Kind of like when Tigress would spend most of her time hiding under my bed. Yet with time, patience, and building trust she tested out her limits and we do that too. We have our own ways of going through the steps of testing our comfort zones until we adjust. Sometimes the patience is with ourselves as we are going through a transition and we think we should be handling it better or different than we are. Other time the patience is with others as we support a friend or neighbor through a transition. Similarly, with trust. It may be that we gain trust in those around us as they support us, or that we are the friend who provides support and gains trust from that friend. Transitions may be hard but we grow through them. Like Tigress did, we make it through the transitions and settle in.
Pastor Dave explains why, "Pastors shouldn't talk politics from the pulpit!" should be eliminated from our vocabulary forever, along with the reasoning behind it.
New Year's Resolutions! Pastor Dave shares some, but also discusses the difference between will and faith.
ELCA presiding bishop joins NCC leaders in letter to vice president, Cabinet and Congress1/8/2021 5:30:00 PM
CHICAGO — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joined leaders from the National Council of Churches (NCC) in an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and the Cabinet, calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office.
The letter states: "Our faith instructs us to take seriously positions of leadership, not to lead others astray and to be careful about what we say and do.
"For the good of the nation, so that we might end the current horror and prepare the way for binding up the nation's wounds, we, as leaders of the member communions of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), believe the time has come for the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to resign his position immediately."
OPEN LETTER TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, AND THE CABINET CALLING FOR THE REMOVAL OF PRESIDENT TRUMP FROM OFFICE
January 8, 2021
Our faith instructs us to take seriously positions of leadership, not to lead others astray and to be careful about what we say and do. In Philippians 2:3-4 we are taught to, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
President Donald J. Trump’s actions and words have endangered the security of the country and its institutions of government by inciting a violent, deadly, seditious mob attack at the U.S. Capitol. His words and actions have placed the lives of the people he is supposed to serve in grave danger to advance his own interests. Further, he not only failed to stop or condemn the attack after the Capitol had been stormed but instead encouraged the mob by calling them patriots. This domestic terrorist attack resulted in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police Officer, and more than a dozen police officers injured. The desecration of the Capitol building was also disgraceful and reprehensible.
For the good of the nation, so that we might end the current horror and prepare the way for binding up the nation’s wounds, we, as leaders of the member communions of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), believe the time has come for the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to resign his position immediately. If he is unwilling to resign, we urge you to exercise the options provided by our democratic system.
In addition, we recognize the need to hold responsible not only those who invaded the Capitol, but also those who supported and/or promoted the President’s false claims about the election, or made their own false accusations.
We grieve for our country at this difficult time and continue to pray for the safety and security, and ultimately the healing of our nation. Holding those who have abused their power and participated in these immoral and tragic actions accountable, in particular the President of the United States, is one step toward healing.
Jim Winkler, General Secretary and President, National Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ and Chair, National Council of Churches Governing Board
Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Bishop, AME Zion Church and Immediate Past Chair, National Council of Churches
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Vice Chair, National Council of Churches
Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Néstor Gómez, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Paula Clayton Dempsey, Director of Partnership Relations, Alliance of Baptists
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Bishop Sally Dyck, Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst, Ecumenical Staff Officer, The United Methodist Church
Rev. Eddy Alemán, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America
Rev. Jane Siebert, President, Swedenborgian Church of North America
His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Ecumenical Director and Diocesan Legate, The Armenian Church, Eastern Diocese of America
Dr. Kimberly Brooks, African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rev. Richard Tafel, Swedenborgian Church
Carole Collins, Director of Operation, Alliance of Baptists
Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell, Progressive National Baptist Convention
Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chair, Conference of National Black Churches
Stephen M. Veazey, President (Head of Communion), Community of Christ
His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, Assyrian Church of the East
Bishop Francis Krebs, Presiding Bishop, Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Rev. Dr. James Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbyterian Church (USA)
Why is everyone so fixated on earning their way to God and relevance in the world? What if we all mattered (and treated each other as part of the same family) in the first place? A different outlook on life brought to you through the words of John 1.