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.
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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.
Dear Shepherd of the Valley Members,
Our Annual Meeting for 2021 is scheduled for noon on Sunday, January 31st. This is an unusual year, as we’re still meeting remotely. We invite you to join us via Zoom. The information can be found just below. It’s being shared on our website, via email, and via a mailed letter.
Because of the conditions and the difficulty of remote discussion and voting on a large scale, we’re trying to keep the proceedings simple. We’ll vote on a provisional Plan for Ministry for 2021, elect council members, and have a brief overview of where we are and where we’re going. We anticipate having a more detailed, “normal” meeting when we’re able to convene again in person.
If you’d like information about the 2021 Plan for Ministry, Paul Steward will share it via Zoom on the two Sundays prior to the Annual Meeting. Those meetings will be held at 3:00 PM, just prior to our Sunday discussion about the day’s lesson and sermon at 4:00.
Please join us on January 31st as we get a good start on 2021 at SoV!
Find the Zoom information for these meetings in your weekly email or in the letter mailed to you this month.
If God is so awesome, why does God need to be worshiped? Dave pulls back the veil on church fraud, then talks about the importance of grace-filled community.
God’s sense of time and place is much different than ours. What’s normal to us may be quite odd to God, while God’s presence comes to us in ways we’d never suspect. Pastor Dave explains that how we perceive and talk about the world can make a huge difference in our understanding of the divine purpose for our lives.
One banner, two banners, red banners, blue banners! Why we change the colors of the sanctuary during the church year and what that says about God's relationship with all of us.