Ecumenical Generosity Conversation

I had the privilege of visiting with Sister Mary Luke Jones, OSB and Rabbi Ashley Berns-Chafetz about generosity in their unique ministry contexts as part of my Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising project.

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The Joy of Forgiveness Psalm 32

Prayer-Full Pause April 7, 2021

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Check out this interesting and engaging book

There’s a God in My Closet: Encountering the Love Who Embraces Our Skeletons by [Ben DeLong, Brad Jersak]

Author Ben DeLong does a great job finding the intersection between scripture, spirituality, and real life experiences. Using both Old and New Testament references he delves into familiar biblical stories and situates them within the struggles of his life and relationships. His obstacles and honesty are refreshing, inspiring even, as they resonate with anyone who has the courage to be real and embrace their humanity, especially their flaws. The manner in which the author addresses his marriage offers an example of how opposites attract and how they function and grow in their relationship.

#TheresAGodInMyCloset

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This book is a blessing!

#HolyTroublemakersAndUnconventionalSaints

Although this book is categorized as an illustrated children’s book, it truly is for all ages. There are familiar names and faces; Harriet Tubman, Mary Oliver, Mister Fred Rogers, Rumi, and Thich Nhat Hanh to name a few, but there are new, captivating ones also; Mahdia Lynn, Danilo Cortez, and Irwin Keller, among others. This book includes the faith stories of relatable and inspiring people. As a pastor, I can definitely see myself giving this as a gift to confirmation youth. What a treasure to read and to share!

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Prayer-Full Pause May 13, 2020

Spiritual nourishment for your soul.
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Prayer-Full Pause April 29, 2020

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Prayer-Full Pause April 24, 2020

Spiritual nourishment for your soul. A 10-minute prayer-full pause.

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Pandemic Ponderings April 23, 2020

Sunny the dog and Buddy the cat share the sun on April 19, 2020

Our dog is named Sunny because one of the kids thought she brightens our lives, it indeed is a self-fulfilling prophecy because she has illuminated our lives beyond measure. At some point we thought that Sunny would like a Buddy, so we got Sunny a cat and named him Buddy, thus, Sunny would have a Buddy. In my Pollyanna and idealistic worldview I thought they would naturally be best friends, you know, like the cute pictures you see on social media. Well I wouldn’t say they are best friends, nor would I say they hate each other, I would say they tolerate each other. It is a great paradigm for us to consider, how well do we tolerate each other? Or asked another way, how well do we live in unity? do we embody kind, humble, loving, and compassionate behavior? We are people who are called to live together in peace, regardless of our differences and similarities.

The text of 1 Peter 3:8-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) notes,

“Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For

“Those who desire life
    and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
    and their lips from speaking deceit;
11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
    let them seek peace and pursue it.

In Eugene Peterson’ translation The Message offers a more contemporary interpretation of 1 Peter 3.8-11;

8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

Whoever wants to embrace life
    and see the day fill up with good,
Here’s what you do:
    Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
    run after peace for all you’re worth.

As I think about the world around us and the constant flow of information bombarding us at every turn, it is easier to focus on what divides us rather than what can unify us. Caring for others and the world around us invites us into space of tolerance and community. We can be different but still love each other. Perhaps you are wondering how to live and work toward peace, maybe you are confused by all the voices criticizing you and those you love. Fortunately I have found some comforting, encouraging, simple and straightforward words of guidance and I’m thrilled to share them with you.

Again from Eugene Peterson’s The Message, words offered by Jesus in Matthew’s gospel; Matthew 7.1-5.

1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”

Simple, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults,” rather “be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.” Let us all seek peace and pursue it, because that is the world of tolerance, love, and unity that I want to live in. What kind of world do you want to live in?

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Prayer-Full Pause April 22, 2020

Spiritual nourishment for your soul.
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Prayer-Full Pause April 15, 20202

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