Tag Archives: prayer

Our Persistent God

By Shannon Johnson Kershner, DMin ’99

In some ways, this should have been the easiest sermon I have written in a while. Luke (18:1–8) tells us right off the bat what this parable is supposed to be about. While introducing Jesus’ telling of it, Luke states outright in verse 1 it is a parable about the need for persistent prayer and the call to not lose heart. Thus that interpretation should direct the way we hear the parable, right? Maybe. Continue reading Our Persistent God

Breathing into Advent

By Sarah Walker Cleaveland, MDiv ’07

In our family, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun early as Adam and I each struggle to prepare for Advent in new ways without the benefit of much advance preparation. The church I’m serving just called a new Senior Pastor, so the church staff is running headlong into Advent trying to both keep ongoing ministries afloat, learn how to work with one another, and also create meaningful worship and formation opportunities for Advent, in the course of three weeks—as if the first Christmas season in my first call were not crazy-making enough!

Meanwhile, Adam is finding his way as a “tent-making” pastor and artist—balancing multiple part-time jobs while also creating a new Advent resource for churches and families. (The illustration above is from his Illustrated Children’s Moments Advent series!) And, of course, we’re still adjusting to what our lives look like in this season. Plus, you know, a three-year-old. Continue reading Breathing into Advent

A Prayer for Emanuel and Nine Who Lost Their Lives

Dr. Deborah Flemister Mullen, our Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President, is part of a group of more than thirty African American deans and presidents of Theological Schools who offered the following prayer for Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC.

As the African American presidents and deans of graduate theological education, we express our profound solidarity with the families and the faithful of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. There are not words enough to convey the emotions we feel in the aftermath of the bloodbath. Nine people of faith welcomed the proverbial stranger into the house of prayer.  Nine of God’s children subsequently lost their lives. Nine women and men were unceremoniously taken from their loved ones. Nine cherished members of a historic freedom-loving congregation and community are no longer in our midst. Our hearts are heavy and we grieve. Continue reading A Prayer for Emanuel and Nine Who Lost Their Lives

Confessing the Stories that Keep Us Isolated From Each Other, From God

By Jihyun Oh, MDiv ’06

Looking back, I think it all started the day a rocking and trembling son told me that his dying, 80-something year-old mother might have had a part in killing his father, her husband, some 30 years ago.

We keep saying in the chaplaincy department that we need to write a book. I think I’d title this chapter “The Days When Everything Hits the Fan” or “The Days When We Might All Sit Down and Cry but Not Know for What” or “The Days When You Suddenly Find Yourself Playing Confessor, but You’re Presbyterian!”

Continue reading Confessing the Stories that Keep Us Isolated From Each Other, From God

Prayers for Syngman Rhee

Update: We received word of the death of Syngman Rhee this morning, January 14. There will be a private funeral for the family and plans will be made for a memorial service in the future. Click here for the story on our website.

Memo Re: Prayers for Syngman Rhee, Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Practice of Global Leadership Development

From: Deborah Flemister Mullen, Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President, Columbia Theological Seminary Continue reading Prayers for Syngman Rhee