By Andrew Kukla, MDiv ’03
Today a friend made an off-hand comment that went something like, “Andrew is one of the most political pastors I know.” He didn’t mean it negatively. It was just an off-hand comment in a conversation about non-profit work. But the comment stuck with me. Am I really that political? I don’t self-identify as such, and yet I don’t have a problem with that identity. Because you know what? I think faith is political. In fact it kind of drives me crazy that people think they are two things that should remain separated.
Clarifying terms for a minute: I am not talking about the separation of Church and State. Keeping those two institutional structures separated is a value I highly prize. But faith and politics? Those aren’t institutions or structures. They are, in a nutshell, worldviews, and they cannot possibly remain separated if you are at all serious or committed to either one of them. Continue reading Faith and Politics: When Preaching Gets to Meddling
By Rev. Dominique A. Robinson, Staff Associate for Contextual Education
No matter one’s gender, age, race, religion, ethnicity, economic, educational or social status they are not immune to the “troubles of this world.” 2015 was a difficult year for many. On a national level we were made aware of the “Deflate Gate” with Tom Brady; Rachel Dolezal pretending to be African American; Brian Williams lying about being on a helicopter that was forced down while in Iraq; the Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle’s sentencing to 15 years for possession of child pornography and crossing state lines for commercial sex with a minor; institutional corruption in the soccer world; Lamar Odom found unconscious in a Nevada brothel; Josh Duggar finally admitting to molesting 5 girls including 2 of his sisters; the Ashley Madison database hacking that led to the resignation of several major CEOs (pastors included); Bill Cosby’s sexual assault allegations; and the trumped-up attention about the crowning of the wrong Miss Universe. Continue reading Preaching that Makes Faith Leap
By Andy James, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Queens, NY
I first noticed that something was really wrong during the passing of the peace. I was sitting two seats down from the candidate for ordination at his service of ordination, but he did not return to his seat as the service continued with the scripture readings. A few minutes later, the candidate stood before us and announced what must have been his worst nightmare: the preacher was not there! In the rush of other things before the service, her absence had gone somewhat unnoticed, with a general trust that she was “on her way,” but now the pulpit was empty on this very special day. Continue reading A Testimony for Testimony
Teri Carol Peterson, MDiv 2005
I am part of several online groups for clergy—some specifically for supporting women in ministry (revgalblogpals.org), some for young clergy women (youngclergywomen.org), some for people who use the Narrative Lectionary, etc. These groups have been a lifesaver in what can sometimes be a lonely vocation. I have found support for hard days, ideas I can try in my own context, and colleagues nearby to have coffee with.
One of the most common uses of these groups is crowdsourcing—people ask questions about writing liturgy, ideas for curriculum, how to handle tricky situations, what to do with a summer when the lectionary includes 6 weeks of “I am the bread of life.” This year I have seen a large number of questions about organizing a sermon series around suggestions from the congregation—either questions that the congregation asks, or hymns that they love to sing. I have done both of these things, so rather than send you to search Facebook groups (now that the search function has been made extra terrible), here’s an overview of how that worked for us. Continue reading Preaching the People’s Lectionary
Wade P. Huie, Jr., Peter Marshall Professor of Homiletics for Columbia Theological Seminary from 1957 to 1991 passed away last Saturday, May 30, 2015. Born in Elberton, GA on June 14, 1923 to Wade P. and Nora (Oakley) Huie, Wade Huie, Jr. embraced life with energy, optimism and true enjoyment. Continue reading Wade P. Huie, Jr., Peter Marshall Professor Emeritus of Homiletics, 1923-2015