What makes Christians saints is not that they are above it all, but that they in the middle of it all—working, serving, and ministering. Saints, just like the Lord they serve, are not afraid to get their hands dirty for the cause of the gospel, are not discouraged by the almost unmanageable need they see each day, and will not be influenced by those who find scandalous their willingness to associate with the kinds of people Jesus spent time with in his ministry.
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, which is appropriately observed after Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is important that we not treat the Trinity as an appendix to the Christian doctrine of God, which is the unfortunate legacy of too much twentieth century theology. The Trinity is the Christian doctrine of God.
It has become an exercise in free speech and a challenge to the federal government. "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," the birth child of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, is designed to challenge the 50-year-old Johnson Amendment (501 c 3), which prohibits tax-exempt charities from publicly endorsing or opposing a candidate for office or working on their behalf. On Sunday, October 7, pastors who choose to participate will stand in the pulpit and endorse and/or oppose candidates for office—and no doubt focus on the presidential candidates themselves.
The custom of writing thank you notes is a good and necessary one. I make it practice every week to send two or three thank you notes to parishioners for their service to Jesus Christ, his church and its mission. It is important to let people know that their contribution matters.
One thing I have noticed as a Protestant whose tradition observes the 40 days Lent: we don't seem to be very good at observing the 50 days of the Easter season. Yes, we pull out all the stops in worship on Easter Sunday, but then we seem to immediately go back to business as usual.
I have never found the New Year very interesting. While I enjoy the
celebration of Christmas, the New Year is basically a time to hang a
different calendar on the wall and to spend the first month trying to
remember to write 2012 instead of 2011.
Jeremy Smith at Hacking Christianity has written a post
on the United Methodist Kentucky Annual Conference's decision requiring candidates for
ministry to open all their social media to Board of Ordained Ministry review.
Many years ago on a mission trip in
Haiti, our group was ministering in the isolated mountains in the west
near the Dominican Republic. The village where we stayed was where the
road ended. To say it was a “road” was an exaggeration.