Last year as part of a faculty group book-read I encountered Larry Rasmussen’s Earth Honoring Faith. In Rasmussen’s view, sabbath is one of the resources that could be deployed to apply brakes to a society that is over-consuming the resources of the planet and the lives of its own members. The suggestion of the healing possibilities of sabbath resonated with me not only because of my environmental commitments, but also on a more human level.
Transforming Congregations through Community: Faith Formation from the Seminary to the Church, by Boyung Lee. In this highly accessible work, pastor and seminary professor Lee offers readers a vision, plus practical guidance for helping mainline congregations become vital and faithful communities in the 21st century.
We are coming to the close of the season of HallowThanksMas. It begins the last week of October and extends until Christmas Day. At the end of October the children are loaded up on sugar that doesn't seem to leave their systems until early January. Shopping centers have Christmas decorations up in mid-October, and then the materialistic press to buy more and more sets in.
A large majority of Americans consider Sunday the most enjoyable day of the week, according to a 1998 Gallup poll. Few Century readers would wish for a different answer. However, as autumn once again evokes rueful ministerial jokes about ending worship in time for the congregation to get home for the football game, some may think that Sunday has become a little too enjoyable.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).