Although ministers like to think of themselves as members of the professional middle class, they are hanging on to that status by their fingernails. Male clergy especially are pursuing their vocations despite a strong “fear of falling,” to use Barbara Ehrenreich’s phrase.
In this new millennium, globalization and pluralism are preoccupying themes. Theologians across the spectrum struggle with both, as do businesspeople who work in global markets, executives who wrestle with “spirituality in the work place” and parents who care about preparing children to live in this globalized and pluralistic world.
At a recent Rose Garden ceremony, former President Jimmy Carter presented President George W. Bush with the final report of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform. This high profile event took place only a few weeks after the release of the Constitution Project’s report on election reform and a Cal Tech/MIT study on election technology.
A Christian who leads a Bible study for his teammates as well as pregame prayers with the opposing team, Charlie Ward of the New York Knicks recently raised hackles with his comments about Jews printed in the New York Times Magazine.
It was not the sort of place where one would expect to find the folks who produced the More-with-Less cookbook, but the massive and hermetically sealed Opryland complex in Nashville was where 9,330 Mennonites gathered in early July for a momentous meeting.