Jul 13, 2010
Called but not ordained: The need for lay pastors
For the sake of discretion, call him Hank—just don’t tell him that he’s not a real pastor. He has been serving churches for 30 years and has never been busier than he is today. A calendar posted in the foyer of the church he serves bears him out: a 12-step group at sunrise, men’s Bible study at breakfast, women’s Bible study at 10:00, a clothing bank, a nursery, an after-school program for kids. Starting at 5:30, the church will host a big dinner open to the public, followed by events for all ages, including financial classes.
Ready to lead? The problems with lay pastors: The problems with lay pastors
My home congregation is in some ways emblematic of the dilemmas facing mainline Protestants. Bethel Peniel Presbyterian Church is located in a small town in upstate New York where Presbyterians were dominant in the 18th century and numerous in the 19th. A century ago, one of its predecessor churches had more than 300 members—as many as the building could hold.
'I don't need another tax break' Mike Lapham and Responsible Wealth: Mike Lapham and Responsible Wealth
United for a Fair Economy was started 15 years ago in response to the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S. Mike Lapham joined the organization in 1997 to head its Responsible Wealth program, which mobilizes the voices of people who want to use their money to create a better society—through their own tax money.
What is the vision behind the Responsible Wealth project?
Film looks at Mormon role in boosting Prop 8 defeat of same-sex marriage: 8: The Mormon Proposition
Is it a love letter from liberal Mormons to their church, or a Michael Moore–style hit piece aimed at Mormon leaders?
The film 8: The Mormon Proposition explores the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in repealing same-sex marriage in California nearly two years ago. After debuting at last winter’s Sundance Film Festival, the film opened in 15 cities nationwide on June 18.
Director Reed Cowan had originally set out to document homeless and suicidal Mormon teens when another topic caught his attention.
F is for forgetting: A theological dictionary
A half phrase from Augustine has challenged and inspired me for a half century: “God is like the nature he made.” It appears as a virtual throwaway line, quoted in José Ortega y Gasset’s History as a System (1941), in which Ortega adds a flourish connecting ideas about God with ideas about humans: the human “likewise finds that he has no nature other than what he has himself done.” This comment was helpful back when I was trying to connect my theological-pastoral interests with my calling to be a historian. I’d like to think that it could help others as well.
Living in a material world
America's Economic Moralists: A History of Rival Ethics and Economics
The Future of Islam/The Crisis of Islamic Civilization
The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World
Exporting mental illness
Tea Party's strange brew: Unmitigated disasters
Religion by the numbers: Demography drives change
Sacrifices: The death of soldiers
Before computers: How we spent our time
The flesh is weak: Mark Souder, the Republican congressman from Indiana who recently resigned over an extramarital affair, made this confession to World magazine: "I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotion and tears, felt each time that it wouldn't happen again, read the Bible every morning. . . . So how in the world did I have a 'torrid' (which is an accurate word) many-year affair?" (RNS).