At a church leadership retreat, a tall man with a mustache and red suspenders stands up and says, “Several of us here find ourselves wondering if our church is still God-centered. It seems to us something’s missing.” At another retreat, a woman blurts out, “But what do we believe? That’s what I want to know.” Others in her group seem unnerved by her comment, as if an unwritten rule of discourse has been violated. But a few moments later, another woman adds, “Yes, I sometimes feel we’re not sure who we are or what we believe.”
When the earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, Ben and Alexis Depp were in Port-au-Prince working with the Mennonite Central Committee. Ben served as a field reporter and communications assistant in a microfinance operation; Alexis worked on sustainable development and as an advocate for Haitian-led use of donors’ money.
What happened on the evening of the earthquake?
“Seventy-eight percent of all clergy are either overweight (48 percent) or obese (30 percent).” —Pulpit & Pew Research Project
I was sitting in my usual seat behind the pulpit, famished, thinking, “Will this anthem ever end?” My stomach was growling. Only through heroic spiritual effort was I able to put thoughts of lunch aside and pronounce the benediction.
It is by living and dying that one becomes a theologian, Martin Luther said. With that comment in mind, we have resumed a Century series published at intervals since 1939 and asked theologians to reflect on their own struggles, disappointments, questions and hopes as people of faith and to consider how their work and life have been intertwined. This article is the fifth in the series.
Director Martin Scorsese goes for broke in Shutter Island. The style is a particularly gaudy brand of expressionism. The production design is dominated by dried-blood reds and smeary browns. Robert Richardson’s cinematography is more radically underlit than the old Universal monster pictures from the early 1930s. But the movie is a fiasco.
I have long envied the white coats that physicians wear in hospitals; they’re simple, no nonsense and authoritative. Drape a stethoscope around the neck and the coat is perfectly accessorized.
To me, the coat says, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. I just came from the lab where I was working on something that may win a Nobel Prize. Since my skills are in such demand, I didn’t have time to take off this lab coat before rushing over here to talk to you about your gall bladder.”
Some military chaplains uneasy on planned repeal of 'Don't Ask' policy: Say change will infringe on religious beliefs
Catholic Charities drops spousal benefits in response to same-sex marriage law: Policy applies to new employees
Methodists suspend funding of two seminaries: Claremont School of Theology, United Theological Seminary
Beck's world: Fox News TV host Glenn Beck urged his audience to leave congregations that refer to social justice or economic justice. “Look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site,” he said. “If you find it, run as fast as you can.” Bread for the World has invited people to sign an online petition to Beck that reads: “Economic and social justice are central to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Quit using your bully pulpit to spread misinformation and fear by comparing faithful Christians who care ‘for the least of these’ to Nazis and communists” (Bread for the World).