Although I cannot yet see the fruition, beneath the surface seeds are already germinating, preparing to poke their heads out of the soil when the time is right, bursting forth into new plants. Within weeks, buds and leaves will appear on the same trees that now look so dim. Rain will fall, the puddles becoming homes for small frogs. By the middle of June, flowers will abound.
Our church has a lot of programs for children and teens but nothing for those of us who are retirement age. I feel as if I don’t count. Shouldn’t the church have things for us too?
Thank you so much for making Joanne De Jonge’s kids’ pages available for printing (“Just for Kids: A Baker’s Dozen,” free PDF download available at thebanner.org). I have been meaning to request permission to copy some of the children’s pages from The Banner to share with the girls in our GEMS Club. The ones you made available are some of my favorites.
Nobody imagined what would happen as the result of Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s field.
What if we were able to find that delight in life again? How could we return to finding joy in the simple things that astonish little children?
What I found very helpful in teaching our young people was to replace the weekly catechism class with monthly Sunday retreats for high school juniors and seniors.
Avoiding social hierarchies does not mean we should eliminate social differences or diversity, but merely the inequality between those differences.
Was Jesus’ death on the cross a form of divine child abuse?
Our denomination has an opportunity to better protect the vulnerable among us. As a follow-up to Overture 2 at Synod 2018, a report on addressing the abuse of power in the CRCNA is coming to Synod 2019.
If we believe that God has already inaugurated his reign and rule, then the primary way to unlock the power of the Holy Spirit is through our believing actions.
It is dawn. A lone figure is bending over a charcoal fire on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He looks up, scanning the horizon. When he catches sight of a boat heading for shore, he recognizes it as his disciples’ boat.
There is nothing inherently unchristian about minimalism, and there are certainly significant parallels to Jesus' teaching on money and possessions.
At one point or another, most of us wonder about the afterlife. What happens when we die? Will we remember our lives from here on earth? Will we recognize loved ones? What about our pets?
Eating the “clean fifteen,” seeking out grass-fed beef—has been tiring. And so far it has not fixed the world.
If you mention genealogy in a group, it’s likely someone has had some experience with it—or knows someone who has. You’re also likely to pick up on some friendly competitiveness about how far back their roots could be traced.
Should we celebrate that parks are cleaner, that creativity is blossoming, that local business is thriving? Or should we mourn that the most vulnerable members of our city are quietly being forced out of their homes as rents shoot up and homes become less and less affordable? Can we do both?
God calls us in remarkably diverse and unpredictable ways. Because this is so, there is no simple or generalizable formula for discerning what task, career, or domestic positions God is calling us to occupy.
You’ve probably played hide-and-seek outside with your friends. But did you know that some animals are great at hiding too? A walking stick insect can blend in with its surroundings by pretending to be a stick. But some animals can hide by changing colors! Here are a few hide-and-seek champions.
A recommendation I suggest is that synod commit to scheduling overtures and appeals on Mondays so that geographically distant synod attendees can attend without missing seven days of work (“Task Force Recommends Refinements for Annual Synods,” Feb 2019).
Are we using a season designed for contemplation of the holy to alleviate our own insecurities about our bodies, our work ethic, our personal health? And if so, is it time, as we’ve done with Christmas, to take stock of what the “true meaning” of Lent really is?
In our culture it is quite fashionable to acknowledge a person’s faith. We’re likely to praise the strong faith that enables people to courageously cope with major challenges. This is true even in primarily secular settings.
What do you consider to be the most humorous passage in Scripture?
Thanks for asking! I'm always grateful for those who find humor important for our health and welfare, including biblical humor. There's a lot of it. But my favorite?
Congregations may look like organizations in which market-based strategies apply, but these strategies are never going to capture the full range of what they do or how they can best be supported.
Can we change the world’s perception of Christians as primarily judgmental and negative into one of Christians as primarily life-affirming and loving? Given a choice between a prevention oriented person and a promotion oriented one, I know who I would rather hang out with.