Discerning Mission

Finding God in the trash

Theologian Gregory Walter offers a pointed reminder:

Trash represents things used up, lost, or beyond repair.  No one is more useless than the Crucified One, whose place of execution probably also served as a rubbish heap.  These objects represent a wide range of matters:  love, pain, indifference, affection, cheap labor, and the ephemeral character of goods in our present age. Finding God in the trash means finding God calling out for reconciliation, for forgiveness, for lost hope,

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Spirituality and sabbath

What are people doing on Sunday morning? That's the question Joel Xavier asked in his research. He was particularly interested in how people's sense of themselves as religious connected with what they choose to do on Sunday mornings. Take a listen!

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Trauma and anxiety

Pat Keifert has a powerful reflection on his recent experiences with leaders across various church systems in the most recent Church Innovations newsletter. He writes about leaders who are struggling to cope with the changes they are facing, and uses the language of trauma response to name the kind of anxiety they are enduring. He also suggests some useful ways to reframe the realities we all must engage: 

In the Christian tradition we have very practical, time-tested, and powerful ways to respond

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Encountering our book of faith

The ELCA has an enormous number of resources -- a list which is growing every day -- by which congregations and persons individually can approach the Bible through the Book of Faith Project. Thanks to the thoughtful folk at the Eastern North Dakota Synod, here's a handout that lists most of the resources all in one place (including a number of the newly created Bible studies).

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Secularism and pluralism

Once again MIchael Jinkins, the president of Louisville Seminary, offers a pointed reflection on the challenges of living in the global and diverse world we inhabit. Read his whole essay, but here's a taste to whet your interest:

If we construe our differences as merely matters of individual taste and preference, we trivialize the religious and moral questions that unite and separate us. We also cut ourselves off from the basic social unit of understanding and persuasion, which is not the individual

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