OPINION: News events prompt soul-searching questions
Do the leaders in your congregation ever make reference to the news around us? If so, they’ve had some challenging topics to address lately.
OPINION: Pope shows he is not beholden to liberal or conservative agenda
Pope Francis’ first trip to the United States generated an immense amount of publicity, much of it adoring and admiring. But the Pope also garnered a fair share of condemnation from all sides.
OPINION: A surprise visit from the pope could lead to some other surprises as well
How would citizens of Southwest Georgia react if Pope Francis were to make a surprise sidetrip to Albany, Georgia, before returning to the Vatican?
OPINION: Translation by Robert Alter reintroduces structure of psalms
I am reading Robert Alter’s translation of the psalms – one psalm per day – for the next 150 days. “The Book of Psalms: A Translation and Commentary” is not for everybody, even though the book comes very highly acclaimed.
OPINION: Reacting to the unexpected events of life
When one suspects that disaster may be lurking, the vigilant person does everything possible to prepare.
OPINION: Not everyone comes to church happy
I’ve always enjoyed a nice pair of socks. For years I would reserve various pairs of argyle socks only for Friday, my “off day” in ministry. It felt good to look wear snappier socks on that day. So now on the day when I am delighted to be in worship, I wear my Happy Socks.
OPINION: When I reduce immigration to my own neighborhood I realize how visceral is this issue
One of Jesus’ most thought-provoking parables minces no words: the sheep and goats will be separated on the Day of Judgment according to a single criteria: care for the least of God’s people.
OPINION: Give something away every day are wise words
What can be given away need not be material. Freely giving away affirmation, love or forgiveness, when not given as a substitute for tangible gifts, can be far more long-lasting than giving money, goods or services.
OPINION: Worship encompasses more than sitting in a pew during a service
When did worship start and finish that Sunday? Were my conversations immediately preceding and following the service considered worship? The same encounters could have taken place on the street corner, at a civic club or in the neighborhood.
OPINION: Hot topics come to mind one at a time
Looking at meaning in a sign, faithfulness in attendance and leaders wearing thin with their flock.
OPINION: The church attitudes of the 1950s are reflected in the aging Finch in the Harper Lee sequel
Harper Lee’s father, Amasa Coleman Lee, an attorney who most agree was the role model for Atticus Finch, was a lay Methodist preacher, a leader at First Methodist Church Monroeville, a teetotaler and a member of the Alabama Alcohol Control Board. He confronted a minister about preaching on social issues before advocating for racial harmony in his later life.
OPINION: Not much enlightenment on the lighting aisle
Used to be one’s biggest decision was whether to purchase a 40-, 60- or 100-watt bulb. Now, purchasing a light bulb is loaded with so much terminology that one yearns for the days when the incandescent bulbs with the little wires that went “pop” were the only choice.
OPINION: Religious identity is more important than we acknowledge
Polls show that those who identify themselves as Christian (of any denomination) is waning, implying a weakening of religious identity.
FAITH COLUMN: North Carolina law would allow religious conscience to decide action by county officials
North Carolina lawmakers, not waiting to hear how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the legality of gay marriage, has passed a law that allows any county registrar to refuse, by reason of religious conscience, to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple.
FAITH COLUMNIST: Nine are killed in what should be a place of peace
One can’t help but ask – even though it is unfair to lump people together – what is wrong with a subset of angry, murderous, white men in our nation? Sandy Hook. Aurora. Now Charleston. Even sacred places are targets for cowardly assassins who murder elementary school children and moviegoers.