It has been impossible not to hear of several tragic incidents of death of black men during confrontations with police. I have been struck and saddened by the deaths of people I did not know...
For two decades ever more frequent scandals involving clergy have surfaced in many communions. Many of those crimes were covered up by bishops or other denominational judicatories. Small wonder that surveys that measure trust in people in public positions of authority have ranked clergy as low or lower than politicians...
I went to the Art Prize and saw a huge mug pouring translucent brown liquid into a vat ... proclaimed Grand Rapids as “The Beer City” according to some craft beer industry survey. I wonder: What centre have we lost? What should we do to rebuild or establish a real centre more lasting than the head of a schooner of beer?
I still cannot comprehend these facts three weeks after it all began. They've been playing in my head like a wicked song I can’t turn off. My response is not unique. Why does this young man’s death and his family’s grief make such a deep impact on so many who never knew Tim Bosma?
Synod and Summer 2012 have come and gone. Where I live the weather was hot and dry. Some synod discussions and debates surely may have been hot, in committee, over mealtimes and in plenary sessions. But from what I heard and gleaned, they were never dry. Nor was the Synod Network conversation.
As the church order implications of our recommendation were discussed in 2011, a motion was made from the floor to delete one sentence from article 59 of the church order: “This public profession of faith includes a commitment to the creeds and confessions of the Christian Reformed Church.” That motion was discussed and approved without comment from our committee, but the instant it was passed we realized that we had blundered in our silence.
In a few years, perhaps Belhar will have taken root in our hearts and minds, worked on our consciences and souls as it could not have had the advisory committee never daringly and faithfully followed God’s Spirit and decided to stay united. Remember my paraphrase of the old hymn: “God moves in a mysterious way—our blunders to reform.”
The voice vote was unanimous and, apparently, enthusiastic. I (along with my committee colleagues) was a little stunned. After all this time and after the near rancor of last year’s discussion at Synod—now unanimity and applause? Whatever! And most of all, thanks be to God.
So, what’s wrong with the name Christian Reformed World Relief Committee? Nothing’s wrong with it. It just doesn’t fit as well as it used to. Sometime in the next few days Synod will be faced with a significant decision about Christian Reformed World Relief Committee...
Weighing in at 114 pages, the Creation Stewardship Task Force Report is the physical heavyweight of all reports this year. I wonder if anyone else picked up the irony that the issue it carefully deals with also results in using more natural resources in its publication than any other on the docket.
Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Ripping his passionate and compassionate observation completely out of context, it is tempting to say the “The Form of Subscription Revision Study Committee” will always be with us as well.
I sat in the Brussels Airport with dozens of different nationalities and more languages. Soon we all boarded one plane, made in Europe, run by an Indian company, and headed to Toronto. Among us we are all able to communicate basically. If we had spent a long time together, we’d have to learn to live together deeply. That's what this year's diverse Agenda begs us to do ...
I hereby solemnly pledge NOT to make this blog a soapbox for my own opinions about issues before Synod 2012--though opinions will not be entirely absent either. I am glad to be back with you. I invite your attentiveness and comments, disagreements and invitations to dinner or free tickets to Tigers or Blue Jays games.
Leonard Cohen sings a long, complex song called “It’s Closin’ Time.” It’s full of varied images and scenes that evoke life’s excitement, unpredictability, the rare possibility of controlling much, but dealing with it without anxiety. Sort of like The Network.
This has been quite a week for both home nations of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Two events of political and pastoral significance riveted us - the death of Osama Bin Laden and the federal election in Canada.
Denying Jesus' resurrection started the day he arose. It’s natural to deny the resurrection. We modern folks like to get to the root of things. And at the root of all things biological is that life will end in death. That's all there is, folks. There ain't no more.
Many say Lent’s 42 days mesh with Jesus’ 40 days of desert temptation by the devil. He was sustained by praying. Lent is still a time for praying. When do you pray? Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Prize winning novelist, was once asked when he prayed. Singer famously answered, “"I only pray when I'm in trouble. But I'm in trouble all the time, so I always pray."
This is the time of year when we start (or ought to!) thinking about planning for preaching, worship and teaching for the school/church year starting in September. I invite you to take a good look at the website for The Story to learn about what I think is a very worthwhile potential preaching, worship and teaching