DE Ponderings, September 2017

Taken from September 2017 edition of “The Reflector” (a publication of the IL/WI Church of the Brethren District Newsletter)

I have an appreciation for the writings of Vernard Eller, one time professor of Religion at the University of LaVerne, primarily because his views are cutting edge and sometimes cutting. I never knew him personally, but I gather from his books that he was a person comfortable in his own skin even if what he said or wrote stirred thoughts and emotions in others.

Continue reading “DE Ponderings, September 2017”

From the Pastor’s Desk, August 2017

This article was taken from “The Canton Chronicle” September 2017, Volume 2017: Issue #6.

Tammy and I recently made our first trek on the new walking/bicycle trail that extends from Lakeland Park to Wallace Park. I’m not sure why we waited so long to check it out. It’s a peaceful place to walk while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Continue reading “From the Pastor’s Desk, August 2017”

DE Ponderings, August 2017

Article taken from “The Reflector”  a publication of the IL/WI District of the Church of the Brethren August 2017 Volume 14, Issue 7.

I enjoy reading, especially a novel in which the author delves into a variety of subjects relevant to our human condition. George Saunders does this spectacularly in Lincoln and the Bardo. He is also, in my view, a master at character development. These two literary accomplishments alone put the book high on my list of good reads. However, one particular scene in Saunders’ novel sheds brilliant light on a matter that has been coursing through my mind most recently, which can be articulated best with a question: In all of our human diversity, what will open the door for us to exist in harmony while still holding on to and utilizing our unique identities?

Continue reading “DE Ponderings, August 2017”

From the Pastor´s Desk, July 2017

On Wednesday, July 26, we will begin a study on Judaism. I have been fascinated with all I’ve learned in preparing to lead this study. What I found most interesting, though, is how the Jewish tradition approaches scripture. The Jewish emphasis is not about searching the scriptures to find ancient answers that speak to life matters for all time. Rather, the focus is more on asking questions about the text in understanding its relevancy for a particular time, or more to the point, for the present time, and to learn how the Divine becomes evident through the text.

Continue reading “From the Pastor´s Desk, July 2017”

DE Ponderings, July 2017

The following article is taken from the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren newsletter  ¨The Reflector¨ July 2017, Volume 14, Issue 6.  If you´d like to subscribe to the Reflector, please leave a message in our contact box and we will have one sent directly to your inbox. 

Approximately one month ago, I served as the moderator for a public forum on the State Budget Impasse, which was held in the community of Canton. The forum focused on educating persons within our county about the adverse effects the state budget impasse was imposing on school districts, nursing homes, community colleges, and other social agencies, all of which depend on state funding for operational needs. Persons no longer receiving services from these agencies or who were likely to no longer be served as a result of the impasse stood to lose the most. For those of us who put the forum together, the impasse posed not so much a political matter but more so a justice issue.

Continue reading “DE Ponderings, July 2017”

From the Pastor´s Desk, June 2017

The following post is taken from the Canton Chronicle, Vol 2017 #4. 

Edward Bernays may not be a familiar name. Yet his philosophy permeates our lives, our culture. In this way we know him.

Continue reading “From the Pastor´s Desk, June 2017”

DE Ponderings, May 2017

The following article is taken from the IL/WI District Church of the Brethren newsletter  ¨The Reflector¨ May 2017, Volume 14, Issue 4.  If you´d like to subscribe to the Reflector, please leave a message in our contact box and we will have one sent directly to your inbox. 

Late night show host Jimmy Kimmel opened his program Monday May 1, with an emotional monologue about the birth of his son which occurred just a few days before. Shortly after the birth, a nurse noticed that the baby’s color was purple (Kimmel´s words). A doctor was summoned and upon further testing it was discovered the baby had been born with a heart defect. Efforts began immediately to call in a specialist who within hours performed surgery that saved the little boy´s life as well as helping him avoid complications later on in life. Kimmel expressed thanks to all those instrumental in providing such great care for his newborn son. He also spoke with emotion about other children in the Children’s Hospital where his son’s surgery was performed.  He noted that his son and these other children had the opportunity for a future because of medical knowledge and care, and also because of medical insurance. He wondered what it would be like for children in need of such significant medical treatment without the availability of insurance. It was a plea for the insurance benefits available to all to continue. It was a plea for justice, for life, a voice for the most vulnerable–children and those unable to afford high-cost medical treatment.

Continue reading “DE Ponderings, May 2017”