I. A Body’s Language I once saw a man with his right hand raised, a woman’s high-heeled shoe in it, and with his left hand was holding the woman by her throat. I was a passenger in a van full of college students from North Dakota State University and that day we were somewhere south […]
Beginning in February a new reality began to dawn on the world, a novel Coronavirus outbreak that quickly became a global pandemic named COVID-19. Suddenly we are told to maintain social distance and stay at home and events and group gatherings are canceled, including public worship. Churches are closed. We are connecting through online technology like Zoom and social media like Face Book. How do we maintain worship and pastoral care in a situation in which we can only communicate virtually?
We invite pastors and theologians to submit sermons and articles that address the COVID-19 pandemic from theological, liturgical, spiritual, and pastoral perspectives. It is precisely in crisis situations that we must draw deeply from the well of the theological tradition. Share how you are doing this.
We invite submission of papers and talks from members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA OR talks given to members of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. Send submissions in Word docx. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January 2013, I led a class from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago on a wilderness travel seminar to study the role of earth’s natural cycles in Christian prayer. Specifically, we explored classic patterns of Christian daily prayer and the liturgical year.1 The course, “Liturgy and the Cycles of Creation,” was held at […]
When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even in the Church by Lillian Daniel. New York: Jericho Books, 2013. Pp. 215. Back in September of 2011, Lillian Daniel published two pieces poking fun at American DIY spirituality, a longer piece in the Christian Century called “You Can’t Make This […]
Rev. BBC Two, 2010 to present, three seasons (series) 19 episodes (including the still-to-air third season) Where to watch in the US: Series (seasons) 1 and 2 available for free at Hulu.com The award-winning British comedy Rev. is the brainchild of Tom Hollander, who co-created and stars in the series as The Rev. Adam Smallbone, […]
On July 1 of this year I began my new career as a retired pastor. My first retirement assignment was giving three days of lectures to the pastors and church workers of the Lutheran Church of Singapore, two open lectures to lay people, a lecture at the Church Music School of the Methodist Church, and […]
During the summer of 2002 I owned neither watch nor cell phone. Indeed I mocked the notion: “Look at me, I need to know what time it is!” I would say in the voice of my pretentious watch-wearing alter ego, while in reality I was just out of college, unemployed, and rather short on social […]
“We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.”1 © Vincent D. […]
It’s been over twenty years since the journalist Alex Kotlowitz published There Are No Children Here.1 In truth, Chicago has been in an undeclared state of emergency for decades, along with other cities like Oakland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Newark. The murder rate in Chicago in 2012 was over 500, including at least 297 youth age […]
It is no secret to anyone in North American Christian circles that Christianity specifically, and organized religion in general, have fallen on hard times, from an institutional development point of view. In many rural communities the decline is part of a general demographic shift caused by the substitution of agri-business for family farming and the […]
Hyde Park is very much a company town,’ said Peter Cassel, director of community development for Antheus Capital, which owns more property in the neighborhood than anyone except the University of Chicago. ‘As the University grows, so too does the neighborhood.’”1 Company Town is the leading motif for this reflection on the rich history of […]
“Where is the moral voice in Chicago?” That question was raised by an occasional attender of worship who is a key player in the not-for-profit world of the city. Where is the alternative vision to challenge the granting of privileges to corporations, selling off public services to private companies, hiring and appointing for political gain, […]
For about four years now I’ve had a recurring dream. It’s a dream where I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair. The lights are bright; I can’t see very much. But I can see the mirror that the dentist is holding up in front of me. And in that mirror I see the reflection of what […]
For Jesus the city was a place not of grace but of conflict. According to the Gospels, during his ministry in Galilee, Jesus avoided the cities in the region entirely. While they mention the names of numerous towns and villages that Jesus visited, the Gospels never speak of him going to either of the main […]
I remember reading Kant’s Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics in college. Today I pulled it out, blew off the dust (I ceremoniously sprinkle dust on all my books just in case I get the opportunity to pull one out in front of someone and impressively blow it off) and read until I landed on the […]
Many churches intentionally welcome all people, citing especially persons of color, gays and lesbians, and those of differing socio-economic classes. Knowing that many people today struggle with the institutional church, our congregational welcome also singles out people who are ambivalent toward organized religion. It is surprising how often people name the significance of that brief […]