Hope in the Midst of Crisis

Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace CoverNo matter where we live, events of the world reach us instantaneously. Whether we are personally effected by acts of violence, natural disasters, injustice, or tragedy, we are each touched by the ramifications of another occurrence of brokenness in our world.

As Christians we are called to be bridge builders of peace, voices for the voiceless, and agents of reconciliation. Our church communities respond instantaneously in times of crisis, and we are hungry to learn how to do more. Whether individually or corporately, by collaborating with each other we can make a difference.

There are two “resources” that will soon be available as new tools for our individual and corporate toolboxes for proclaiming peace, justice, and reconciliation – to be agents of hope.

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Resources for Advent & Christmas: Year B

adventThe season of Advent will soon be upon us (November 30, 2014) and our lectionary cycle will turn to Year B. This is the year of Mark, when our gospel focus turns to the first gospel written as well as Old Testament themes of the Davidic Covenant and Wisdom literature.

Download AdventChristmas2014 (my updated Advent & Christmas 2014 Ideas, Activities and Resources).

Planning Advent activities for home and church are many. Here are some resources that I recommend for tapping into:

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Formation for Mission in a VUCA World

communityThe below sermon was preached at the 2014 diocesan convention for the Episcopal Church in Vermont on All Saints Day, November 1, 2014. The theme of convention was “Equipped for the Journey: Formation for Mission”

Readings: Revelation 7:9-17, Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front and Matthew 5:1-12

Much of yesterday we were challenged to look at how we join in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation. We live in changing times, and as Phyllis Tickle shares in her book, The Great Emergence, every five hundred years the Church has a rummage sale; we are again living in such a time of reformation. What do we need to keep? What do we need to get rid of? What do we need to re-imagine?

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New! Curriculum Charts for Youth and Adults

si1cr04Better late than never! I’ve finally updated my curriculum charts of resources that are available to use with youth (13-18) and adults (post-high school), with some assistance from Jose Reyes, a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary and summer intern at the Center for the Ministry of Teaching. He did much of the grunt work to check out websites and costs, the two areas that change the most from year to year with curricular products. And his work spurred my work to update the annual (Spring – ha!) charts that I compile. Thank you, Jose!

It’s a much tougher task to find materials that are theologically appropriate, timely, and flexible than it is for children’s resources. These charts reflect most (but not all) material that is available from mainstream publishers across the denominational / non-denominational level. The charts are not my endorsements of any resource in particular, and for those who have been to my curriculum workshops, you know my bias and whence it comes.

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Enough for All

bread crumbsProper 15A: The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

I don’t know about you, but this summer has been hard. If you listen to any news reports – whether it is in print, radio, television, or social media it has been hard. One would have had to been on a news fast, removed from all contact with the outside world to be oblivious to all that has been going on. Hatred, bitterness, anxiety, and violence seem to be permeating our society, here in the U.S. and in the world. Rockets launched into neighborhoods and school yards in Gaza and Israel; Christians in fear of their lives in Iraq; tear gas on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri; and children held like prisoners on our borders.

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