Friday, December 7, 2012

Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery Service Center

 It is an ancient and venerable tradition to dedicate Christian cemeteries with a cross.  This morning, Holy Cross Cemetery dedicated it new full service center by installing a dome and cross.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Refugee Ministry Lessons

Refugee Ministry Lessons

1) There is not "them" only "us." Jesus' challenge to love our neighbors is to enlarge our definition of "us."
2) There are no "unbelievers" only "not-yet belivers." We don't get to judge. We proclaim the Gospel with the assumption that all will believe.
3) There is no difference between meeting physical and spiritual needs. We do not meet physcial needs to gain access to spiritual needs. We meet physical needs because it is the right thing to do. There is a danger that if we seek to manipulate or "buy" or way into the spiritual, we taint the relationship.
4) There is no difference between a big vision and a big heart. Thre can be a difference if the big vision is based on self-promotion and success. If the vision is based on relationship and service, they are the same.
5) Thre is no difference between leading and following. Good leaders follow. Good followers lead.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The need for respect and honor

When we disagree with our leaders we often have little recourse. It is out of our hands whether the mayor is recalled or the president is impeached. The disagreement rarely warrants it anyway. There are quite a few things we can do. We can dishonor and disrespect. We can repeat unsubstantiated claims. We can tell coarse jokes. We can create or repeat rumors. We can imagine some future implication of their action and act as though it has already taken place. We can associate them with some undesireable label. We can compare them to Hitler or Judas. We can mischaracterize their position to make it undesirable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Micah lived in a world of turmoil. War, bandit raids, famine, invasion defined the years. The Jewish family was split between a decandent and idolatrous north an the unpredicatble south that wavered between rejection of God and half-hearted attempts at revival. There were glimmers of faith but an overwhelming sense of gloom. There were long enough gaps between disaster that prosperity was felt by a few. But even this was at a severe cost. The growing distance between wealth and poverty created more divisions and hard feelings. Those with means padded their security by seizing the meager holdings of the poor. The community shattered. Those in a position to oppose the injustice balked at the challenge and even participated in the abuse.

The threat of war loomed from the north. Syria was being pressed by Assyria around the corner of the fertile crescent. Syria and Ephraim sought the alliance of Judah to defend against the coming invasion of Assyria. But Ahab of Judah recognized the might of Assyria and buckeled. Against his brothers he brokered a deal with the Assyrian hoard by surrendering the holy implements of the temple. Shrewd but soaked in sin.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Indciting Leaders

When is it time to indict leaders?

Micah indicted both the civil and religious leaders of his day. He accused the civil leaders of consuming the people. He accused the religious leaders of altering their message to obtain money.

We are often too quick to critisize those in leadership. It is too easy to do. It is the national past time. It drips of cynisism and does nothing to help any situation. Our leaders fear our disdain. They are paralyzed from doing anthing because any attempt they make is met with vitriol. But it makes interesting news. It is easy to make fun of.

Micah preached against greed

Greed is too close to ambition. Ambition is a protestant virtue. It is very difficult to separate an ambitious businessman from a greedy one.

No one knows when prices are excessive or when they are merely reflecting supply and demand realities.

No one knows when a salary is fair or obscene (executives, professional sports, celebrities).

No one knows when an interest rate is usuary or a reasonable return on risk.

No one knows when wages paid are fair or modern day slavery.

We can't preach against greed because we don't know what it is!