Monday, October 29, 2007

A Good Preacher...

I found this at Rev. K.C Wahe's blog:

I came across this story about Clarence Jordan, who was instrumental in founding
Habitat for Humanity. He visited an integrated church in the Deep South. He was
surprised to find such a large church so thoroughly integrated not only black and white,
but rich and poor. So he asked the old hillbilly preacher, “How did you get the church this
way?” The preacher said, “Well, when our preacher left our small church, I went to the
Deacons and said, ‘I’ll be the preacher.’ And the first Sunday, I opened the book and read, ‘As many of you as has been baptized into Jesus has put on Jesus, and there is no longer any Jews or Greeks, slaves are free, males or females, because you is all one in Jesus.’ “Then I closed the book and said, ‘If you one with Jesus, you one with all kinds of folks, and if you ain’t, you ain’t.”
So Jordan asked what happened after that and the preacher said, “Well, the Deacons took
me into the back room and told me they didn’t want to hear that kind of preaching any more.”
Jordan asked, “What’d you do?” He said, ‘I fired them Deacons. I preached that church down to four people. And not long after that it grew and grew and grew. And I found out that revivals sometimes don’t mean bringing people in, but getting people out who don’t love Jesus.’ (William H. Willimon, Eating and Drinking Among the Lost, Pulpit Resource, Vol. 35, No. 4, Year C, p. 24)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On Reading the Bible

Curiously, the most serious religious people, or the most concerned
scholars, those who constantly read the Bible as a matter of
professional or pious duty, can often manage to evade a radically
involved dialogue with the book they are questioning.
Thomas Merton

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Prayer on Service

Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give, and not to count the cost,
to fight, and not to heed the wounds,
to toil, and not to seek for rest,
to labor, and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will.

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1566)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Presbyterian (USA) Multicultural Congregations

To qualify as multicultural, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation must have members from two or more racial-ethnic groups, with no more than 80 percent in any one racial-ethnic group. In 2006 we find that:

  • 291 congregations are multicultural (less than 3 percent of the total, but up from 120–125 in 1996).
  • Most are relatively small, with a median membership of 84, compared to a median of 105 for all congregations.
  • Two-thirds have a white majority (187 or 64 percent). In 29 (10 percent) the majority is African American; in 14 (5 percent), Hispanic; in 13 (4 percent), Asian; in 9 (3 percent), Native American; and in 3 (1 percent), other.
  • No one racial-ethnic group has a majority of the membership in 36 congregations; of these, 15 are located in the New York City area.
  • Overall, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have one or more multicultural congregations, with concentrations in New York (44), California (39) and New Jersey (22).
  • The largest percentages of congregations that are multicultural are in Massachusetts (8 of 36; 22 percent), Arizona (6 of 37; 14 percent) and Hawaii (1 of 7; 14 percent).
Press here to read more about the research

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Doxology...

"And now unto him who is able to keep us from falling and lift us from the dark valleys of despair to the mountains of hope, from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy; to him be power and authority, for ever and ever. Amen".
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Prayer as Uprising...

"To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
Karl Barth

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On Prayer and Service

"A Sister who does not pray cannot remain with us -- she might as well go. Through prayer you will believe and through belief you will love -- through love you will serve."
Mother Theresa

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.