Sunday, April 19, 2009

Word From Winkler

Jim Winkler is the Chair of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society. This is our denominational witness on Capital Hill, advocating on behalf of the church and resourcing local churches for social justice witness.

I receive the email "Faith in Action" each week. Every time I open it, I am blessed by the writing of this man.

I have attached a link for this week's reflection "What might have been"
I commend it to you as worth your time. His overall focus is poverty. The issues range from unions to civil rights to the economic crisis being the result of Washington believing that "what is good for Wall Street is good for America" to the idea that there are three big challenges of our nation relating to three myths.

I found this to be the most thought provoking part of his writing:

The economic crisis is a good opportunity to change things. For me, Christianity is a way of life summed up by the passage in 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Why is it that the God of Love so often, it seems, has to fight an uphill battle against the God of Law? The God of Love is not only nurturing and sustaining, but requires us to face up to three great myths that have damaged and distorted our lives: white supremacy, male superiority and American exceptionalism. The damaging effects of these myths have made it difficult for love to express its full power.

I bet that "American Exceptionalism" is a term that has been coined for a while, but this is the first I have encountered it. It gives a name to something that has been driving me nuts for years. Who says we are the best nation on earth? Why are we any better than the rest of God's creation? I find this arrogance is maddening.

Happy reading!

Poetic Blessing

On Sunday afternoons, I sleep for a very long time. By the time I have led three worship services, I am tired. My family is very gracious about letting me sleep for 2-3 hours.

Several weeks ago, I awoke from my nap and my daughter Shannon had written a poem for me. It made my heart happy. Here it is...

Roses are Red Violets are majenta
Easter eggs are yellow and
blue and pink. And your my Easter
egg rapped in gold. I love you mom.
Don't you know why your so
spaicale. Because your just what
I need for Easter nothing
more your as spaical I could
Amagen. You are the best one
I could ever meet. Your so
spacial to me mom. Do I love you?
yes I do. Why would not I love you
Your the best I could ever meet mom.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


I am sitting in my kitchen going over my preparations for worship tomorrow. It is Palm/Passion Sunday. The lectionary calls for reading two entire chapters of the gospel of Mark (14-15). This typically takes about 15 minutes. So I am trying something new, perhaps biting off more than I can chew: I am going to retell the story and weave reflections into the story as proclamation for the day.

Reading and reflecting upon Jesus' suffering and death feels somehow dissonant today because it was such a wonderful day. We had a fabulous pancake breakfast at Town Point to raise funds for our mission trip this summer, followed by our Walk-a-Thon from Town Point to Jacob's Well to Trinity. It was a great day to walk 7 miles; and an even better day to walk 3.5 since Ray and I split the caring for the kids and walking responsibilities. (A true team effort.) The sun was shining, and we concluded with a picnic on the front lawn of Trinity. Between breakfast sales and sponsorships, we raised a few dollars shy of $1000.

We are going to Salem Twp. Maine to do home repair ministry in a rural community with a weak economy. Today I saw signs for the "Maine Event" which is just fun, I think.

My hope is that this trip will take us deeper into the heart of Christ, and draw us more deeply out of ourselves and into the relationships and service that Christ reveals. For it is in giving life away that we receive life. As John Wesley, the founder of Methodism said: "grace received and not passed on loses it efficacy."

As I sit here feeling so content as I read the passion narrative, I would like to hope it flows from the abiding peace that comes from focusing beyond self...because after spending a day enjoying the simple beauty of a spring day filled with beautiful people I love, its hard to know where it is flowing from... and I am not sure it really matters.