Liturgical Year

Summon in the Spirit

Recalling a bit of etymology may prove important as pastors move through Advent and into the celebration of the Incarnation.

There’s strong evidence that St. Mary’s of Bethlehem, an ancient hospital in London noted for its care of the mentally ill, is the source for the word bedlam, meaning chaos and cacophony. The account has it that the word Bethlehem underwent the process of contraction common in English until it became cockneyfied into bedlam. The name for the town where Jesus was born gradually decayed into a word synonymous with the cries of the mentally ill.

Lenten resource connects food to faith

With Ash Wednesday almost upon us, here is a Lenten devotional that features daily healthy recipes.

Choosing Where to be Present

The Incarnate Son of God chose to be present in the hurting and dangerous places and among the outcasts and marginalized.

By Kenneth L. Carder

 “What advice do you have?” I asked a veteran bishop as I prepared to assume that same office after my election in 1992.

“Choose carefully where to be present, especially your first Sunday,” he replied. “Where you decide to be will be remembered longer than what you say or do when you get there. And, where and with whom you spend your time will shape your view of the church and your role in it.”

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Balancing Christmas hoopla with Advent spirituality

Lillian Daniel writes about loving both the solemn mood of Advent and the fun of "cultural" Christmas.

In a 2009 essay at the Call & Response blog at Faith & Leadership, Lillian Daniel writes about loving both the solemn mood of Advent and the fun of "cultural" Christmas, the shopping and wrapping and baking, etc.

Our North Carolina pastors will be in my prayers this coming week.  Amidst all the "meaning making" you are responsible for, I pray that you get to stop and smell the evergreen branches.

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The power of yes and no

Joseph was going to call the whole thing off.

Here is an Advent reflection for this week, by our friend and office-neighbor Bill Lamar at Faith & Leadership.

A preview:

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Advent and Christmas Resources

Just a quick drive-by to point out some Advent resources that may be of interest or use to you.

Sisters and brothers,

Thanksgiving is a time to remember

The Clergy Health Initiative's own Ed Moore offers a Thanksgiving reflection this week in Faith & Leadership...

The Clergy Health Initiative's own Ed Moore offers a Thanksgiving reflection this week in Faith & Leadership.

Lamenting our culture's current focus on conspicuous consumption, Ed advises us to take time to reflect on our origins.  For by remembering the past and acknowledging a time when we've had little, we can give thanks for what we now have in a more meaningful way.

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There is Endless Potential in the Clay

When I was a student at Duke Divinity School, I considered becoming an archaeologist.

Note: This is the tenth post in a 10-part series, drawn from Connecting the Mind, Body and Spirit: Reflections on Health, produced by the Clergy Health Initiative and distributed at the 2010 United Methodist Annual Conferences in North Carolina.  Each reflection is tied to the lectionary.

September 5, 2010
Jeremiah 18:1-11, Psalm 139 • Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.

Living Wholly in Christian Community

The sermon was delivered, hands had been shaken, and the church doors were locked for the day. Now, it was time for the pastor’s favorite part of the week – Sunday afternoon.

Note: This is the ninth post in a 10-part series, drawn from Connecting the Mind, Body and Spirit: Reflections on Health, produced by the Clergy Health Initiative and distributed at the 2010 United Methodist Annual Conferences in North Carolina.  Each reflection is tied to the lectionary; we will publish each reflection a week in advance of the Sunday to which it is tied.

August 29, 2010
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 • Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Freedom from Infirmity

In his woodcut, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” the artist Robert Hodgell depicts a man bent over, not unlike the woman in today’s scripture from Luke.

Note: This is the eighth post in a 10-part series, drawn from Connecting the Mind, Body and Spirit: Reflections on Health, produced by the Clergy Health Initiative and distributed at the 2010 United Methodist Annual Conferences in North Carolina.  Each reflection is tied to the lectionary; we will publish each reflection a week in advance of the Sunday to which it is tied.

August 22, 2010
Luke 13:10-17 • When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

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