Reflections

The Local Church as Immune System

Each of us contributes to it in our times of strength, and each of us benefits from it in times of need.

A 10-month-old with a compromised immune system recently contracted a life-threatening infection.  Doctors saved the boy's life by administering immunoglobulin, a concentrated dose of antibodies derived from the plasma from more than 1,000 blood donors. 

Regular Meals

"If anyone knows about regularity, it's monks." 

"If anyone knows about regularity, it's monks."  That's a quote from Phil Fox Rose (at Busted Halo), and I detected a double-entendre that he probably didn't intend.  Rose recently went on a monastic retreat, and among his epiphanies from that experience, he was struck by the value of having set daily meal times and limited menu choices.  (At his retreat, breakfast each morning was 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 slices of toast with orange marmalade.  Take it or leave it.)

Wesleyan principles of holistic health

John Wesley integrated wellness promotion into the work of circuit riders and Methodist societies, stressing the wisdom of prevention: taking care of ourselves every day to ward off major illness.

 

Our friends at Church Health Reader recently published Part 2 of an interview with Duke Divinity Professor Randy L. Maddox, discussing John Wesley's views of health and medicine.

Eating Better

For six weeks, Ellen Tarlin kept an online diary of her efforts to eat better.

For six weeks, Ellen Tarlin kept an online diary of her efforts to eat better.  Her final post went up on Valentine's Day.

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 Incarnation of Excellence

The One who is the incarnation of excellence was born of a young peasant girl among the homeless in a cattle stall.

By Kenneth Carder

Defining excellence in ministry remains a challenge. Some people suggest that the term excellence carries so much class and cultural baggage that an alternative descriptive word or phrase should be used.  Faithful, fruitful, and effective seem to be the most frequently suggested substitutes.

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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,

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.

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