At our first Community Connections meeting, we had an enlightening discussion with Dr. Deborah Alexander about her current work with Afghan refugees in our community. Dr. Alexander is uniquely qualified from her own experience as one of the first civilians to enter Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks.
This month we're reading Anam Ċara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue. For me this book is like a deep cleansing breath. O’Donohue’s lyrical prose is something to be sensed and felt as much as understood—after all, he was also a poet. There is a lovely discussion of these themes with the author that was my introduction to O'Donohue and this work at On Being with Krista Tippett.
Our hearts continue to turn to the needs and sufferings of the people from Ukraine. We often don’t know what to do beyond our shared sorrow and frequent prayers. A recent conversation with my friend and Kentucky pastor, Roger Jasper offered me some consolation. Some of you might recognize Roger's last name by way of his mother, Scarlette Jasper. She is the person we have partnered with and supported through the excellent care and compassion she offers to the needs of Eastern Kentucky with Together for Hope.
During this season of Lent, we hope you will join us for worship as we encounter familiar texts from women's perspectives.
At the end of the Summer in 2021, Hebrew Scholar Dr. Wilda Gafney offered the church a new lectionary for consideration. The “Woman’s Lectionary For The Whole Church” is a new resource she has developed for congregational use in addition to the Revised Common Lectionary that has been in use for over 70 years by mainline congregations. Her new work invites churches to consider many of our familiar Biblical texts from the perspective of women.
While we watched with much of the world, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the Russian advancement on Ukraine, we are deeply saddened at the needless violence and loss of life. We join with people of faith around the world in prayer for peace in Ukraine. This prayer from the Week of Compassion, the Disciples of Christ global relief ministry is a good place to begin when it's difficult to find words for such tragic and senseless events.
Hear how a short story from Deborah Alexander inspires our calling to help be good neighbors.
Daniel Bailey has written a new song responding to the journey of women in ministry. A long-time Central member now in Oklahoma, Daniel is currently studying at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.
CBF Kentucky has raised over $70,000 to support relief efforts in Mayfield and Bremen. There's still plenty of time to help with these ongoing efforts to support those affected by this disaster. Whether you'd like to offer financial support or even volunteer to assist with cleanup efforts, there are opportunities to help.
An immediate plan of action is being requested from churches who, like ours, are a part of the Kentucky Council of Churches. It involves details of HB 4, which as defined below has the potential to negatively impact the most vulnerable in our community and State. As historic Baptists, we understand the principle of church and state separation to prohibit the use of church resources to endorse and campaign for specific political candidates, not as the need for the church to be silent about policy decisions that might negatively hurt the powerless. I invite you to learn and study about HB 4 by following the included links and if so led by the Spirit, to take action.
Making the most out of a crisis requires us to surprise the world with good trouble. The recent bomb threats to HBCUs is an opportunity for us to offer our support. I was inspired to enact one of these great lessons thanks to a recent article from Baptist News entitled, "Stop threatening HBCUs" by Dr. David Cassady of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. He is responding to the recent bomb threats across the county to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which we now are learning were likely propagated by a set of juveniles. But, let's not kid ourselves. This is not just a prank, but a long-standing exercise of intimidation and racial animus that we can notice over and over again, infecting our young with racial prejudice that is deeply embedded into the American fabric.