A Prayer of Lament and Hope for Our Despondent Spirits The following is a prayer I offered tonight at our regular Wednesday night prayer in light of the horrific, disturbing and far too often school shootings, this time closer to home at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. This prayer is influenced by language offered by my friend and colleague, Rabbi David Wirtschafter, whose Facebook post became a launching pad for my own meditations. May we all (Jews, Christians and all persons of goodwill) work, work, work beyond our prayers and for a better and safer tomorrow. A future post will highlight actual action steps.
This prayer, written by Rev. Crystal Shepherd and offered during our Service of Hope & Healing, invites us to remember the suffering in the world around us while remembering that God is always near, bringing hope and light.
An unknown runner inspires a preacher on vacation with a one word sermon.
The following is a list of books recommended by folks from Central Baptist Church as formative and meaningful in their Christian journey. Please speak with the appropriate person if you would like more information about any of the following books.
Early next week the Lexington Cemetery Board will consider the recommendation from the Lexington City Council to relocate the controversial statues at Cheapside to the Cemetery. Here's the letter I sent to the board in support of this action. Please pray for wisdom, compassion and fairness to undergird all decisions that guide the peace and well-being of our city.
As a predominately white descendent of 19th Century Irish and English immigrants to the United States, I am confused by the term “white heritage.” My mother tells me of an Native American grandmother somewhere down branch on the family tree. It wouldn't surprise me to find a smattering of other ethnicities in the bloodline, those with stories too shameful to get past the filter of our acceptable family narratives.
Each year I am reminder and encouraged by my time meeting at the Alliance of Baptists Annual Gathering. It is always a nice and peaceful week to be among other Baptists who think and act as we do at Central. This year the theme was Embracing God’s Call to Justice and Love. And much of what we heard was in our grand tradition of provocation and dissent. In order to live out our calling to be love and work toward justice, it is imperative for us to understand our heritage as Baptists and our history of dissent.
This year, we will focus our Lenten journey on the process of “unlearning.” Unlearning starts with the recognition that we have, over time, developed very specific biases in the course of our lives. These perspectives have served us well, but they are not universal. Everyone has their own set of discriminations. The Christian practice of Lent is a purposed and discipline plan of letting go, of changing our patterns, of seeking to approach our life from a fresh angle. It may require a different pattern of behavior or response. It may seek to undo old and more familiar ways before new connections and pathways can be made.
You are invited during this season of Lent 2017 to reflect on and ponder anew the teachings of our Lord in the beginning of chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew. These celebrated sayings often beginning what the English words, “Blessed are…” might be the most famous of all of Jesus’ words. Yet, instead of inviting us into a deeper insight, their familiarity can actually lead us into a nearly neglectful form of inattention. We can be so certain we already “know them.”
A christmas tree covered in white ornaments of strange symbols, the Advent practice of making Chrismons can be a means of meditation and sharing our faith story.