Midweek Musings: October 13, 2022

Dear Friend,

In a recent email newsletter the theologian and writer Diana Butler Bass offered a meditation on the phrase, “Increase our faith!” from Luke 17:5. In her meditation, she reflects on other three word theologies that can be found in scripture (“Peace on earth”, “love your neighbor”, “Here am I”, etc). It got me wondering what my three-word theology would be. I’m tempted to go with “God is love” because it encompasses so much and feels foundational, but it also feels a little bit like cheating since it’s one of the ones we find in scripture. Maybe it’s “beyond our imagining” or something similar. I’m still working on it.

What about you, what would your three-word theology be?

Pastor Sarah

something Worth reading

A Seat at the Table

by Julie Hester

Our Ministry Assistant, Kathy Miller, shared this article with me awhile back and I so appreciate the way in which it gives voice to the weird decision making that is church—the need to balance practicality with theology and sometimes interior design and sometimes interpersonal politics. Here’s just a taste, but the article is short and worth reading in its entirety:

“As in the best discussions between church leaders, the conversation drifted from how much things might cost to the why behind our decision. Why did the shape of table matter to our church gatherings in that space? Was it just a question of the budget? Storage? What we knew already? What would look best? Or might there be something else at work? Something about our ecclesiology — what we believed about the church?”

Read the full article here.

something worth hearing

Stand Up

Cynthia Erivo

The scripture passage for this coming Sunday is the story of the persistent widow or the unjust judge (depending on what you want to call it) from Luke 18:1-8. One of my favorite ways to prepare for worship and sermon writing is to find the Song of Reflection that we’ll use–the process of discerning what song fits the message that I’m hoping to preach helps me put words around just what that message is and isn’t. This song doesn’t quite work, but it does feel like it speaks to the widow’s persistence and the need to be persistent in our work for justice (and it has been stuck in my head ever since I listened to it earlier this week).

something worth watching

Mindfulness Isn’t the Only Powerful Mental State

Clay Routledge

I found this short video on the power of nostalgia fascinating. I’m not sure I’ve ever given much thought to nostalgia, but I was amazed by the ways they were able to study it and the results that they found.

something worth praying

October 8th

Jessica Kantrowitz

Peace to those who offer platitudes
not because they don’t care but because
they have no other words
& have not learned yet to speak without words

Peace to those who long for real empathy &
& receive platitudes instead

Peace to those who have nothing to offer
but presence
& that is enough

from 365 Days of Peace: Benedictions to End Your Day in Gentleness and Hope

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