Thursday, August 31, 2006

Friday Review . . . 24-7 and Transit

In September, 1999 a small group of people in England decided to try praying continuously for a month -- and didn't stop until Christmas. Their experiment has now spread to more than 60 countries and fills several large, interconnected weg pages, starting with

The purpose? In their words:

The dream behind 24-7 is to turn the tide of youth culture back to Jesus. It's a big dream -- maybe an impossible dream. We recognise that the Body of Christ in the West is bleeding young people. Something has to change. But clever strategy alone is not the answer. Never has been. History shows that the tide turns when God's people pray. That is why God is mobilising prayer movements like 24-7 (and others).
As far as I have been able to tell, the web page began as an organizing center for prayer rooms around the world. People in more than 60 countries, to date, have signed up to staff a prayer room continually (in shifts) for a week or more. At the time that I was writing this, there were 19 prayer rooms praying in 6 countries.

As you would expect from a youth movement, the web page is huge. It is also filled with inspiring, and frequently, beautifully written content. As you would also expect from a web-centered, youth movement; it has evolved. The next step were Boiler Rooms.

Boiler Rooms are described as Millenium 3 Monasteries. They are communities centering around prayer, evangelism and mission. There are currently 16 Boiler Rooms in 7 countries. One of the newest, Kansas City, is the first in the U.S.

The next step for the Boiler Rooms was Transit. Transit is a nine-month, residential, intensive, discipleship traning program. It relies on life in community, missionary service and classroom instruction. The link in the previous sentence goes directly to the syllabus page for Transit on the U.S. 24-7 web page. This link is to the International Transit web page.

The 24-7 web pages are overly complicated and can be difficult to navigate. I think it is worth the trouble. If anything will restore your faith in the future of the church -- these pages will do it. They tell the story of a significant number of young people, literally worldwide, who are willing to live dedicated lives of mission, service, evangelism and prayer.

I have added a few links directly to internal pages to make prowling around a little easier.
Main FAQ page
What is a Boiler Room?
U.S. 24-7 News Page
24-7 Values and Methods
24-7 Mission Teams

Has your church ever sponsored a 24-7 prayer room? A search on "Presbyterian" on the 24-7 web page turns up all of 12 results. A search on blogger for 24-7 prayer produced almost 7,000 results. I didn't check all of them, but I didn't see any member blogs in the first 17 pages of search results.

If you have any experience with the 24-7 prayer movement or have mentioned it in your blog, let me know. Either leave a comment or I can be reached directly at


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Labor Day Prayer

Labor Day Weekend: Responsive Reading
(based on Psalm 15)

Leader: LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy mountain? (verse 1)

All: Those whose walk is blameless, who do what is righteous, and who speak the truth from their hearts; (verse 2)

Leader: And who is that?

All: It is those who do not slander with their tongues, who do their neighbors no wrong, and who cast no slur on others; (verse 3)

Leader: And what does it mean to do what is righteous and just and speak the truth this Labor Day weekend?

All: We must treat immigrants working in service jobs around us as our neighbors.

Leader: And do them no wrong.

All: We must treat day laborers looking for work on the corners as our neighbors.

Leader: And cast no slur upon them in word or deed.

All: God calls us all to despise those whose ways are vile but honor whoever fears the Lord; (verse 4a)

Leader: And those who keep their oaths even when it hurts; (verse 4b)

All: Could this mean we might need to pay more for some products in order to assure workers are paid decently?

Leader: Or take lower profits in order to share the abundance with workers?

All: Or give more in our congregation so others may thrive?

Leader: In God’s sanctuary, we will find those who lend money to the poor without interest and do not accept bribes against the innocent. (verse 5a)

All: This Labor Day weekend, we abhor those who would prey on poor workers through payday loan schemes. We deplore those employers who demand bribes to hire undocumented workers. We challenge ways in which unjust practices against workers separate us from the sanctuary of God.

Leader: Those who seek God’s will and do what is right shall never be shaken. (verse 5b)

All: All knowing God, help each one of us to do what is right. Help us to be trustworthy and honest employees, knowing that we honor You when we do tasks well. Help us to be honest and just employers, sharing abundance with all employees, and treating each person as a child of God. And help us as citizens find ways to bring justice and prosperity for all to our nation’s policies and priorities. Amen.

Adapted from Today’s New International Version, copyright 2005 by International Bible Society.

From Interfaith Worker Justice.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Question of the Week . . . I Have a Dream

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these unforgettable words from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. As we remember last years the horrific events along the gulf coast and the anniversary of September 11th in a few weeks how do you think we are doing? Are all men (and women) treaded as if they where created equal? Do we judge the content of their character or by the color of their skin or perhaps the faith they confess? If we where lucky enough to have Martin Luther King, Jr with us today would he have reason to sing “Free at last! Free at last!”?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In the Wee Small Hours (3)

A Fisherman's Hope

John 6:68, 69 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

Years ago, there was a terrible storm which unexpectedly hit the West coast of Scotland in the late afternoon. All the fishermen in my parish desperately fought against the wind and waves that threatened to engulf their boats. One by one, the trawlers struggled to get into the safety of the harbor. And then a tragedy occurred. One of the older boats was seen about a mile from the harbor, battling against the boiling black waves. One second the boat was there in plain view and then suddenly it was gone. There was nothing the crew could do. The force of the wind and waves overwhelmed the trawler and sent it rapidly to the bottom of the sea. Four good fishermen lost their lives that day and our whole village plunged into mourning.

Only three of the bodies were recovered and when I visited the widow of the fourth man, she couldn't accept what was happening. Time and time again I visited her on a daily basis. She had two teenage boys and they were all utterly devastated. The funerals for the other three fishermen took place within a week of the tragedy, but the fourth fisherman's widow couldn't bring herself to giving permission for the fourth service to take place.

She explained her reasons to me. "If I let you hold the service, John, I'll have to let go of my hope. So long as they can't find his body, I won't believe that he's gone."

For the next six months, we all searched for the body along the shoreline, but we never found it. I visited the family every day and gently tried to persuade the widow to hold the service. The other fishermen were beginning to get uneasy and blamed some of their bad fishing days on the fact that a funeral had not taken place. Support for the family was giving way to superstition, which is bad news in any fishing community.

Eventually, after a great deal of patience and gentle persuasion, the widow consented to having a funeral. We held the service at the end of the harbor and cast out wreaths on to the surface of the waters. We could see where the boat went down, but it was never recovered, and neither was the fourth body.

Sometimes, in the midst of painful circumstances, people hold on to false hope, which is a very sad form of denial. In today’s gospel, Peter, the Big Fisherman, is speaking about a different hope, the hope of being saved for all of eternity by Jesus Christ. For some people, Christ’s words and teachings were too hard to accept, so they deserted Him and went their way. But for those like Peter, who experienced the power of Jesus in their hearts, they knew that He is the everlasting hope that can never be taken away.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the True Hope of our lives and the Shining Star of our hearts. Without You, we have no hope; but with You, we have the promises of God, the covenants of grace, and the hope of eternal life in Your Kingdom. Help us this day, to pass on this hope to our families, friends, colleagues and neighbors. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie - writer of Heaven's Highway Blog and
Sky Pilots: Resources for Busy Pastors

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Review -- Into the Silent Land

A new book for a change instead of a golden oldie. Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird was released in July, 2006. So far, I have not found a single Ring member who has mentioned it. Although, its subject,contemplative prayer, isn't mentioned too often either.

Contemplative spirituality strikes many people as either not Christian or not Presbyterian. We are a head-first bunch, and if it can't be intellectualized or rationalized, it probably isn't on our plates. I should admit that my spirituality is more contemplative than most Presbyterians, in part, because I have been strongly influenced by the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.

I have read this new book by Martin Laird, but I haven't lived it. There were places where I found it easy to lose sight of God's place in the teachings of this book. However, when I consider the people I have known who exhibit the kind of calmness and centeredness that this book describes as the fruits of contemplative prayer, I see people whom I have always considered to be genuinely holy.

This book is neither as beautifully written nor as easy to read as Richard Foster's book on prayer. I found it worth the effort, because it offers a kind of walk through the process of developing a contemplative practice that I would expect to find only when working one-on-one with an experienced spiritual director. I have tried contemplative prayer before, but I have never gotten very far with it. The early roadblocks that I remember running into are all well described by Laird with constructive suggestions for working through them.

If you are interested in expanding the contemplative aspect of your spiritual life and Lectio Divina is already an established part of your day, this book looks more practical than any of the others I have seen on the subject.

I would love to hear comments either on this book or on contemplative spirituality in general.

I can be reached directly at

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Higher Education Sunday

In Honor of Higher Education Sunday (August 27) this week's Hump Day Prayer is from the blue Presbyterian Hymnal. As a graduate of a Presbyterian University I would encourage you to support your nearest Presbyterian Affiliated College.

Earth and All Stars
Hymn 458
DEXTER 4.5.7 D with refrain

Earth and all stars,
Loud rushing planets,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Hail, wind, and rain,
Loud blowing snowstorm
Sing to the Lord a new song!
God has done marvelous things.
I, too, will praise him with a new song!

Steel and machines,
Loud pounding hammers,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Limestone and beams,
Loud building workers,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
God has done marvelous things.
I, too, will praise him with a new song!

Classrooms and labs,
Loud boiling test tubes,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Athlete and band,
Loud cheering people,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
God has done marvelous things.
I, too, will praise him with a new song!

Knowledge and truth,
Loud sounding wisdom,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Daughter and son,
Loud praying members,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
God has done marvelous things.
I, too, will praise him with a new song!

Herbert Frederick Brokering, 1964
David N. Johnson, 1968
Text & Music: Copyright © 1968 Augsburg Fortress Publishing House.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Question of the Week . . . Politics

Last week I was listening to Decently and in Order: A Presbyterian Podcast latest post. During their conversation they discussed a Minnesota Megachurch Pastor who stated things from the pulpit that are have a dramatic negative effect on his membership. Click here for more information.

He has some interesting point but he refused to name his political affiliation or even if he has an affiliation. So this made me think, is it ok for pastors and other church leaders to make known their political affiliation? and Why?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

In The Wee Small Hours...

Bread of Life

John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (NIV)

About eighteen months ago, I was in Macdonald's restaurant, having a coffee before Sunday School. At one of the tables, a woman was sitting alone, who looked unkempt, unwashed and untidy. She was having an imaginary conversation with someone who wasn't there, but every now and then she looked over to my wife and I, smiled sweetly and then continued talking to herself.

Five minutes later, one of the servers came over to sit down for her breakfast break. At first, I thought she was going to ask the lady to leave. Instead, she sat down beside her and carefully halved her sausage biscuit with the woman. It was a beautiful and sacred moment. A holy communion was taking place before my very eyes.

What made this even more special was the fact that I knew the server was having severe financial problems of her own at the time. But here she was, sharing half of everything she possessed on that morning, with someone whose need was greater than her own.

Jesus once said, "The poor you have with you always, do for them whatever you can." The server at Macdonald's preached to me a beautiful sermon that morning. As she gave to the poor, bedraggled lady, she was lending to the LORD. One day, he will amply reward her for that moment of true compassion and genuine love.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You challenge us to do what we can to help people less fortunate than ourselves. Take away our excuses and fears, our lack of patience and compassion. Enable us to see and grasp those opportunities for kindness and care that You place before us. Grant us the strength to fulfill Your words by doing whatever we can. In Your Holy name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie - writer of the Heaven's Highway Blog

Friday, August 18, 2006

Growing True Disciples

Anytime church politics start making me crazier than I want to be, I try to refocus myself on why we are trying to be a church, anyway. So, this week I have chosen a book by George Barna called Growing True Disciples for my Friday review. Like last week, this book has been out for a while, but I haven't seen it referenced in any of the ring's blogs that I read, although Barna's most recent book, Revolution was discussed almost a year ago (November 4, 2005) by Kruse Kronicle.

This book addresses the hardest issue facing all Adult Ed. committees. How do you take people focused on spiritual maintenance and refocus them on spiritual development. In other words, how do you convert the Frozen Chosen into zealots for Christ? Of course, since George Barna is a pollster at heart, he is also concerned with how you identify and quantify progress when the traditional abc's of church growth (attendance, buildings and cash) aren't necessarily material.

The new symptoms of success are:
  • Worship every day in and out of church;
  • Constant effort to discover new insight into faith and apply it to life;
  • Complete submission to the Holy Spirit;
  • Becoming sensitive to sin and wounded when we offend God;
  • Joyfully sharing our resources;
  • Building community with other Christians;
  • Selfless compassion towards others;
  • Evangelism based on relationships and supported by lifestyle;
  • Living differently because of faith;
  • A church that is loving, caring, focused and clear in its pursuit of God's ways;
  • A continual link to God through prayer and meditation; and
  • Willing volunteers.
So far, this sounds like a cheerleader book; and it isn't. Barna talks about theory. He talks about traditional practices that have become ruts. He also talks about churches he has studied that he thinks are successfully developing mature Christians and what they have in common.

Perhaps most importantly, Barna really illustrates why it is that successful discipleship programs must be specific to a given church community. The latter chapters are on successful churches and useful tools, and they make it obvious that spiritual growth must take place within an existing Christian culture. Two things make this book successful. First, it couples an awareness of the need for building something unique to your church with the tools to make it happen. Second, it is written in a way that is easily accessible to readers accustomed to intellectual, rational approaches to spiritual matters.

If you have referenced this book and I missed it, please let me know. If you would rather not leave a comment, I can be reached directly at


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Staying Spiritually Centered

Gracious God,
it seems that what most holds my attention are those things
and people that I can see, touch, hear, and feel.

Yet, in the moments of my day when my mind is still,
my soul is quiet,
and my breath is slow and even,

I can almost detect a whiff of your presence.
These precious times are all too fleeting;
they slip away almost as quickly as they come.

The phone rings,
my child cries,
a colleague needs my assistance,
or my mind just simply gets distracted.

Help me know, O God,
that you are still present with me,
even in my distractions and interruptions.

But also help me savor those spiritually centered moments so much that
I will make room in my life for more of them.

When I am impatient because I can’t see, touch, hear, or feel you,
let your love seep surely into me
until my heart turns back to you in surprise and delight.


Copyright ©1999-2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Question of the Week . . . Theologians

his weeks questions was inspired by something that I read on Quotidian Grace. In one of her post she says that she not a theologian and that made me wonder what makes a person a theologian and what does the word theologian mean away.

Wikipedia Says:
Theology (Greek θεος, theos, "God", + λογος, logos, "word" or "reason") is reasoned discourse concerning religion, spirituality and God. Theologians attempt to use rational analysis and argument to discuss, interpret, and teach on any of a myriad a religious topics. . . . It is the subsequent history of the term in Christian contexts, particularly in the Latin West, that lies behind most contemporary usage, but the term can now be used to speak of reasoned discourse within and about a variety of different religious traditions. Various aspects both of the process by which the discipline of ‘theology’ emerges in Christianity and the process by which this now Christian term is extended to other religions are highly controversial.
I must admit that, despite the fact I have a bachelors degree in religion in addition to a Master of Divinity, I have always been uncomfortable referring to myself as a theologian. This brings us to this week questions. What do you think a theologian looks like? Is formal education required to become a theologian? If not, what prerequisites would you require to refer to someone as a theologian? And finally do you consider yourself a theologian? If no, why not, if yes why? Discuss . . .

Saturday, August 12, 2006

In The Wee Small Hours

(Miranda asked for volunteers to help with the Presbyterian Bloggers site. Each Sunday, I'm going to write a short devotion connected to the lectionary -Stushie)

Grumble Pie

John 6:43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. (NIV)

These are trying times for our denomination. No one seems to know where we are headed, and local congregations are beginning to feel the effects of a lack of leadership from the top. Pastors are desperately trying to keep things together, using their personal gifts and powers of persuasion to stop the rot. Some people want to jump ship or throw others overboard in an attempt to purify the church. Everybody wants to have their say and everybody wants their own way. We're fumbling, mumbling and grumbling, instead of praying, praising and persevering.

“Stop grumbling among yourselves.” Christ rebukes His people for questioning His teaching. Instead of accepting and experiencing Him as the Bread of Life, they insist upon tearing His words apart and pulling chunks off for themselves. They question His authority and dissect what He says. And that’s when the bickering starts, the grumbling begins, and the conflicts arise. Instead of receiving Him, they reject His words. Instead of embracing Him, they embattle one another.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? In our obsession to have our own opinions heard and speak our peace, we drown out Christ’s voice and ignore His rebuke. We'd rather grumble than be humble. We'd rather bellow and divide than let go of our pride.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we think more of ourselves than we think of You. Forgive our foolish and selfish ways. Help us to get back on Your path, instead of trying to make our own. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Review -- Traveling Mercies

For my first Friday review, I picked an oldie -- Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I avoided this book for years. I was an English major in the early '80's, and I developed an allergy to a certain type of liberal, female academic. Now, don't get me wrong. I am female, I'm relatively moderate in most political areas (which in Oklahoma makes me a flaming liberal), and I used to be an academic. It was just a certain type that I was allergic to. Anyway, I was sure that if I read this book I would break out in hives.

The book converted me early when the author wrote:

. . . I knew beyond any doubt that it was Jesus. I felt him as surely as I feel my dog lying nearby as I write this.

And I was appalled. I thought about my life and my brilliant hilarious progressive friends, I thought about what everyone would think of me if I became a Christian, and it seemed an utterly impossible thing that simply could not be allowed to happen. I turned to the wall and said out loud, "I would rather die."

I know people who feel that way. People whose view of Christianity has been etched by televangelists and parents who get in screaming fights over evolution at school board meetings. How does God reach such people, people who would rather die. . . ?

Lamott writes with real authority of a life of alcohol, drugs and sex that left her emptier and more broken than when she started. She writes of the church she stumbled into. She writes of an elderly church goer who saved up baggies of dimes to give her when times were particularly tough, and she writes of joy and forgiveness and fresh starts.

More importantly, she writes as a Presbyterian elder in a church this denomination desperately needs. A church whose members are, or have been, so broken themselves that the most desperate of God's children can find comfort there. Most Presbyterian churches exude wealth, prosperity and respectability. They don't whisper, "Addicts, come sit in back and let us love you."

I broke down and read this book when it was chosen by a group I am in at church. We used a study guide on the publisher's web page. It is short, but we found it useful.

This book has been out forever. I know a lot of people who cross this page will have read it. So, I will start by linking to Cheesehead in Paradise's blog. She listed this book last week as one that changed her life. If you haven't been by her blog lately, drop in and offer prayers. She, and her church, are having an unspeakable time.

So, anybody else?


New on Fridays


I read a number of this ring's blogs regularly, but I seldom stop by the ring page. For some reason, I did a few days ago; and I saw Uncle Sam's finger pointing at me. So, I emailed Miranda and said, Ok, I'll take Fridays.

I'm a white, female, middle-aged, Presbyterian lawyer in Norman, Oklahoma. I feel strongly that I am called to seek justice. I am frequently grateful that I don't feel called to actually find it.

I'm not really sure what a blog ring home page should be, but I figure it needs to provide a hub, some sense of community for its member blogs. I will add an email link, hopefully, next week. So, if you are a blogger, or just passing through, feel free to let me know what you think I should be doing here on Fridays.

My idea is to provide a review of a book, movie, tv show or web-based article that I thnk will make interesting weekend reading (or watching). Then, if you have mentioned that same book, etc. on your blog -- let me know. I will see if I can figure out how to link the various opinions. Of course, if you would rather just respond to my review, you can do that in the comments below -- or use it as a topic for your own blog. Let me know, if you do that. If this doesn't foster a response, look for it to morph into something else.

I will be posting a review of Traveling Mercies in a few minutes.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . Back to School

This back Monday morning the first school district here in north Texas went back to school. For some there are only a few days and others are not going back for a few week. None the less they all go back to the studying and test, books and calculators, athletics and band. Here is a prayer to send them on their way.

Back to School: Intentions for the Start of the School Year By Steven McGlaun

Let us pray for all Believers around the world and those who seek Christ,
that they may receive blessings and open their hearts to God's word…
We pray to the Lord

For all experiencing some form of social injustice,
that they may feel physical and spiritual relief…
We pray to the Lord

For all of the new students joining our community,
may they find a community that welcomes them and makes them
comfortable in their new surroundings…
We pray to the Lord

For the students, faculty, and staff of our school,
may we be able to work together as a community to accomplish all the goals
set before us this school year…
We pray to the Lord

For all the sick and suffering,
may they experience healing and a full recovery with God's grace…
We pray to the Lord

For all those connected to our community who have recently passed away,
may they feel the grace of the Spirit as they enter the heavenly reign of God...
We pray to the Lord

For all the special intentions we hold in our hearts…(Pause)
We pray to the Lord Published

Back to School: Prayer for the Start of the School Year, by Steven McGlaun

Loving God,

Our creator, our savior, our companion,
bless this journey of a new school year that we undertake today.
Refresh our souls
and renew our spirits
as we embrace the beautiful ministry you have called us to.
We welcome those who are new to this community and
ask that you strengthen them to share the wonderful gifts you have given them.
Lord, make our hearts pure as we prepare for the return of students to this school,
and may you guide them to return with open hearts and minds eager to learn.

We ask this in Your name,

Published By: Saint Mary's Press © 2003 Saint Mary's Press.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It’s Not What Your Blog Ring Can Do for You but What You Can Do for Your Blog Ring

On July 2 we celebrated our six months birthday and since our genesis we have steadily grown and are just short of the 100 member mark. We average 47 hits a day and that is wonderful but I have a felling that our group is not all that it could be. I have loved manning the helm of our little group but no (wo)man is an island and the Presbyterian in me is uneasy. Unfortunately my creative and idea are limited and I truly believe in the committee system that we Preby’s so dearly love. This is where I need your help.

I am hoping to find a handful of people who would be willing to take a day of the week and contribute to our blog on that day every week. You can choose the theme/topic for that day (ie. Monday Questions & Hump Day Prayer) and I would make it so that you could post your weekly articles directly to the Blogger website. If once a week is more than you can handle you can find a friend to share a day with alternation who posts. Please keep in mind that our group represents a wide variety of people and theologies when thinking about possible themes/topics. The point of our community is to stimulate discussion, share information, and to increase PC (USA) presence on the web.

I am will continue to serve as the administer (add new members, ect) of our site and if no one else wants them I will continue the Monday Question and Hump Day Prayer. If you think you might be interested in becoming an contributor send me (it will be nice to say us) an email and I will get back to you. Please search hearts, perhaps the Holy Spirit is call you.

A Bonus “Tuesday” Question of the Week from Bruce Reyes-Chow

Mark Millar is the author of a new Superman graphic novel called "Superman - Red Son" and during an interview he makes an interesting link between Superman and Jesus.

“Every culture creates its own Christ figure. The Egyptians had one, the Celts had one, the Christians obviously had a fairly successful one and the Americans created their own Christ in the middle of the century where most people stopped believed in the original. Nature abhors a vacuum and these archetypes just find themselves being recreated to suit the needs of a particular culture.”
Is Superman the new American messiah? Are there even any messianic lessons that can be learned from the Superman?

Here is what scholar, the media, and bloggers are saying:
Superman as Christ-Figure: The American Pop Culture Movie Messiah
The Kryptonian Gospel
Superman's Second Coming
Popular Comic Book Heroes Faith-by-Faith
Superman on Wikipedia.
The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
A Few Thoughts on Superman Returns
Superman: Gay Icon? Christ Figure?
Superman, Jesus Christ and Jim Caviezel

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Question of the Week form Bruce Reyes-Chow

"Does race matter when pastoring?"

About two or three times a years when talking about Mission Bay Community Church, someone makes the assumptions that MBCC is an Asian American congregation. After trying to politely correct that assumption I am again left with the internal question as Racial Ethnic pastor serving a non-Racial Ethnic congregation, "Does race matter when pastoring?"
Full Post:

Mea Culpa

I need to offer an official apology I realized this morning that it had been almost a month since I had checked the PC (USA) Bloggers email. I am sorry to all of the members who where just added and all of you who sent your wonderful thoughts and questions that are just now being posted. I hope that you all continue to join our community and share you thoughts and topics for discussion with us. Again I am sorry.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hump Day Prayer . . . A Responsive Prayer on Hiroshima Day

At 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped from a USA B-29 bomber on Hiroshima, Japan. More than one hundred seventy thousand people died instantly or within hours. Few were soldiers. This prayer brings that tragedy before God once again. It expresses both lament and longing—a longing for peace. One: Let us join in prayer on this day of remembrance for Hiroshima, to recall the past, to be challenged in the present, and to seek hope for the future.

People: O God of power, gracious in love, you gave humankind responsibility to care for all the earth. But often we put our faith in military power even though you call us to build a community of trust and love.

One: By both our actions and inactions, by our participation in the systems of society, we often become agents of violence and destruction.

People: O God of all, out of death and despair, turn Hiroshima into a symbol of hope that nuclear weapons will never again be used to kill and destroy.

One: Let us remember Hiroshima as a beacon—committing ourselves to find ways to live together in peace. May we not be just peace lovers, but peacemakers.

People: O God of infinite possibility, transform our hearts and minds. Give us courage to use our skills and technology to transform weapons that destroy into gifts that cherish all of life.

One: Isaiah said: “It shall come to pass that the peoples shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”

People: O God, make your vision real when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” O God, forgive, transform, bring your peace. Amen.

Click here for the PDF