What word, phrase, image or experience comes to mind when I say the word gospel? What does that word—gospel—conjure up for you? Gospel may well be the most used word in the Christian vocabulary. But it is usually left undefined. People use it assuming others know what is meant by the word.
Around the world, every day, women are walking for water. They go to the well, to the river, to the lake, with one hand by their side, with one hand holding the pot above. they walk, slowly, carefully, gracefully, swans stepping through tall green grass. Around the world, every day, women are walking for water. […]
Before I begin, I want you to know that I prepared this sermon in Berkey’s first and second grade Sunday school classroom. When I opened the door, chimes hanging on the door welcomed me inside. You know what? I’d like chimes to ring whenever I enter a room. I felt good in that space. I […]
We can’t breathe. I realize the strangeness of me saying that. In our current context, many of us are free from the worry of having someone’s knee crushing our neck, of being shot in our own home, or having the police called on us for something as simple as birdwatching. In that sense, many of […]
Blessed. Or bless-ed. We use this word a whole lot. We throw it around as easily and as quickly as we do “awesome” or “fantastic.” If you follow #blessed on Instagram, you’ll find 117 million posts! If you follow #blessed with the emoji of two hands giving a high five which 9 out of 10 […]
For most of my life, I have heard stories about the first house that my parents lived in. It was known to them and their neighbors as The Mengises. Mengis was the last name of the first owners of this house. So, in that rural community in Wayne County, Ohio the Schlonegers lived at the […]
When I was very young, my family lived in a tall, yellow house in rural Ohio. It seemed like our backyard was carved out from the acres of fields that my uncle farmed. I remember our backyard as an endless meadow of green grass, where I played baseball, caught butterflies, escaped bees, and chased down […]
What is the nastiest thing that ever happened to you? What events in your life caused you the most suffering, the most pain, the most misery? What grand injustice came to you, stirring up enormous frustration and intense anger inside you?
For this reason. Those are the first three words of our scripture text this morning. For this reason, Paul writes, he prays to God for the church in Ephesus. Tomorrow, I’ll be traveling to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Pennsylvania for a meeting of the Values-Based Leadership Program. This has been helpful for me to […]
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