Month: June 2019

A Lutheran church in Oak Park, Illinois, had a fire, and was investing $3 million in rebuilding the church building. The church interviewed and hired only union labor for the project. After the project was scheduled with a start date of July 1, they discovered that they needed to remove asbestos before the project began. They searched for a union contractor to do the $20,000 asbestos removal project, but ultimately selected a non-union contractor in order to stay on schedule with the rest of the renovation project. This caught the attention of the Laborers’ Local in Oak Park, who…
A couple of weeks ago, some posts in my Twitter feed started talking about a vacation bible school curriculum from Group Publishing called Roar! The reason that people on my Twitter feed were talking about it was that it had a couple of deeply problematic lessons. In one, the kids were asked to pretend to be slaves while an adult leader treated them like slaves. In the other, the kids were asked to make up names for themselves using an African “click language” (like Xhosa). My Twitter feed was full of mainline and progressive Christians struggling with a basic…
When I was in high school, I took an English class where I had to present and analyze a poem in front of the class. I chose a poem by Ogden Nash. I don’t remember which poem of his I chose, and his poems are still copyrighted by his estate so I can’t recite one here. But the thing to know about Ogden Nash is that he was… not a serious poet. My teacher gave me a decent grade on the presentation. She also let me know that choosing Nash as my poet was brave… but that discretion is the…
I am pleased to announce that Radical Charity: How Generosity Can Save the World (And the Church) is now available directly from the publisher! It should be available from Amazon within the next few weeks. It took me about two years to write Radical Charity. It took almost a year to move from submitting it to holding a copy of the final product in my hand. Creating a book is a lot of work and takes a lot of people. I am deeply thankful to and for all of the people who made this possible. Thank you! But the…
Sorry there’s no recording this week! For the last few weeks, we’ve been reading snippets of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome. Three weeks ago, we heard Paul introduce himself. And he didn’t give the believers in Rome a summary of his resume. He simply told them a fact and a story. He wrote, “I am Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,” and he told them the story of Jesus. Two weeks ago, we heard a summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ. While the world was still broken—while we were still sinners—God loved us. While the world…
Sorry there’s no recording this week! You’re going to get a very short sermon today. Mostly because I off-handedly promised the confirmands that I would tell this story: When I was in college, I was in the jazz ensemble. And one of the things we did was travel to different jazz festivals to compete against other ensembles. We went to Western Illinois every year and crushed it. And while I was in the band, we went to Notre Dame once… and Elmhurst once… and Eau Claire once. For those who don’t know, Eau Claire is about an hour and…

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