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The church subscribes to a quarterly publication called Leader.  We distribute copies to various folks in leadership positions.  The theme of the most recent edition is Conflict.

One of the essays is by Richard Blackburn, long time director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.  He notes that conflict is inherently emotionally charged.  A healthy response includes recognizing those emotions and, rather than distancing oneself from their source, to remain relationally connected with the other and approach them with curiosity.  His phrase for this is “moving toward...

 

Recently I’ve been reading from a book by Cynthia Lindner titled Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life.  She teaches at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  It’s a book about pastoral ministry, but much of it applies to anyone attempting adulthood.

One of the ideas I’ve found helpful is this: “Lively, functioning adult selves are always emerging from whatever sense of identity we’ve achieved” (p. 96).  Rather than a solid and continuous form of identity as the crowning achievement of adulthood – I’m a business...

I didn’t hear about spiritual direction until I went to seminary.  There I heard about this unique kind of relationship one can form with a spiritual director, and what is meant by “direct.”  Rather than being a therapeutic relationship or counseling, spiritual directors are trained at directing another’s attention toward areas in one’s life that might be fertile ground for growth.  Each director has a different style, but they all are skilled listeners.  The “spiritual” part of direction is the connectivity that one’s life has with oneself, others, and that mysterious reality we call God...

“The one thing that would be dishonorable for us is to bring all this attention to the assassination of Dr. King and not have a resurrection of the efforts and the unfinished business dealing with systemic racism, systemic poverty.”  Rev. Dr. William Barber II

Fifty years ago today Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in...

 

I was in Washington, DC Monday through Wednesday of this week, part of a faith leaders delegation through Mennonite Central Committee.  We were there to learn about and lobby for just immigration policies, specifically a clean Dream Act.  We were a group of mostly pastors, mostly non-white, from around the US.  This is most of us, in the basement of the MCC Washington office on Tuesday.

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