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“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.”

The season of Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday.  In case we had forgotten, these words spoken over us re-awaken us to our mortality.  Our bodies come from the stuff of the earth, and it is to this earth that our bodies are returning.  The ashes we receive on our foreheads today mark us as those who bear witness to this. 

Remembering that we are dust and will return to dust does not carry the immediate sense of good news.  Remember – you’re going to die and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Ouch. 

But...

This Sunday is the final one before Lent and is known as Transfiguration Sunday, when the church remembers Jesus’ mystical light-infused encounter with Elijah and Moses on top of the mountain…

Last week I had a lunch conversation with two Episcopal minister friends.  One of them said he’d been thinking about how the church can be pretty good at the What but can sometimes lose focus on the Why of its existence.  We worship, teach,...

These last couple weeks I’ve been flipping through Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, a booklet written in 1995, composed of 24 brief articles and commentary, including God, Jesus Christ, Scripture, Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, etc.   This Sunday I will start teaching the youth catechism class and plan to use this as a basis of discussion.

I, and probably most people familiar it, have a complex relationship with this document.  There are parts that are beautiful and inspiring.  “Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each...

Last Friday and Saturday our family headed down to Cincinnati for the biennial Mennonite Arts Weekend.  It was of course special to see friends from our seven years of living and pastoring in the city.  And it is always special to be a part of that weekend gathering which welcomes Mennonite artists from around the continent to share their work.

The weekend started in the early 90’s as an outgrowth of a conversation in which people lamented the lack of support and space for expression given artists in the Mennonite church.  ...

This week I’ve started reading The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault.  It was a book recommended last week at AMBS Pastor’s Week. 

I’m always a bit skeptical when books claim to have a “new perspective” on Christ given the fact that this is a conversation that’s been going on for two thousand years.  After reading the first third of the book it appears that the author is both working on a recovery of a very old perspective on Jesus, as well as some new insights into the meaning of his life. 

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