Browsing articles from "October, 2012"
Oct 29, 2012

Haunted Church

Biblicism says: “In everyday life I might be a rocket scientist and I can read Harry Potter and Twilight without going bananas but once I open the Bible I want to think a witch can actually call up dead people.”

Oct 22, 2012

Safe Church

Provo Community United Church of Christ is committed to creating a safe church environment for all that attend any of our programs. Sunday’s sermon was just about that: Safe Church

Oct 15, 2012

Accessible Church

This week the United Church of Christ is celebrating Access Sunday: Any Body, Everybody needs to have access to Christ’s Body. Zelma Hughes-Sepulveda works at Utah State Hospital and represents Provo Community United Church of Christ at Widening the Welcome III, the third disability ministries conference to be sponsored by UCCDM and the UCC Mental Illness Network which will be held at the Holiday Inn, Columbus-Worthington in Columbus, Ohio from November 1-3, 2012.

Oct 12, 2012

Set the labels free

They are at it again: The overseers of labels indulge in self-righteousness once more.
Denny Burk is happy to take on the role of being the keeper of the label “Evangelical”. For that he looks to David Bebbington’s quadrilateral: “According to Bebbington, evangelicals have four leading characteristics: biblicism, crucicentrism, conversionism, and activism.”

That is a very revealing definition because it is full of -isms. An -ism is usually an ideology that is based on, well ideas. The God of Evangelical Theology is not an idea:

In this sense I call myself evangelical and totally reject any of these -isms. I take evangelical literally to be derived from euangelion, meaning “related to the Gospel”. Whoever calls themselves Christian relates to the Gospel in one way or another. If Burk & Co want to claim authority over labels they might as well beat that dead horse from precisely one year ago again and forbid Mormons from calling themselves Christians.

Set the labels free and celebrate diverse conversations! Today I celebrate Rachel Held Evans anti-definitions from What “evangelical” doesn’t mean to me:
“It doesn’t mean allegiance to a single political party.
It doesn’t mean restricting the roles of women in the home and church.
It doesn’t mean interpreting an ancient Near Eastern creation account as science.
It doesn’t mean an absence of liturgy, sacrament, and tradition.
It doesn’t mean individualism.
It doesn’t mean certainty. ​
It doesn’t mean opposing gay rights.
It doesn’t mean Southern Baptist.
It doesn’t mean unilateral support for Israel.
It doesn’t mean lack of ecumenicism. ​
It doesn’t mean exclusivism.
It doesn’t mean exclusion.”

Oct 8, 2012

World Communion Sunday

Commemorating World Communion Sunday the sermon last Sunday was about Church Online:

Oct 5, 2012

Not a Facebook Church

Bruce Reyes-Chow came out with an intriguing vision on February 28th:
“What if a church decided that the discipline of following Christ and building genuine Christian community could be lived out without everyone having to actually be in one place at one time?
What if a church unapologetically leveraged online tools to be a community no longer bound by architecture, time and physical proximity?
What if a church that met online believed that even a historic religious tradition like the Presbyterian Church (USA) can be expressed in new ways?
Essentially . . . can church be church when it is primarily lived and manifested online?”

I was excited and shared my encouraging comments as well as a sacramental reservation:
“One of the biggest concerns that I have would be a sacramental one. The signs of Baptism and Holy Communion ought to be tangible. In order to be a real mainline church you ought to be able to abide by ecumenical agreements on Eucharist and Baptism where the elements play a role that cannot be accomplished without physically touching them. I’m not saying an online church needs to be put on hold until beaming is invented but the body of Christ must be tangible at times.”

Well, on September 18th, Bruce effectively resigned from the project:
“First, let me say that I am feeling a little sheepish about not being as consistent and committed to this church online adventure that I had hoped to be. More than usual, life has been a little overwhelming and my own long-term discernment has been unexpectedly paralyzing.”

At this point the once great vision leads an uninspiring existence as a mere facebook group. I still hold that it takes a proprietary online sanctuary that is a sacred space. A simple facebook group cannot accomplish that.

Where do you think “church online” could go?

Oct 1, 2012

Harvest Festival: Erntedank

Commemorating the German Version of a Harvest Festival the sermon last Sunday was about Thanksgiving: