Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. -Isaiah 58:12 NIVContinue reading “Lent – A Time For Equipping”
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
— 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ESV
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -Romans 15:5-6
One of the greatest challenges in congregational life and mission is that of conflict. A study of 14,000+ congregations in 2000 indicated 75% experienced some level of conflict. In 2008, another study found that 74% of congregations were in conflict over leadership, money or finances. While a stable percentage, it is troubling to consider that at any given time, three- fourths of congregations are conflicted. Continue reading “Conflict in the Congregation: Roadblocks that Lead to Redirection and Renewal”
Dear disciples of Christ Jesus,
In the midst of the growing controversy regarding late-term abortion — and what can only be termed infanticide — as a matter of self-serving convenience in a culture celebrating such decisions while refusing to consider the consequences that undermine the sanctity of life and assert our capacity and “right” to “play God,” I thought it might be helpful to share my sermon from this year’s NALC Life Conference. Continue reading “Bishop Addresses Sexual Immorality, Abortion at NALC Life Conference”
The third annual NALC Life Conference was held on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Warrenton, Va.
The event began with a free fellowship lunch followed by a talk by the Rev. Dr. Dennis Di Mauro, pastor of Trinity and chair of NALC Life Ministries, entitled “A Love for Life,” which showed how Christianity has been, and is now, a pro-life faith. The talk included quotes from great Christian thinkers including Basil, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Bonhoeffer and many others who spoke out in defense of life in the womb. Continue reading “NALC Life Conference in Virginia Precedes March for Life”
Dear Disciples of Jesus,
We begin our Epiphany season with the journey of the Wise Men seeking Jesus, consulting the Scripture and thwarting Herod’s plan to destroy Jesus. Each year I read one of Martin Luther’s best sermons for Epiphany. Here is an excerpt from his sermon: Continue reading “Pondering Epiphany With Luther”
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. — John 1:14 (RSV)
I do realize Christmas has come and gone, and we are now in the Season of Epiphany. Still, maybe you’re with me, where I am — not quite ready to let go of “the Word made flesh to dwell among us!” Continue reading “The Word Made Flesh”
“O LORD my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me.” — Psalm 30:2 ESV
I am struck by the beauty and simplicity of Psalm 30. Is there a more complete prayer in such few words than here in verse two? This verse sums up the entirety of our stories. As David prays these words, he calls on God by name as he cries out, addressing the depth of our brokenness. And in the same breath, healing. For we have a great God who saves, who gives us the chance to live again. What a gift from God is prayer! Continue reading “Persistence in Prayer”