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Showing posts from August, 2007

Religious Holidays in Anchorage

You may have read in the Anchorage Daily News about a new policy regarding certain religious holidays and the scheduling of school activities. If not, a link to the article is here . The new rules do not mean that school will be out on these new holiday inclusions, but that the Anchorage School District will avoid scheduling activities, like sporting events, on these days. The new list includes Passover, Rosh Hashanah , Yom Kippur , Eid al - Fitr and Eid al - Adha . They are added to a list which includes New Year's, Orthodox Christmas and Easter, Good Friday, Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The new holidays may be unfamiliar to some: Passover is a Jewish celebration, in the springtime, that commemorates the events in Egypt that led up to the Exodus. The name of the holiday comes specifically from the fact that the angel of death "passed over" the houses of the Israelites during the plague which killed the eldest sons of the Egyptians. Passover is a holid

If God is for us (Sermon 8/19)

Jeremiah 23:23-29, Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Luke 11:49-56 Peace and grace to you from God our Father, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit who Moves Us All. Oh, Jesus. Why would you say that? “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, but rather division!” My heart sank when I first read those words and in the past couple weeks I read them over and over. I like the Jesus who heals. The Jesus who tells stories about blessed peacemakers, prodigal sons and found sheep. Maybe even the Jesus who gets a little angry in the temple and tells people what’s what. Scott said sometimes he likes Jesus to stir things up. I do too… when he does it on Scott’s Sunday to preach. I don’t know what to do with Jesus the divider. I am sure that’s how his disciples felt when Jesus told them this. The Jewish community in that time was already well divided. The Pharisees who were concerned about the Scriptures. The Sadducees who worried over the rules. The Zealots who were angry about the

Three Ws

When I was in seminary, there always seemed to be plenty to read and write. There were chapters of the Bible to cover for class, language flashcards to peruse, theology books to plow through and a never-ending stream of pages to pound out on a variety of topics. I do not know why I thought that internship would bring a break from this. While I am doing different reading and writing, it always seems like there is so much of it to do. In considering this situation, I came up with the 3 Ws of internship (or pastoral ministry in general). First, one waits. I feel like I am constantly waiting. Waiting to have a moment to mull over a new idea. Waiting to get to work and see what's waiting there for me. The ultimate wait is for the Spirit to move. I always feel like I am waiting for a BIG sign to tell me: "Here's what to write. Here's what to say. Here's how this sermon/newsletter/card should read." Yet the clock can tick down to the wire and I'm still waiting

For Such a Time as This

When I was a little girl, I loved to read stories out of the Bible. I know that sounds funny, but I did. I progressed beyond my Bible story book and would read things out of my little New King James that my parents gave me when I was four. Among my favorite stories to read was the story of Esther (found just before Job). I loved the story of the brave girl who was brought before the King Xerxes (or Ahasuerus ) and was chosen to be the queen. Her cousin Mordecai told her of a plot by the king's right hand man to kill all the Jews, which would include Mordecai and even Esther herself. Esther gathered all her courage and went before the king to tell him about the plot. The story ends up with a happy ending for the Jewish people (celebrated in the springtime holiday of Purim ), but the end is unhappy for Haman (the right-hand man) and his compatriots because they are all killed in a very shocking ending to the story. I was thinking of a verse from Esther today. When Mordeca