Earlier this month, I attended a brilliant presentation by Petra Alsoofy, the Outreach and Partnerships Manager from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). You may not be familiar with ISPU: it’s an organization based in Dearborn, Michigan, which was founded after the attacks of September 11, 2001. According to their website, “ISPU provides objective research and education about American Muslims to support well-informed dialogue and decision-making.”
ISPU seeks to help everyone understand more about what life is like for American Muslims. That was the emphasis of Petra Alsoofy’s presentation a few weeks ago. She shared lots of information with about fifty of us who gathered together at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland. (You can watch her presentation at this link; enter the passcode Xffx&8s9 and you’ll get access to it.)
After Petra’s presentation, I signed up for the ISPU email list. It’s important for me to hear perspectives that are outside my tradition. That’s why, among other things, I have listened to the podcast Inspired (by Interfaith Voices) every week for around fifteen years.
Yesterday, ISPU sent out results of a survey on what American Muslims believe about climate change. The title of the report reads like this: “The Majority of American Muslims Believe that Climate Change is the Result of Human Behavior and that Government Regulation is a Way to Solve for it.”
What I’m writing about today is “Why I’m Not an Evangelical.” I promise, these things are related to each other. Continue reading →
Unity is easier said than done, especially within a local congregation. Pastor David explains in his sermon on Matthew 18:15-20 that our concern for each other’s spiritual well-being is crucial to our unity as a church.
Believing and Doing: Unity
If Jesus is Lord, then nothing else can be. This is a revolutionary claim of the Christian faith. Are we listening for God’s voice to reveal this deep truth to us? Listen to Pastor David’s sermon on Matthew 16:13-20.
Believing and Doing: Jesus is Lord
The Church of God has always supported women as ministers of the good news of Jesus Christ, based on our reading of scripture passages such as Romans 10:5-15. Listen as Pastor David sets the context and discusses how all of us are responsible to take in the word of faith and to share it with others. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
Believing and Doing: Women in Ministry
How can God’s wisdom interrupt our divided, polarized way of living? On Tuesday night of the 124th St. Louis Camp Meeting, Pastor David preached on Proverbs 16:1-9. Listen to his message here:
Interrupted by God’s Wisdom
We begin our exploration of Church of God beliefs with something very fundamental: the Trinity. But believing isn’t enough – our beliefs must transform us so that we behave differently. How can we practice our belief in the Trinity? Listen to Pastor David’s message on Romans 8:26-39.
Believing and Doing: Trinity
First, we study a parable that Jesus once told and explained (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). Then, we explore the slogan “Jesus is the Subject.” Pastor David’s contention: Jesus wants to be the entire sentence! Listen here:
Jesus is the Subject
Last week, Pastor David attended the Church of God Convention in Wichita, Kansas. Listen in as he shares a few points of reflection from this gathering of our tribe!
Report from the Church of God Convention
What comes to mind when you think of the word “confession”?
Maybe the word reminds you of someone confessing to a crime in front of a judge or jury. Maybe you think of a written statement in a police station. Perhaps you remember a relationship that deepened – or collapsed – when something was confessed.
Maybe the word brings to mind a picture of a person sitting in a closed room and speaking to a priest on the other side of a screen. Maybe you remember a bedtime prayer or a youth camp where you confessed your sins to God.
Maybe the word “confession” makes you uncomfortable. Maybe it just doesn’t mean anything at all to you.
I would like to suggest that confession should play a role in our spiritual growth and development. Confession is part of the way in which we experience God’s love and new life. Continue reading →
Earlier this month, several of us from Mt. Haley attended the Michigan General Assembly of the Church of God. This annual meeting gives us the opportunity to learn about what is happening in ministries around the state and even around the nation. The main speaker this year was Jim Lyon, the General Director of the Church of God in the US and Canada.
He shared some amazing news with us, and I’d like to share those updates with you, too. Continue reading →