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Showing posts from May, 2005

Book Review: Food For Life, by L. Shannon Jung

I just finished reading Food for Life - The Spirituality and Ethics of Eating by L. Shannon Jung, who is the director of the Center for Theology and Land . Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found Jung's ideas compelling. He starts with an overview of food and the Christian experience, tracing scriptural themes about eating, feasting, fasting, and hunger, and also early church traditions of food, including, of course, celebration of Eucharist. Next Jung conquers our 'disordered' eating - individual, communal, and global eating disorders. He talks about anorexia and obesity certainly, but his idea of 'disordered' eating has much broader connotations. He talks about sin, individual and corporate, as it relates to food, and about responsibility. Finally, he concludes with suggestions for where we as individuals and communities can break through these disordered relationships with food and reclaim food and eating as the gift God created it to be. I found his conce

via SojoMail: "Bush's Calvin College Surprise"

Via SojoMail , I read this short article today, which talks about some perhaps surprising reactions to President Bush speaking at Calvin College's commencement . An excerpt: "The day the president was to speak, an ad featuring a letter signed by one-third of Calvin's faculty and staff ran in The Grand Rapids Press. Noting that "we seek open and honest dialogue about the Christian faith and how it is best expressed in the political sphere," the letter said that "we see conflicts between our understanding of what Christians are called to do and many of the policies of your administration." The letter asserted that administration policies have "launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq," "taken actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor, " "harmed creation and have not promoted long-term stewardship of our natural environment," and "fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has ofte

3 brothers blogging

My two younger brothers decided to join me and my big bro in the blogging fun. Todd has a theatre-oriented blog , and Tim has a blog of a unknown nature ! (complete with profanities to match that of big bro's blog)

Reflections: Chicago Vacation

I'm currently spending a few days visiting friends in the Windy City, Chicago. I've had a great time relaxing and wandering around, somewhere between aimlessly and purposefully... One thing I've noticed is that everywhere I've been - restaurants, shops, post office, libraries, museums - every employee in a service position has been a person of color. Low wage jobs, no doubt, all filled by people of color, primarily, at least where I've been, African-American. I talked with my friend about her place of employment - she works for a non-profit social justice agency - and she says there are no upper level employees of color at her work place - many in the lowest positions, but none in upper level spots. Why? Certainly, in her job, where door to door advocacy plays a big role, people of color face discrimination, or at least struggle with fears and confidence issues because of expected racial discrimination. Another thing I noticed: people who own cars here must be crazy

Zion's Herald

So, today I read Zion's Herald magazine - somehow I got an issue in the mail - I think because I used to suscribe to The Other Side , which is no longer. Anyway, I liked the magazine overall - some really provactive intriguing articles. I especially recommend this article (you can only read part online without subscribing) by John Robert McFarland, in which he suggests it is time for the UMC to call it quits and for its members to go their separate ways. I'm not saying I agree with McFarland - I don't, though in moments of discouragement I do - but he writes a good article, and the magazine also includes several well-written responses to his article. Also well done in this issue: An article about what Jane Goodall is up to these days and A story on how the witness of Archbishop Oscar Romero lives on

Quiz: What is your World View?

What is your world view? I found this quiz via another blog - sadly I can't site my source - I can't remember what direction I came to find it - so my apologies. But try it out for fun! Here are my results: You scored as Cultural Creative . Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational. Cultural Creative 88% Idealist 63% Postmodernist 56% Romanticist 44% Fundamentalist 38% Existentialist 31% Materialist 25% Modernist 19% What is Your World View? (corrected...again) created with

Rex A E Hunt site - sermons and liturgies from a progressive perspective

I want to recommend to you this site , home of Rex A E Hunt. I found it via The Text This Week , and primarily use the liturgies section when putting together my church's bulletin each week. I'm always struggling to find liturgies that are both 1) something I actually agree with theologically and 2) compelling and meaningful liturgically - not just reading words out loud. I find that I can usually find something at Rex's site. About his liturgies he writes: "While fairly traditional in shape, I try in my liturgies to be very careful about language, images suggested, and the flow or plot of the liturgy. When invited recently to write about my worship style I said: "A name for the style of worship I am most comfortable with is a blending of traditional and contemporary - which I call contemporary liturgical. It seeks to use contemporary language and Australian images in an inclusive way through metaphor and story. The involvement of others each week in the presidin | For Fellow Students of the Bible in the Original Languages

Via Progressive Ink , I just found this great site for students of Ancient Greek (OK, those other biblical languages too, but I never got around to taking Hebrew) - | For Fellow Students of the Bible in the Original Languages I've only just begun looking around on the site, but it already seems to have a ton of tools for you to use. While I'm on the subject, the other site I use, extremely helpful to me while I was still in classes, is The Perseus Digitial Library , particularly the Morphological Analysis Word Study Tool , which allows you to enter a transliterated Greek word, and the tool will give you translations, as well as grammar notes, and where and how often you can locate this word in Ancient Greek texts, including the New Testament. Extremely helpful.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I found this great Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe online, which I thought I'd share. I like the recipe because it doesn't require any egg-replacer, which I don't have sitting around - just basic baking ingredients. I added chocolate chips to the batter, and used 1/2 soy milk and 1/2 water instead of all water. Yum. Enjoy!

Green Lakes State Park

I had a great visit today to Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, NY. If you're in the CNY area, I highly recommend a visit. The park boasts two lakes - Green Lake and Round Lake, which are both meromictic lakes, which means that there is no fall and spring mixing of surface and bottom waters. The result is two lakes that look very turquoise, but are also extremely clear, and the overall look is simply beautiful. Enjoying creation makes it so easy to feel God's presence for me. I believe in evolution - I believe that science and faith work hand in hand, not against each other. So, as I walked around the lakes today, and read about the way the lakes were formed, and the science of why they have the color they have, and I experienced their beauty, it was easy to see God's handiwork everywhere. I hope you have as beautiful a place to live as I do!

The DaVinci Code

So, I finally joined the ranks of many of my congregation and read The DaVinci Code . I enjoyed it - I love mysteries, and it was a good mystery, and definitely a quick and easy read. I wasn't shocked, really, by anything I read there - as Dan Brown has said himself, these aren't really new ideas he's putting forth - certainly a new spin, a fresh story, but the idea that Jesus was married is one I've heard before. So what to say about this book? Some of the 'facts' Brown puts forward can be interpreted or outright disproven. I didn't take a lot of church history courses in seminary, but enough to remember that Constantine wasn't the one who decided the canon, even if that took place during his reign, under his 'guidance'. Also, his suggestion that Jesus' divinity status was the result of a vote is also stretching things. The nature of divinity was the center of a controversy, but it wasn't as black and white as he makes it sound. But, Bro

from - Jesus Christ in legal battle to get license

Yes, that's right. According to this article, a West Virginian man, who legally changed his name to Jesus Christ, is having a hard time getting his driver's license. He already has other ID that proves he's now named JC. According to his attorney, his name change was a move for "expressing his faith and his respect and love for Jesus Christ." An interesting way of showing it! I guess we are called to imitate Christ, but I try to go about it in a different way... :)

Syracuse Area Blogs

I've added a list of Syracuse-area blogs in the bottom corner of my page - I don't have it correctly formatted yet, but I'm working on it. Too tired to re-do it right not. But anyway, check out some of the links, and let me know if you have some good links to add.

The Economics of the Emerging Church, by James KA Smith

via St. Phransus , I came across this article from THEOOZE on issues of class and the emerging church. an excerpt: ...a couple of years ago, I read with some interest The Quarterlife Crisis by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner, concerned with “the unique challenge of life in your twenties” (as the subtitle billed it). I hated the book: partly because of its rabid individualism, but more because of its obvious socio-economic location. Story after story went something like this: “After Ashley [sic!] graduated from Stanford, she just wasn’t sure what to do with her life, so she explored her options by finishing an MBA at Harvard. Now that’s come to a completion and she’s facing ‘the real world.’ Sure, it would be fine for her to become the vice-president of her father’s multi-million dollar corporation, but she’s looking for more than that. Now she’s beset with postmodern Angst.” Yeah, life’s a bitch when you’re a Stanford grad with a Harvard MBA. What’s a poor girl to do?

mikevincent music

My high school friend Mike has a new website for his band/solo project - check it out, and buy his music: MikeVincentMusic Also, my big brother is getting married tomorrow. As a present, stop by his blog . He loves visitors.

Ugh: from - FDA wants sperm banks to bar donors who've had 'gay sex'

Ugh - just read this article on - apparently the FDA wants sperm banks to bar donors who've had 'gay sex' in the past 5 years for "health concerns" like HIV. Of course, HIV/AIDs is on the rise among heterosexual men and women, but the FDA insists that this is a matter of public health, not discrimination. I don't think I'm buying it.

Less is More: 10 Ways to Consume Less Energy from Sojourners Magazine/May 2005

Check out this article from Sojourners Magazine on 10 easy ways to use less energy around your home. Here's my favorite: If every American unplugged their TVs when not in use (or put them on a timer or power strip that they can easily turn off) we would save 9 billion - yes, billion - kilowatt-hours of energy. Modern TVs constantly draw power to keep the tube primed to turn on instantly. Hook your TV to a timer that gives it power when you first would normally use it and cuts power at night. (For instance, we watch the news and occasionally late-night TV. Our timer turns on power to the TV from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., cutting power for nearly 18 hours of the day.) As we talk about energy bills knocking around Congress, it is helpful to remember the power (pun intended?) that we have in our own hands.

United Methodist bishops meet with President Bush

Check out this UMNS article, reporting that members of the Council of Bishops have met with George W. Bush. As far as I know, this is the first, or at least one of the firs times that Bush has been willing to meet with an official UMC delegation, which is of course his own denomination. So, a good thing. Excerpts from the article: The bishops had two objectives in meeting with the president, Weaver said. First, they wanted the visit to be a pastoral call in the tradition of similar visits dating back to 1789, when the first American Methodist bishops, Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, presented a Bible to President George Washington. The bishops wanted to let Bush know they were praying for him. Second, they wanted to continue building on a relationship with the White House that would be productive with the “fruits of human justice, peace and hope,” Weaver said afterward.

Blessing of the Bikes

Saturday, I was supposed to conduct a "Blessing of the Bikes" service, where Harley-Davidsons and their riders receive a blessing at the beginning of 'bike season.' I had some basic idea of what I was going to do, but obviously, there is no Book of Worship liturgy for such a blessing. It rained and rained Saturday, so the blessing was postponed for a couple of weeks. I've got more time to think about the service. SO... Have you ever done or been to a bike blessing? What kind of liturgy was used? This is an all-outdoor service. No big sermon or anything. But I'd love to hear thoughts and suggestions if you have any!