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In the fall of 2000, I began my studies at Duke University as an intended political science major with my sights set on a future in elected office. I only lasted one semester with this intended concentration and vocation. One of the primary reasons was the first course I took in the political science department. The course was titled, "Political Systems in Contemporary America" and it had a deeply negative impact on me. It was not the brilliant professor, nor the challenging reading list, nor the fascinating subject matter. It was one particular lecture on the growing use and impact of negative campaign advertising that did me in. We often complain about such pieces from both ends of the political spectrum, describing them as "attack ads" and "mudslinging." They disappoint us and erode our trust in the political system. And, perhaps most disturbingly, they are successful. These attack ads get results. I remember our professor explaining that the reason for the increasing prevalence of such campaign ads was their consistent record of effectiveness. "It turns out," he said with a smile, "that in politics you really can lift yourself up by tearing others down. I have the research to prove it."Read full transcript...
On this special program celebrating 70 years of faithful weekly broadcasts, the Rev. Dr. Louis C. Schueddig and host Peter Wallace review the history and impact of The Protestant Hour and present excerpts from some of its most influential preachers.
I've never believed that God is a fairly godmother, granting us exactly what we want when we want it. Our relationship with God should never be one where we ask and just expect to receive, nor should our prayer lives be centered on our own needs or desires. But that's not to say that asking God for help and healing is improper. Even the Bible shows us that.
Several years ago my husband’s bishop tried initiating a diocese-wide call to the catechumenate to engage those preparing for confirmation in a period of study and formation. We call it confirmation class or catechism, something generations of Lutherans have gone through. But this was a new experience for the Episcopalians in his diocese.
This is a Day1 Key Voice article by The Rev. Frederick Buechner.
Asking visitors to announce themselves in church signals the rarity of the occasion. Asking them to wear a visitor name tag, when no one else is wearing one, is even worse.
This post is all about my new worship series, "God Bless Us Every One: The Redemption of Scrooge." This is a wonderful worship journey to share with your congregation this year!
I was working with a group on racial reconciliation, and I felt frustrated. I mostly listened, but then every time I spoke, the words coming out of my mouth were all wrong. And I’m a type-A, liberal, PC, white woman. I don’t like to be wrong. I like to 'get it' and secretly roll my eyes at other wrong people.
It is one of life's basics. You don't mock people who are vulnerable. You do not make fun of the poor or the unfortunate. You don't laugh when someone else suffers a broken neck or a broken heart.
Revelation, the last book of the Bible, often gets a bad rap. Fundamentalists have turned it into some sort of playbook for the end of time, full of hellfire judgement. But the reality is that Revelation was written in the midst of a time of historic church persecution. It's full of powerful imagery that is more metaphorical than literal.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On October 23, 2016 we will celebrate the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.
How did we get here? How did we become so callous, so angry, so unable to see each other? How did we become so divided? Who benefits from this division? Into this divided and often vitriolic atmosphere comes the gospel of Luke and the stories of Jesus.