Samford University Commencement Invocation
Gracious God, we pause on this day and ask that you would be present with us. We ask for your presence not because you have gone missing or been absent, but because in the midst of celebrations like this, we are prone to forget that you are, in fact, here. And so, today, we thank you for the knowledge and wisdom that all of us have gained from Samford University. We especially thank you for the...
… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me...– matthew 25
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial...– A Franciscan Blessing
To participate in the Eucharist is to live inside God’s imagination. It is...– Walter Brueggemann | Prophetic Imagination
"Give Us Rest" from Crowder Band
“Crowder’s Give Us Rest sounds exactly as a “final album” should. It is a Mount Everest of worship rock albums, never to be topped. For over a decade, David Crowder created some of the most creatively inspired worship music in the world, and now he deserves his rest.” from an album review in Christianity Today
–O–by John Petrenka In the realm of nothingness there are no boundaries. Circumferences do not exist, there is no middle. Horizons are broad, never reached. The stillness frightens yet calmness abides. Unheard—harmonic sounds linger, echo-like, sensed as an undertow in an ocean’s depth —a Siren’s call. In the realm of nothingness there are no boundaries, It is a birthing place.
Parker Palmer on Autumn
“Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to ‘make’ a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial, at best, and utterly colorless as well. But when I yield to the endless interplay of living and dying, dying and living, the life I am given will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.”
But again one might ask whether we are to pray by words or deeds and what need...– Augustine, On the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount 2.3.14
In an age when, through athletics and diet and the intensity of exercise, we...– Anthony Ugolnik, Eastern Orthodox Priest
Lightness has a call that's hard to hear
While studying at Fuller Theological Seminary, I often attended All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. I learned much from this congregation, and I still listen to sermons preached in worship at All Saints. I am especially grateful for last week’s sermon from Rev. Susan Russell, “Lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.” You can hear the entire sermon...
Let us keep alive the flame of thought and love: they are one and the same...– Fr. Abbé Monchanin quoted in Thomas Merton, “Contemplative Prayer”
for the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us, most of...– “for the fruits of all creation” by fred pratt green
We are black and we are Asian, Indian, Hispanic, White, we a rainbow coalition...– In the midst of new dimensions by Julian Rush
When pain and terror strike by chance, with causes unexplained, when God seems...– When pain and terror strike by chance by Brian Wren
We will need to recover a deep sense of community that has disappeared from many...– Robert Jensen in A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency
thought for today
“In a culture that finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish immediacy of feeling from depth of emotion, it seems crucial to foster the sense of awe, of delight, of honesty, and of beauty as part of the sense of authentic worship.” Don Saliers, “Aesthetics and Theology in Congregational Song,” in Bohlman, et al., Music in American Religious Experience, p. 342.
this is a time to remember
a hymn by bryan jeffery leach. on this july 4 weekend, perhaps these words are more appropriate for our congregations to sing rather than our usual militaristic hymns. this is a time to remember the greatness of the LORD, he has so faithfully led us as promised in his word; he has so bountifully given his grace like freshening rain; he has so lovingly pardoned and made us whole again. this is a...
Cureator: Baptist Organ →
cureator: This week I played for the funerals of two dear aged friends. Both were long time admirers of my music played during worship. As an organist, I specialize in congregation collaboration and improvisation rather than the so-called standard repertoire of the classical organ world. Mostly, my style…
Triune God, we praise you as the God of love and life. Though Jesus prayed that...– prayer of confession from the worship sourcebook (719-720)
Hymn: "Sing a New Church"
“Sing a New Church” Text: Dolores Dufner Summoned by the God who made us rich in our diversity; Gathered in the name of Jesus richer still in unity. Let us bring the gifts that differ and, in splendid, varied ways, Sing a new church into being, one in faith and love and praise. Radiant risen from the water, robed in holiness and light; Male and female in God’s image, male...
"The rocks would shout ..."
“The rocks would shout if we kept still” Thomas Troeger The rocks would shout if we kept still And failed to preach the word. It is the Lord’s insistent will The truth be told and heard. We’re called to speak disturbing things Though wealth and power conspire To hush the messenger who brings God’s purifying fire. We’re called to bear with grace the scorn Of hearts so often...
"In the marriage of word and melody"
“In the marriage of word and melody” James Gertmenian In the marriage of word and melody when we join the faithful throng, God refreshes our human family through the sacrament of song. Music swelling, voices telling tales of struggle and stories of grace Wed congregations through all generations with the jubilant chords of praise. At the banquet of hymn and harmony where the food...
Modern Worship Music
Challenges to Thinking About Modern Worship Music In most instances of the church, practice precedes theological or doctrinal reflection - that is, the church does before the church reflects. This is true of modern worship music. Modern worship music is used in many congregations, but only recently has the church begun to fully reflect on the genre and its liturgical function. At times, modern...
Vacation and Vocation
Richard Carlson on Christian Ministry A few years ago, while our family was on vacation in Florida, my son Andrew and I had a conversation about vocation. We were having a good time, enjoying fresh sights, sand, surf, and Disney World. Andrew wondered why our family just couldn’t pick up and move to Florida. ‘Mom could find a church here to pastor and you could teach at some school,’ he argued....
Red, White, Blue, and God?
Should we or should we not be patriotic in public Christian worship? Indeed, this is the question that surfaces throughout the year – usually near Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans’ Day. A comment I overheard recently reminded me that many individuals are concerned about the integration of patriotism and worship. Since I was a bystander when the comment was made, I did not have the...