January-February 2017 Issue

 All January-February articles are provided below. Just scroll to see the list, and click to read any article.

 

Discovering Jamestown

First English settlement reveals America’s roots JAMESTOWN, Va. — “Even if you just got here today, all Americans are from Jamestown.” Those were opening words historian Mark Summers offered to Nurturing Faith Experience participants who took a step back in history by...

A Great Price

John Leland’s belated visit to Williamsburg WIILIAMSBURG, Va. — Religious diversity and freedom were not practiced or celebrated — and only to a limited degree tolerated — in Colonial America. In Williamsburg, as in other places, one might find a Baptist minister or...

Worth Repeating

“As a young preacher, I thought about church 90 percent of the time and about the world 10 percent of the time. It changed my preaching when I came to the realization that my congregation thought about church 10 percent of the time and about the world 90 percent.” —...

Generalities and specifics

Often I have wondered if faith communities have enough space in which both “who I was” and “who I am” could feel comfortably at home. The very consideration of that thought requires a confession that my understanding and practice of the Christian faith has changed...

Smithsonian Initiative

Curator says diverse religious history is part of everyone’s American experience The place of religion in museums has a long, troubled, and often strange history. In the 1930s, the Soviet Union established a series of “anti-religion” museums. Several decades later,...

Being church in changing times

A column provided in collaboration with the Center for Healthy Churches (chchurches.org) Uncritical lovers and unloving critics In 1968, John Gardner — an academic, reformer and cabinet secretary — spoke at Cornell University’s commencement at the height of the social...

Professor’s cross-cultural ministry has lasting impact

We all have those teachers whose impact lasted beyond the final exam. My list of classroom heroes includes professor George W. Braswell Jr. His seminary class on cross-cultural communication has long informed my understanding and practice of relating to those from...

Research shows: All churches can ‘grow young’

A REVIEW By Andy Jung We have heard the statistics: Young adults ages 18 to 29 comprise 22 percent of adult population in the United States, yet they only represent 10 percent of church attendees nationwide. The well-publicized “rise of the nones” points to nearly 23...

THEOLOGY IN THE PEWS: From darkness into light

The dictionary defines an epiphany as a sudden intuitive perception of or insight into the essential meaning of something. In Christian terms epiphany is particularly associated with the realization that Jesus is the Son of God. The church celebrates this revelation...

REIMAGINING MISSION: What do you see?

When my twins were small we read a book called Brown Bear. It read, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?” Turning the page, something new would appear and the text would introduce us to another colorful friend: “I see a red bird looking at me.” Many mission...

THE LIGHTER SIDE: How to ride the subway

Londoners have reacted with horror to an attempt to get them to speak to one another on the subway. “Tube Chat?” buttons encourage riders to engage in conversations with fellow travelers. The response on social media has been universal distress: “I feel like...

Lesson for January 1, 2017

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven …” — Ecclesiastes 3:1 with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 It’s Always Time You’ve heard today’s text before. Maybe it was at a funeral,...

Lesson for January 8, 2017

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.” — Isaiah 42:1* with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Isaiah 42:1-9 A Time for Justice An...

Lesson for January 15, 2017

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” — Isaiah 49:6 with Tony W. Cartledge...

Lesson for January 22, 2017

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.” — Isaiah 9:2 with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Isaiah 9:1-7 A Time for Hope Have you ever longed for...

Lesson for January 29, 2017

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8 with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Micah 6:1-8 A Time for Mercy As...

Lesson for February 5, 2017

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” — Matthew 5:17 with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Matthew 5:13-20 Salt, Light, and Law Have you ever had your worldview...

Lesson for February 12, 2017

“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” — Matthew 5:23-4...

Lesson for February 19, 2017

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” — Matthew 5:48  with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials. Matthew 5:38-48 Seriously? “Seriously?” Perhaps you’ve said that, when someone made a request or demand that you thought...

Lesson for February 26, 2017

“While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’” — Matthew 17:5 with Tony W. Cartledge Teachers: Scroll down for teaching materials....

Italian quake destroys historic Catholic landmarks

ROME — The strongest earthquake to strike Italy in more than three decades claimed no lives but struck at the heart of the country’s vast religious and cultural heritage. The late October quake, which measured 6.6 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was...

One-fifth of Americans raised in religiously mixed homes

In another sign that America is a diverse country, a new poll reveals that 1 in 5 U.S. adults grew up in a family with more than one religion. The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center, also found that of those raised this way, most had one Protestant or Catholic...

How much is U.S. religion worth?

One demographer says $1.2 trillion WASHINGTON — Religion is big bucks — worth $1.2 trillion annually to the American economy, according to the first comprehensive study to tabulate such a figure. “In perspective, that would make religion the 15th largest national...

‘DIVINE DANCE’

Contemplative Richard Rohr calls Christians to think more ‘trinitarily’ Catholic theologian Karl Rahner once wrote that Christians behave as “mere monotheists.” That is, if Christianity ended up dropping the doctrine of the Trinity, he suggested, the day-to-day lives...

WOVEN THREADS

Faith, maturity create` the fabric of leadership, say authors WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Bob Dale and Bill Wilson, authors of Weaving Strong Leaders: How Leaders Grow Down, Grow Up, and Grow Together, shared insights from their new book with clergy and lay leaders gathered...

RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

Born in poverty in 1808 in Raleigh, N.C., as a young man Andrew Johnson apprenticed as a tailor. Eventually settling in Greeneville, Tenn., he became involved in politics, serving as mayor for two terms. Election to the Tennessee House of Representatives followed in...

RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS: Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)

Born in 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio, as the son of a Whig supporter and abolitionist, Ulysses S. Grant came from a military lineage. His great-grandfather fought in the French and Indian War, his grandfather in the American Revolution. Enrolling at West Point, he...

DIGGIN’ IT: An ancient game of ‘thrones’

Apparently, King Hezekiah meant business when he set out to do away with shrines devoted to gods other than Yahweh, the God of Israel. The historian behind 2 Kings 18:3-4a says that when Hezekiah became king, “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord just as his...

REBLOG: A very good answer

Nothing provides a good night’s rest like having the whole family under the same roof. It is a rare and treasured experience for me at this stage in life. A few years ago I casually coined the term “dawghter” when referring to our firstborn — now a graduate of the...

Questions Christians ask scientists

Taking into account scientific calculations for the size and expansion and age of the cosmos, what is your view of the spiritual significance of humans in the universe? Imagine standing in a rowboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, looking through a telescope at...

New normal

Pastorally pushing the congregational reset button CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Pastoral opportunities are often tied to current events, said Knoxville pastor Mike Smith to a fall gathering of ministry peers here. He pointed to two events that occurred within two weeks in...