The Serenity Prayer (Part 3 of 3)

By Dwight Lee Wolter.   Welcome to part three, the concluding part of this three part series on the Serenity Prayer. Today, we pray not only for the serenity to accept the change we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can, but also for “the wisdom to know the difference.” Look [Read More…]

The Serenity Prayer (Part 2 of 3)

By Dwight Lee Wolter.     “God, grant me the…courage to change the things I can…” Welcome to part two of this three-part series on the Serenity Prayer. In part one, I told you a story about a man who stood on the beach, threatening the tide if it dared to come in; and later [Read More…]

The Immoral Economy and Donald Trump’s Tax Returns

By Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life   In response to public outcry over his newly revealed tax return, Trump responded that it was a smart move on his part to take advantage of a tax benefit for real estate investors that allowed him to write off twenty years in taxes, paying [Read More…]

The Serenity Prayer (Part 1 of 3)

By Dwight Lee Wolter.   “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” The Serenity Prayer was conceived in a little stone cottage in Heath, Massachusetts by theologian and professor, Reinhold Niebuhr, around 1932. It was printed on cards and distributed to the troops by the U.S.O. and circulated by the [Read More…]

Becoming a Minister of Listening

By John Helmiere, founding minister of Valley & Mountain.     Over 12 months, the Forum for Theological Education is spotlighting 12 leaders, their stories, and how their passion and call to shape a more hopeful future through Christian ministry guides the impact they are making in their communities, institutions, and universities.  I went to seminary [Read More…]

Racism Is a Spiritual Issue

By Therese Taylor-Stinson.   The shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers and lone vigilantes ambushing churches has exposed the lie of a “post-racial” America. The polarization, the violence, and the controversies make it seem there is no turning from our human condition. But there is hope: In this racially divided time, religious communities [Read More…]

Real Youth Ministry: More Than Kumbaya Around the Campfire

By David Stevenson Real youth ministry isn’t about making nice. It’s about making waves. It’s more than Kumbaya around the campfire; more than bowling and pizza. It’s spiritual jazz; organic, always evolving, never the same. Real youth ministry isn’t for the faint of heart. Like jazz you have to be open to discovery, surprise. It’s [Read More…]

No Ideas But In Things: A Baptist Recovers Ritual

Bread and wine became things by which I came to know even more deeply the presence of God. As one of my professors told me, “When the world is completely upside down, the Eucharist is always the same. That’s the power of ritual.” [Read more…]

Is God Guilty?

God is guilty. I do not make this claim lightly. But I make it in the strength of the company of some of the most faithful people in history. [Read more…]

Are There Pets in Heaven?

A member of our church died and was cremated and then had her ashes blended with the ashes of her dog that had died and was cremated a year earlier. Another member of our church brought his five year old son to see me because the boy had told him that, “more than anything in [Read More…]

Struggling with Silence in an Instant-Gratification World

Silence allows us to rest from our own “noise within—our desires that plague us, our worries that deplete us, our thoughts that agitate us—that we must calm.” When we rest from the continual interior dialogue, we allow space for God to work within us. [Read more…]

Give Ben-Hur a Chance: Watch the Movie with Your Heart and Imagination

The new Ben-Hur movie from Paramount Pictures opened over the weekend and the reviews have been, well, not all that great. It’s not surprising really, after an enormous promotional lead-up setting expectations high, that folks (especially the non-Christian cadre) have been quick to criticize the big-budget epic laced with a feel-good Christian message. And while critically, I may have [Read More…]