Manifested Hospitality for the Greater Good (John 2:1-11)

By Rev. Dr. Shively T.J. Smith The activities of the Christian community should be no less vigorous as we enter the mid-month point in January 2016 and the energy of the Christmas Season has passed. In fact, it is on this Second Sunday after Epiphany (the Christian feast day and season known as “manifestation”) that an honest evaluation of our situation locally, regionally, and abroad should be made.This is a presidential election year in America and the television program sc … [Read more...]

The Missing Piece (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

By Susan Sparks.Arno Michaelis has a change of heart after being shown kindness.Life’s difficulties can come in many forms: illness, loss, prejudice, pain . . . and assembling furniture from Ikea. Anyone who has attempted to put together anything from this wonderfully creative, yet maddening, merchant understands the frustration. The box arrives with a zillion pieces and, the best part, instructions in Swedish. After hours of deciphering the directions and gathering together the c … [Read more...]

Radical Hospitality: Building Bridges, Respecting Differences (Revelation 1:4b-8)

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By Jim Kast-Keat.In the 1990s Arno Michaelis was a white supremacist and lead singer of hate metal band Centurion, but the kindness shown to him by his Jewish boss changed him in ways he could never have expected. When I was eighteen years old I knew that I knew everything there was to know, especially in regards to the “us” and the “them” of the world. Eighteen-year-old me knew that being gay was a sin and that LGBTQ people were not called to leadership in the church (and my conserv … [Read more...]

Is My Religion Better Than Yours? (Hebrews 7:23-28)

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By Jaime Clark-Soles.The Interfaith Tour reveals what happens when you stop talking about the other and start talking to the other. Ignorance or intolerance of other religions continues to plague our world. I live in East Richardson, TX (a suburb of Dallas), which is highly diverse religiously and ethnically. The Islamic Association of North Texas is located here. Dallas has one of the largest Muslim populations and number of mosques in the nation. Yet, the call for Christians to protest … [Read more...]

Guns, Drugs, Sexual Violence: What Can We Do? (Hebrews 5:1-10)

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By Mihee Kim-Kort.Magdalene is a residential program that helps women who have survived lives of violence and prostitution. The emotional, physical, and spiritual violence that we inflict on one other is a sign that something is amiss in our world. The statistics from the World Health Organization on sex work and disease paint the terrible truth that sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse are on the rise across the globe. The sex and drug industry “will tear up women and use th … [Read more...]

Sorry, Presidential Candidates: Hope Resides in Groans, Not In Your Rhetoric (Romans 8:22-27)

By Matthew L. Skinner.We asked people about the upcoming 2016  presidential election. Hope Votes It’s election season. Hold your groans, but I’m obliged to point out that the 2016 US presidential campaign is gathering momentum. Please, make it stop. So far, eight men and women from the two major parties have formally declared their candidacy. Actually, eight is the number of candidates whose names you might know. There are others. And even more will declare their intentions soon … [Read more...]


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