I’ll Pray for You

What do you think the speaker intends when speaking these four simple words to you:  “I'll pray for you"? Intends to be supportive, and will follow through by praying on my behalf Intends to be supportive, but has no genuine intent to follow through and actually pray Intends to be dismissive, but knows that this "church speak" is a nicer way to transition or end the conversation So What? I am not among the most faithful or frequent pray-ers, and readily acknowledge this Read More …

From Social Media to Silence

Each year a theme is selected for the Catholic Church’s World Social Communications Day: 2011: “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age" 2012: “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization” So What? While many found the pope's message this year to be progressive and thoughtful, next year's topic is the sort that could have been selected for any of the prior years in the day's forty-five year history.  However, according to a Catholic News Agency article the two Read More …

Review of Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer

Meet the Author Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D. is a bestselling author, an Emmy-Award-winning executive producer/director, and professor.  He serves as Executive Producer and Director of Media for the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life and as Chairman of the Board of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the nation’s original and largest public access television system. Chumley has created and produced hundreds of commercials, made-for-television movies, documentaries and Read More …

Should Christians Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer?

Katie Glaeser's recent post on the CNN Belief Blog about this topic captured my attention.  Until I read it, I had never pondered the possibility of adopting a terrorist for prayer.  It is simply one of those things that I suspect many people would never consider unless they were prompted to do so. In the article, Glaeser tells the story of Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer (ATFP), which was founded in 2008.  According to Bruce Thomas, ATFP's founder and a former military chaplain, 603 people have Read More …

World Day of Prayer – Will You Pray?

The first Friday of March is the World Day of Prayer.  According to a suggested press release available from the World Day of Prayer USA Committee's website: World Day of Prayer (WDP) is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March. Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe on the day of celebration. Each year a different country serves as the Read More …

Prayer of Dedication for Sunday, February 20

Prayer of Dedication Loving Divine, you invite us to partner with you in the work of enacting the realm of God on earth.  Accept and bless our tithes and offerings; use them and use us to challenge the status quo here in southwest Florida and throughout your global neighborhood.  Stretching toward wholeness may the way of loneliness meet community the way of hatred be overcome by love the way of poverty encounter the possibility of enough. This we ask in your many names. Read More …

Invocation for Sunday, February 20

Unison Prayer of Invocation We are gathered here to join in the song of faith.  In a world that offers goods and services to fulfill even the most demanding and discerning appetites, Jesus invites us to be consumed by an ultimate hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Even as our instantaneous access to information and constant awareness of global events overwhelm and desensitize us, Jesus invites us to be difference makers by extending love to all.  Empowered by the Spirit, may our lives Read More …

Christian Unity: What Are You Willing to Let Go Of?

January 18-25 was  the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This annual event utilized  resources sponsored jointly by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church.  This year's theme was selected by a group of Christian leaders from Jerusalem and is based on Acts 2:42: “One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. ” The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Read More …

A Prayer for Christian Unity

Modernity provided an ideal framework for denominational growth (we now count denominations by the tens of thousands). I am hopeful that postmodernity will provide an opportunity to move from fragmentation toward unity.  There are encouraging signs all around from the way postmoderns engage one another and experience religion to the reform underway or being discussed by multiple denominations. So What? A Prayer for Christian Unity God of Many Names, may this new era we are naming Read More …

Five Days Later: Thoughts and Prayers

Five days ago in Tucson, Arizona six people were killed and 14 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.  These deaths and injuries occurred because of the violent actions of one man.  Regardless of your political affiliation or citizenship status in this country, I invite you to take a few moments to consider these thoughts and prayers today. Thoughts Last night, President Obama started his speech with these words: To the families of those we've lost; to all who Read More …