“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:10-11 All those listening to these words would have been raised under Mosaic Law – a collection of 613 laws that governed every aspect of life, from birth to death and … Continue reading The work of hearts and hands
As Western church attendance wanes among both Catholics and Protestants, the pope’s visit to Ireland this weekend urgently calls for a revival of Christian spirituality and service. But, instead of an impassioned call for revival, the pope’s and the world’s attention will — and should — be focused on clergy sexual abuse, and the church’s … Continue reading Words are good, but action is required to save the church
This originally was presented as a sermon for Noon Prayers, Wednesday August 22, 2018 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Enid Oklahoma. Today we remember St. Martin de Porres, who lived in Lima, Peru from 1579 to 1639. He is the patron saint of barbers, public health workers, all those seeking racial harmony, and – particularly … Continue reading Finding compassion in the fire of love
ENID, Okla. — A Catholic monk made a stop in Enid Sunday on a cross-country cycling tour to promote Christian unity and collect prayers for a display in Washington, D.C. Brother Lawrence Chase, who describes himself as "the bicycling friar," began the American Faith Unity cycling tour last summer in Virginia and hopes to complete … Continue reading Pedaling for peace and unity
“A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and … Continue reading Calming the storm
I had the pleasure Tuesday of interviewing Pastor Billy Benson at Garland Road Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. My favorite part of these clergy interviews is hearing how they discerned their call to ministry, and the path toward surrendering to that call. Benson was called as a teen, during an altar call at Falls Creek, … Continue reading Answering the call: How can we say ‘Yes’ to God today?
In my previous post I wrote briefly on the new Justice Department religious liberty task force, announced Monday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The AG's words in making that announcement, I wrote, revealed an intent steeped in fear and intolerance, and having little to do with true religious liberty: Sessions spoke Monday of a “dangerous … Continue reading Religious liberty: A lesson hard-won through oppression