Welcomes You

Sermons and Statements

May 19, 2013

I met a remarkable woman in Atlanta this week.  We were gathered at an ecumenical conference on peace-making on the Korean peninsula, where a state of war continues, because a final peace agreement has never been signed.  As we stood around before the day’s events began, I asked where she was from and she began to tell me her story.  She is married to a Methodist pastor in...

May 16, 2013

We are here to speak about peace in Korea, and consider what role the churches might have to play in promoting peace and reconciliation.  I’m going to begin with a broad outline of the history behind the present situation, and consider some themes that might offer a way into the process of making peace.

I want to challenge us to consider similar situations around the world,...

May 12, 2013

The beauty of this place is legendary.  It is beautiful – and fragile, for its beauty depends on a dynamic balance among the parts of this island system.  Many people don’t notice beauty around them until it’s gone.  When we go somewhere that looks very different, often it takes a long time to appreciate that it has beauty, even though it’s a different...

May 9, 2013

Are you feeling high and lifted up, in this rarefied air, at the end of a stimulating and encouraging conference?  It’s a good day to celebrate Ascension.  Yet we have to recognize that the band of disciples who hung around Jerusalem after Jesus’ execution didn’t always feel terribly inspired or hopeful.  They had a few encounters with the risen one, but they...

May 4, 2013

Monnica is remembered as a saint mostly because of the fervency of her prayer.  She had a challenging family life.  Both husband and son at various times led remarkably dissolute lives that probably called abundantly on the gifts of people like those in this room.  Eventually she gave up pleading with them to change their ways and worked on her own spiritual life instead. ...

May 2, 2013

There is something very appropriate about celebrating the feast of Athanasius in the midst of conversations about hope and climate change.  Athanasius was a priest and then bishop in the 4th century in Egypt.  He’s best remembered for his earnest opposition to the heresy called Arianism.  At the time the church was still sorting out the particulars of...

May 1, 2013

The idea of changing climate elicits grief in many people, as well it should.  That grief finds expression in many of the classic ways that we respond to all kinds of loss.  Some simply can’t imagine that it’s real – and there are still more than a few climate deniers out there.  Some try to find someone to blame, or shift it away from themselves: they say...

April 27, 2013

Alleluia!

We’re here today to breathe new life into a dying body – the body of God’s creation.  It’s going to take the breath we have in us, and the breath of many, many others.  Breathe in the breath of God, of life, and give it back – now, breathe!  We’re going to need all the confidence we have that the act of breathing in and...

April 21, 2013

 

Last week an advisory council I’m part of gave the Obama administration a report on human trafficking.[1]  It has ten major recommendations on how government, faith groups, and non-profits can work together to end modern forms of slavery.  As the Council finished its meeting, we thanked the young woman who guided us...

April 16, 2013

I have been asked to speak about the American military bases here in Okinawa, and what role our respective churches have to play in regard to those bases.  So that we might all begin with a shared understanding of these realities, I will begin with a broad outline of the history behind the present situation here, from three primary perspectives:  the history of Okinawa, the history...