The American Religious Right’s conflation of faith and partisan politics has been bad for the country and for faith... But, while Vince used to feel the best response to that was to strive to pursue an politically neutral faith (“both sides are equally bad/good when it comes to the model of Jesus”), he now feels that to be just as unsatisfactory... so what now?
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True Peacemaking is accomplished through self-sacrifice, not protecting or preserving the status quo. Without attention to context, Jesus’ comment about bringing “not peace, but a sword” seems (at best) off-brand, and (at worst) became the rallying cry for the Crusades. But with some attention to Jesus’ context, we discover one of his most peacemaking and bridge building statements of all.
Kyle — with help from an all-time great TED talk by educator Rita Pierson, and from his experience fighting for educational equity in nearby Evanston, Illinois — has personally discovered that Jesus’ strong words about those who put obstacles in the way of children are well-founded. So what are some ways we can be champions for the kids around us?
We've come to feel super helped by the Bible. But when is it appropriate to apply something from the Bible to life today? And when is it inappropriate? How do we know one way or the other? Kyle takes us to a statement from Jesus that proves incredibly useful...
This week we learned about and tried our hands at contemplative prayer, from one of the foremost experts on it: Fr. Richard Rohr (in video form). This kind of prayer is not about solving problems, making judgments, answering questions, or processing stresses. It’s about — in Fr. Rohr’s words — “a long, loving look at the Real” of our lives.
We wonder if the greatest enemy of "belief in God" is not secularism or atheism or religious pluralism -- it is bad "belief in God" -- ugly, cruel versions of "belief in God", or "belief in God" carried out in bad faith. For Easter this year, Kyle leads us in a reflection on the way Jesus' death put to death Bad Faith, and the way Jesus' resurrection invites people into just the opposite: an incredibly magnetic and inviting Good Faith.
Wrapping up our annual Christmas Carols service, Kyle leads us in a reflection on how to let Jesus' incarnation affect and guide us, on stories from the life of St. Nicholas, and even on the mythology of Santa.
The season of Advent is a time for remembering how God came to humanity: not in flashy displays of power, but in the humility of Jesus. How does this help us respond to the ever-growing list of sexual harassment and abuse exposés of men in power?
Every place you've lived in your life, no matter how long, has shaped you, and you've had the chance to shape it. In the Jesus tradition, an Old Testament prophet shines light on this reality, and Kyle offers some suggestions as to how we can invest in (not just consume) the place we live now: Chicago.
In our experience, setting aside questions of IN vs. OUT doesn't make following Jesus matter less, it makes following Jesus matter more. We are freed up to focus on what life is truly about, like our topic this week: growing up, not just old -- becoming mature, grounded people who healthily process their stresses and pains, rather than pass them on to others.