in search of common ground

this sunday i begin a new sermon series, which is actually a sequel to a series from last spring: "ripped from the headlines." the sermons address topics that are in the news, or at least should be, in an election year. an unfortunate reality is that preaching on "hot topics" has become a very rare thing in so-called mainline denominations like the united methodist church, leaving only far-right leaning preachers doing this work. which leads to people thinking all Christians must think the same way.

this series will be different from the one last april/may, which dealt with topics from capital punishment to prayer and the Bible in public schools. in that series, i selected the topics from the news-- the hottest issue off the press i dealt with was the question of spiritual advisers to leaders (ironically this has become a hot issue again in recent weeks). for this series, i chose two topics (immigration and the environment) and members of the church chose two (being a public Christian and the role of God in human suffering). i will also offer companion discussion groups on sundays at 9:30 a.m. and wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning next week.

the point of the sermons, like the last two blog posts, is to reclaim the civil discussions of important issues-- and how our faith and life intersect with them. no political endorsements will be made for individuals or parties. as the end credits in movies always say, "any relation to actual persons or events is purely coincidental." i invite your prayers over the next four sundays as we engage in important discussions!

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