Skip to main content

"Holy Conversations: Seeking Unity in a Divided World"

This Sunday at Oak Lawn we’ll begin a new sermon series, “Holy Conversations: Seeking Unity in a Divided World.” We’ll explore some of the moral issues we’ve been hearing about in the news recently—and how our faith speaks to them.Every Sunday as I stand before you to preach, I am aware of, and thankful for, the great trust you give to me. You trust that the words I speak are not merely my own, but are inspired by God, and have come about through faithful study and prayer. 

This series will make folk uneasy. It should. But not talking about such issues in the context of a trusting, loving family of faith is worse. I preached two series like this in Prosper during 2008 and wrote my doctoral project on the experience. It will be very clear that the goal is not to endorse one party or the other, nor to accept the pastor’s conclusions as ultimate authority. Instead, we’ll encourage folk to examine what they believe—and why—and share it in community. Following each sermon there will be an opportunity to share food, thoughts and reflections, and hear a different perspective from a guest speaker. This could be a real opportunity for spiritual growth. If the church is silent—or only one perspective is offered, and therefore accepted as gospel—what message is sent to those beyond our walls? I covet your prayers, trust, and support. Thank you. Here is a list of topics we will consider during the sermon series:

·      Separation of Church and Life?
·      The Contraception Debate
·      Capital Punishment
·      Immigration
·      Marriage Equality

Dr William K. McElvaney is a long time peace and justice advocate in both the local church and the academy. He served fifteen years as pastor of United Methodist congregations; twelve years as president of Saint Paul School of Theology (United Methodist) in Kansas City, Missouri; and eight years as LeVan Professor of Preaching and Worship, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

Dr Sheri Locklear Kunovich is an assistant professor of Sociology at SMU. Her research and teaching interests include: Wealth and Inequality, Women and Politics, Research Methods, Sociology of Gender, Social Change in Eastern Europe, and Distributive Justice Attitudes. Her research focuses on understanding and identifying the structural mechanisms that produce social inequality.

Dr John Holbert, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Preaching, Perkins School of Theology, SMU. His teaching specialties are preaching, the Hebrew Bible, and literature. Research interests also include fiction and religion and storytelling.

Dr Susanne Johnson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Perkins School of Theology, SMU. In addition to her regular teaching and research specialties, she is currently teaching a new, experimental course this semester called "Immigration, Bible, and Practical Theology."

Rev Eric Folkerth is the pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church. Eric is an award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk, which has raised more than $100,000 for the United Methodist Imagine No Malaria campaign.

Join us for these Holy Conversations!
Easter Peace and Joy!


Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…