Advertisement

Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Preachers Help One Another

The Hartwick Seminary Institute of Theology was established in 1991 by a group of Lutheran congregations in counties of upstate New York for 2 primary reasons: To provide training for Deacon Candidates, and to provide continuing education and growth in faith for clergy. This being the first year I’ve attended, I can surmise its mission has expanded to include Catholics, Episcopalians, and me—because we were all there. And we all were able to set aside our purist aspirations in order to meet our practical needs.

Deacon Randy Velez with lectionary

One workshop, titled, His Words, Your Voice, led by Deacon Randy Vélez, was designed to strengthen the ministry of preaching. Vélez offered real-world advice such as make sure your spiritual message is researched well but without letting the research material become the message.

Vélez introduced me to the Lectionary, a 3-year cycle of weekly lections used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches. Generally, a lectionary is a list of scriptural text recommended for use in worship or study. I do not use a lectionary and Vélez never insinuated that I needed too. In fact, his focus on serving God was so acute Vélez epitomized the presence of a spiritual love and grace. Was I in the midst of the kingdom of God?

Even if my human situation is not entirely void of evil, I still can feel the kingdom of God, Love, Truth. It reminds me of a verse in Bible, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.’” (Luke 17:20-21, ESV)

Deacon Vélez said he and a handful of other Deacons from the Lutheran, Catholic, and Episcopalian faith get together every Wednesday morning to discuss the lectionary. “We do not discuss our theologies because they are very different, therefore our goal to give a thoughtful, spiritually directed sermon or homily is reached,” said Vélez.

The thought leaders at the Theological Institute supported use of the many different Bible versions. The participants even asked one another to rethink certain rituals. After my experience at the seminars, it has become more apparent that religions and churches that aim to meet humanity’s needs are less likely to get caught up in arguing or criticizing theological issues or traditional preferences.

Previous Posts

Good dissolves bad
Sometimes, I just feel bad. Bad about myself, or life, or my situation. I can figure out why, for example, it’s because of hormones. But giving it a name doesn’t get rid of the bad feeling. Science and religion both discuss the value of positive thinking and it has proven to be a good s

posted 9:54:06am Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Keeping mercy
Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. (English Standard Version) Know now then that the Lord your God is the only true God! He is the faithful

posted 8:07:29am Mar. 16, 2015 | read full post »

Fishing Salmon River
Once experts realized genes aren’t stable and can mutate, the human mind took off in multiple directions, some not so good. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have become popular, although not exactly admired. Many of the plants and trees we grow have been forced selected. For example,

posted 7:46:08am Mar. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Inspiring person, Rosamond Carr
Not what I’d classify as a religious person, but spiritual, Rosamond Halsey Carr tells her story in her book, Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda. Published in 2001 and read by me last month, I recommend this book as a picture of woman’s self-realized independence, inner splendor, and ou

posted 7:15:03am Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

A star gymnast
Film, The Gabby Douglas Story (2014), captured many of the emotions that surely were experienced before medals were earned at the 2008 Olympics. Gabby’s family, already at a level of impoverishment, sacrificed for Gabby Douglas to continue training. And, although tempted, Gabby didn’t give up.

posted 7:43:20am Mar. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.