Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Preachers Help One Another

posted by Cheryl Petersen

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

The family cookbook
Mom kept our family of 7 fed with homemade meals. She typed out favorite recipes and put them in a green ring-binder notebook. The green binder was imprinted in my memory, whether I knew it or not. Mom died more than a decade ago, and when I recently visited my younger sister, I found the infamou

posted 10:27:18am Apr. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Balancing spiritual independence and group settings through leadership
The fastest growing “religion” in the West is the trend toward spiritual independence. Spiritually independent people are eager to explore the teachings, texts, and techniques of all religions and refuse to be limited to or labeled by one religion alone. The religion of Spiritual Independence

posted 7:08:06am Apr. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Timeless gender that makes us feel whole
Growing up on the family farm, I worked right along with the guys, never thinking much about gender until I was in High School when someone said I was gay. Fairly clueless, I ha

posted 8:01:36am Apr. 05, 2014 | read full post »

Zen kitty talks about the weather
I curl up on Cheryl’s lap, glad she has returned home from her trip out west. She showed me pictures of flowers that are in full bloom in Seattle. Then we looked out our window here in upstate New York

posted 8:13:47am Apr. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Compromising with a list
After getting married, although I worked away from the home, I still was in charge of home care and cooking. After having children it was obvious my husband needed to negotiate because the house work was becoming a burden. I began teaching my husband how to clean the house and do laundry. His cle

posted 8:24:11am Mar. 30, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.