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

In training with love
Years ago, we had horses. It was when a new revolution in horse training was occurring. Trainers were transitioning away from “breaking” horses, to training with compassion and understanding. We don’t have to follow the human pattern. “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Phari

posted 7:42:51am Jan. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Hanging out with Christ
It’s a tough call. If I found myself sitting in a boat, in rough water, and then I saw Christ Jesus walking by on the water, I don’t know if I’d risk walking on the water to be with Christ. Would I sit in the boat? The safety of the boat is already precarious, bobbing and thrashing in st

posted 7:29:57am Jan. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Simultaneous contrast
Have you ever looked at paint samples? Those dinky squares of colors in paint stores? You decide on teal green and take a gallon home to paint a room. Once on the wall, you want to gag. Returning to the store and paint samples, you select another color with caution. Deciding on emerald green,

posted 8:05:50am Jan. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Movement in consciousness
From a Bible Lesson on the subject of "Movement" Golden Text: John 6: 16-21* 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong w

posted 7:38:09am Jan. 09, 2015 | read full post »

Not too much reliance on a machine
While driving near the outskirts of Washington D.C., I listened to and followed directions coming from the GPS sitting on the car dash. Stay to the left, stay to the left, stay to the left. Take the ramp in point 2 miles and continue of 95 north. Ramps are generally on the right so I missed th

posted 7:51:46am Jan. 04, 2015 | 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.