“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption (derived from the Greek word “son” depicting a family relationship). When we (as children) cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”   Romans 8: 14-17

From Eugene Peterson and The Message:

….God’s spirit touches our spirit and confirms who we are – we are children of God.  We belong to God.  What we go through in life God goes through also.  Our pain and suffering becomes God’s pain and suffering.  Our laughter becomes God’s laughter. 

Let’s recognize that pain and suffering in our lives truly becomes God’s pain and suffering.  Our laughter becomes God’s laughter!”


As we gather to worship this Pentecost Sunday on this Memorial Day Weekend, may we pray for God’s Spirit to move in and between us in our worship and play.  AMEN

I recently heard the statement:  “Non-profits can do as good if not better job in doing mission as the church!”   This was true in the small urban church I served.  An older congregation doing ministry in a large building, partnering with non-profits helped the church use its large facilities in serving the community in ways church officers could never imagine!  The church couldn’t run a soup kitchen like the one that opened in the church for ten years serving 200-300 people every day.  The officers of this 100 member church couldn’t run the after-school program serving as many as 60 neighborhood children every day.  While the church could open her doors and participate with non-profits in providing these programs, the church couldn’t do these things alone.

The new reality that needs to be recognized by many churches I have encountered in my ministry:  Perhaps secular non-profits, in certain contexts, can do a better job than the church in serving the needs of people in our communities.   And if you are connected with a church with a lot of sacred space that is not being used, perhaps a non-profit would enjoy partnering with you in doing Christ’s work?   And partnering with non-profits doesn’t always have to generate income for the church!  All the programs nurtured with non-profits and the church I served were rent-free partnerships.  All we ever tried to recover were expenses.     Just blogging…..


I have been following three faith communities from Omaha, Nebraska working toward sharing an interfaith campus. Is there any other example in this country of Christians and Muslims and Jews coming together to share resources? As one member of the Countryside Community church of Omaha said, “I see so much closed-mindedness between people of different faiths,” he said. “Here (at the interfaith site) you have people that are trying to come together.”   While there will be some controversy in making this move, there are a lot of women and men who want to see this kind of inter-faith harmony.  The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska has also had plans to make a move to this inter-faith campus but can’t afford to build a church.  I wonder if any Presbyterians considered a move to this inter-faith campus?

The Temple Israel has already moved into its new synagogue. The mosque will be built west of Temple Israel.  The Countryside Community Church (United Church of Christ) will soon take a final vote to make the move to join this interfaith community. All three communities hope this move will help them grow. What a great way for three religions to find common ground (literally) for conversation and understanding.

For me as a Christian and Presbyterian it is exciting to see these three faith communities of “God Seekers” coming together to collaborate in sharing resources and mutual understanding of what each faith tradition represents. We experienced too much separation and lack of trust when it comes to working with those who are not Christian—what a great way to break down barriers that keep us from understanding that there is a place in this world for people of a variety of faith traditions/religions.

It is my prayer that this world begin to see more and more “God Seekers” finding ways to collaborate in sharing their traditions and faith.

To get started in reading about the efforts of the Countryside Community Church, I share these two links: