Friday, July 25, 2014

Recommended Reading: 7-25-14 edition

Each week I send out an e-mail of my thoughts to folks in my church.  I include in it what I found worth reading in the past week.   Here's some stuff I found meaningful to read this past week:
  • SBNR--"Spiritual But Not Religious"--heard that one?  If you've been paying attention at all over the last 25 years or so, you've probably heard it a lot.  I know I have heard it so much that I must work hard not to visibly cringe at some well-meaning person who self-identifies herself or himself as such.  The NY Times reviews several recent books that address the SBNR folks out there.  In case you are wondering how I feel about the idea of being SBNR, I agree wholeheartedly with UCC minister and author Lilian Daniel (whose book When 'Spiritual But Not Religious' is Not Enough is featured in the article).  Community matters.
  • I'm a few Sundays behind in uploading sermons to the church web site, but I did get the July 6 sermon "Child's Play" up.  It's ready for your eardrums, if you missed it.  Here's the description of it I posted with the audio (It's pretty wordy, but I'm trying to attract Google search results.): "This is a sermon on Matthew 11:16-30.  It is a sermon about how to deal with people you disagree with and having the humility to admit you don't have all the answers.  This sermon addresses issues like how do we disagree with others who hold different beliefs from us and do so in a respectful and loving way?  It also speaks to the difficult task of debating with others on social media, a medium where we let our worst selves run wild.  In Matthew 11, Jesus responds to his critics who criticize him for eating and drinking with sinners but who also criticized John the Baptizer for being too strict in his ascetic lifestyle.  Some religious people are only happy if you do things their way; yet God can move through many different kinds of people and through many different religious points of view to accomplish what God wants.  To assume your religious comfort zone is the only true one is to risk missing out on the many other ways God is at work in the world.  This sermon also mentions the comedian, Marc Maron, specifically a good interaction between Rev. Peeples and Maron at one of the comedian's performances.
  • Apparently there's a social media phenomenon out there with women taking selfies and holding up signs saying "We don't need feminism."  I thankfully missed it, but I'm glad I didn't miss Rachel Held Evans' powerful blog post on some of the reasons we do in fact need feminism

No comments: