Most people know the game "Secret Santa," where friends, family or co-workers exchange Christmas gifts in a context of secrecy. But in Kansas City, the real Secret Santa operated covertly from 1979 to 2006. And he had a lesson for us all.
According to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, some 57 percent of Americans oppose Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, while roughly 25 percent support it. Conservatives were more evenly split in the poll, which has a margin of error of 4 percent.
Rev. Dave Hansen was installed as pastor of Bible Lutheran Church on Nov. 22, Christ the King Sunday. He was installed by Rev. Larry Lystig, pastor emeritus of Word of God Lutheran Church in Peachtree City. Rev. Rod Stephenson, retired LCMC pastor, read the Gospel lesson, Mark 10:42-45, and the Rev. James Cavanah, Th.D., pastor of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield, preached the sermon. Members and guests were invited to the fellowship hall following the service for refreshments and finger foods.
Madonna, the 57-year old queen of pop, made a tearful reference to the recent Paris attacks at her concert the other night in Stockholm, Sweden. She said, "There are people who have no respect for human life and there are people that do atrocious, degrading, and unforgivable things to other human beings. But we will never, ever, ever change this world we live in if we do not change ourselves."
When performing weddings, pastors often walk a delicate line between competing agendas of the couple, their families, musicians, and wedding directors, many of whom may not fully appreciate that a wedding is a religious service, the occasion of which is the love of two people celebrated and witnessed before God.
I've seen a dynamic in couples struggling in their relationships that I do not often see in stable, loving relationships. That factor is this: Stable, loving couples have developed a language of humility and use it.
Dave Hansen has accepted the call and will be installed as the new pastor Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. at Bible Lutheran Church, located at 812 Blue Jay Rd. in Rincon. This holy celebration is open to the public.
I have found that God does this amazing thing when we are present during the death of a loved one. When the time comes for that person to move on, and when the veil between heaven and earth becomes increasingly thin, God creates what can only be called "holy moments" for those who make themselves truly "present."
It's too easy to chalk up last week's tragedy in a New York church to the actions of a bunch of crazies. It's too easy to simply shake one's head in disgust, flip the page and move past the story without thinking how such a horrific thing might relate to us.
Not long ago, I was having lunch with a few pastor friends of mine when one remarked at how often he sees siblings from the same family, all raised the exact same way in regards to church, approach church involvement very differently as adults. Some become pillars of their church, while others appear quite indifferent (possibly attending or even serving when it is convenient) or completely stay away.