Some of the kindest, most authentic, well-adjusted, sincere and psychologically healthy people I have ever met are very involved in their church. Unfortunately, some of the meanest, hypocritical, dishonest and psychologically-impaired people I have ever met are also very involved in their church.
After the morning worship services at the First Baptist Church of Springfield, the congregation moved outside to the family life building for the formal dedication of the building in memory of late pastor Jeff Rollins.
Clemson University football coach Dabo Swinney has a story not unlike others who have found their way to a deep faith. Swinney grew up in a family that was, by all accounts, dysfunctional. Living with an alcoholic father created a childhood filled with uncertainty, insecurity, anger and grief. Sports became an outlet for him.
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.