Heatherhope Believes In A Dynamic Church

Easter morning listening to the radio. National Public Radio represents the best of broadcast journalism. But I heard exactly two references to the great Christian Festival Day of Easter. One was an offhand comment, just before the segment with “puzzle master Will Shorts,” in which the host noted that many listeners would possibly be away […]

Passion Sunday Petitions

Lifting our voices and turning toward God, let us pray for the church, the earth, and all who are in need.

A time of silence.

Lord of compassion, as we the people of your family, the church, conclude our Lenten journey with the walk through Jerusalem to the cross, help us to understand that Jesus’ pain and […]

Ash Wednesday Petitions

Creator God,  we who stand before you are dust,    and to dust we shall return. But you have breathed into our lips your Holy Breath, so we are also … yours. Help us this Lent to come alive to your Spirit within us. Break down the walls around our souls with which we shut out […]

Refugees, Trump and the Light of the World

Several months ago a team of people went into my heart and fixed it. They, in fact, probed with wires right up through both an artery and a vein in both of my upper thighs, right up into my heart, and burned a number of clusters of cells that were giving off electric signals that […]

The Animals Teach Us Advent Expectation

‘Tis the season for expectation. Pregnant waiting. Yearning flavored with confidence. Confidence born of experience.

Advent has always been a favorite time for me. Of course, as a child, it all led up to that moment when we drove home from Christmas Eve pageant, past the colored lights on the homes and along the runways of […]

Lenten Devotions Project

Lent is a time of renewal of faith. This year, 2016, the pastors and members of three Lutheran congregations in DeKalb and Sycamore, Illinois, joined together to produce a devotional booklet for the season. The them is “In the Breaking of the Bread,” inspired by the powerful story of Jesus, making himself known to discouraged […]

More "Us" and Less World in Prayers

Of course, we all know it is a travesty for prayers and sermons to chant on about this and that abstraction. We heap up metaphors but cannot, for the life of us, speak in an apposite way or about practical truths. Saved by the blood of the cross? We explain it using ten more abstractions, and in […]

Evangelism as Deprogramming

 

 

Last night was a night of inspiration. Six motivated laypeople and I were discussing what good doctrine might teach us about current practices in our congregations, and the conversation turned to evangelism.

We returned to two ideas we had begun with five weeks before, as we began our look at “Lutheran Creeds and Confessions;” namely, […]

Christmas Eve Reflections

On this Christmas Eve Connie and I have been touched once again by the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge, England.

 

Two bits of verse from the carols especially touched me.

 

Here is the last verse of  “In the Bleak Midwinter” words by Christina Rosetti and music by Gustav Holst:

 

What can I […]

Advent People during Anxious Times

I returned to the congregation I served as pastor for a dozen years and was refreshed by the community of Christ and a service of Lessons and Carols for Advent.

 

I was thirsty for Advent. I don’t buy into the paranoia pitched by Fox News about a so-called “war on Christmas,” but I do lament a […]