Episodes: Masonry

Dealing with Loss, Grief, and Grace in a Pandemic: A Conversation Among Friends

If you are a pastor or on a church staff, there is no shortage of suggestions for what to do during the current novel coronavirus pandemic. Many pastors find themselves forced to think about live-streaming services, using Zoom or Google Meet to offer Bible Study, and Youth Pastors are digging deep into their creative barrels...

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Yes, Even These Dead Bones Live

Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, we are grieved. Safer at home or shelter in place or quarantine all mean some level of limitation, restrictions on our movement. Some of us are angry, others in denial, and still others are depressed. It feels like death. Remind us that Jesus too was angered by the death dealing powers...

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Mud, Spit and Another Way of Seeing

Pastoral Prayer: Lord God, our current situation amplifies our need to blame, require airtight explanations, and develop rules to protect our understanding of how life works. Remind us today that these habits in no way make life better. They often plunge us into a too familiar blinding darkness. Give us the Good News again that...

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Positions Are Not Static or, People and Parties Change

If the recent coronavirus outbreak demonstrates anything, it reminds us that positions change. Sitting here in Virginia counting down the hours as to whether to board a plane to Israel this evening is a case in point. When this trip was planned, back in September or October, the notion that a potential pandemic would throw...

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The Great Cover-Up

The Great Cover-Up Pastoral Prayer: Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our...

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Self Protection Is Not the Center of the Christian Faith: A Conversation with Jeffrey C. Pugh

Over time Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become something of a Rorschach Test for Christians. That is, everyone finds something in Bonhoeffer’s corpus to claim for their theological project. Jeffrey C. Pugh says not so fast. Instead of thinking that Bonhoeffer passed through phases, like early and late, one might better understand the German theologian as always...

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All Grown Up?

Pastoral Prayer: Holy One, whom Peter called Majestic Glory, the world is all grown up, at least it thinks it is. Satisfied with how much we know and all that we have accomplished we get swept up in the glory of our own mountains. Even still we try harder, often afraid we will get passed...

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Distance and Proximity: Seeing the Context with Alan Cross

Maps. More maps. The summer term of my last year of my M.Div. in Seminary included the course, Biblical Backgrounds. Looking back it may have been better to take that course over a normal fall or spring semester. Compressing all the material covered into a few short weeks was grueling. Today much of the same...

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Looking to Reach the High Bar

Pastoral Prayer: Holy One, daily we face being shamed, canceled and judged for not meeting expectations. Some of us even battle self-condemnation for failing to live up to our own goals. The ensuing loneliness leaves us weary when told our righteousness must exceed the religious elite. Thank you for both reaching the bar set for...

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What Happened to the Podcast?!

Don’t blame Scott Coley. Though Scott was my last podcast guest, he had nothing to do with the long hiatus. I hope to have Scott back. He is working on a new book and if nothing else, we will hop back on the Zoom and discuss his work.. So what happened? Today’s podcast provides a...

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A Faith for the Morons (Foolish)

Pastoral Prayer: Lord God Almighty, the world is full of morons, and we may be counted among them. Remind us today that it is foolish to think that anyone but you cares enough about us to take up with us. Call us to trust in the One whose faithfulness is for us morons. And all...

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No One Lives in Welty

Pastoral Prayer: Lord God Almighty, we are always looking to move up. We call them our forever homes as if we will live in them forever. Sure, we mean to say that we don’t plan to need another house, a bigger and nicer one. Until, of course, we see a bigger and nicer one than...

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