The Christian Hospitality Blog

Formerly the Irreverant Reverend Blog, the focus of this blog has been changed to ideas for promoting Christian Hospitality.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Synod is coming!

Today's cool link is about General Synod, the national meeting of our denomination, is being held in Hartford on June 22-23, with some pre-synod events also scheduled for June 21. This is the 50th anniversary of our denomination and some really amazing events have been planned. Highlights include a launch of the Amistad in New Haven on June 21, a conference on the environment planned in Hartford for the same day, a multi-site event called "Synod in the City" to be held all-day Saturday, June 23 and featuring major speakers and performance events, including Senator Barack Obama, Bill Moyers and many others, and a festival worship on June 24 at 3 pm. Some events are free, others require registration. Volunteers are still needed. Check out all the info here.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Praying for the Earth

Many religions teach that God created the earth and charged people with its care. We don't always take this job seriously, even though most people love nature and depend on spending time surrounded by the beauty of nature to feel fully human and fully alive.

Our ancestors used to celebrate the gift of creation during the times that the seasons changed. It is good to pause to give thanks for what we have been given, and to re-commit to being good stewards of the created world. This is what Earth Prayers is all about. Not everyone loves "church"--the traditional hymns, the organ music, sermons--but almost everyone loves the beauty of nature.

We are very blessed to be able to inaugurate our "Earth Prayers" with the music of Jim Cole. Jim is himself a deeply spiritual person whose harmonic overtones singing strikes deep chords in those who are fortunate to hear it. After the music, there will be a chance to walk a sacred path on a Labyrinth. Whether you are a religious person who regularly attends a Church, Synagogue, Mosque or other house of worship, or the kind of person whose preferred method of connecting with your spiritual side involves a long walk in the woods, I hope you will join us for Earth Prayers.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Warming Up

Our congregation has been dealing with deferred maintenance on the building lately. No sooner had we finished replacing an ailing roof than we got the word from the company that serviced our furnace that its days were numbers. Sure enough, less than a year later, the furnace, which had outlived its normal lifespan by decades, blew off the fire door and then died altogether. We were too busy arranging to have the furnace replaced to even ask the "why us, why this, why now?" questions.

Less than a month later, we have installed a more efficient propane heater. We will be saving energy, money, and the environment with this cleaner-burning system. Of course, the furnace did have a cost: $8,000, to be exact. We hadn't quite finished paying off the roof, and then the new furnace doubled our debt. But before we spent too much time wondering "How are we going to pay for this?" donations from friends of the church began pouring in. A woman who had temporarily come into a large amount of liquid cash sent us a large donation. Another friend of the church heard about our plight through the grapevine and also sent a donation. We are not in the clear yet, but this new furnace isn't just warming bodies, it is also warming hearts.

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