Weekly Question: Is the economy a faith issue?

Presidential candidates often run on a myriad of platforms, but in this election there’s no stopping the economy from taking center stage…specifically on how we can get this country going again.  But from the perspective of faith, is this or should this be the most important issue as well?  Why or why not?  Look forward to reading your thoughts.

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Weekly Questions: We Say We Believe in Community, But…

I was recently reminded from a few conversations that true community is messy.  We want people to be close…but not too close.  And we especially would prefer that community happens with only people that we get along with, because any alternative is not as enjoyable and…well…messy.  “Messy Community” is described by some as a good thing; others not so much.  What say you and why?

Weekly Question: Do we all end up in the same place?

It’s been some time now, but do you remember the finale of the show Lost?  (spoiler alert for those on the Netflix schedule)  It turned out they were all playing out this afterlife scenario!  All the flashbacks and different confusing pieces were all explained as events in a place where time didn’t exist.  Clever.  But in the end they were also in a room that had an interesting stained-glass window that had symbols of major religions in the world.  I’m assuming this was to claim the increasingly popular view that all religions are the same and that we’ll all end up in the same place in the end.

What do you believe?  Is this really the case?

Weekly Question: Is Tenure a Good Thing or Bad Thing?

Recently the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to end Guaranteed Appointment for clergy.  GA works much like tenure for college professors, and the debate of its worth mirrors the back-and-forth that surrounds tenure.  On one hand, tenure and GA provides the kind of job security that would allow one to explore new horizons with little fear of backlash from the status quo.  They also have been needed for minorities and women who otherwise would be under greater scrutiny from those unwilling to embrace equality.  However, GA and tenure in their worst moments have helped to stabilize under-achievement -those barely willing to increase personal effectiveness or even work full-time.  Understanding both sides, which do you fall on?

Weekly Question: What Do Oscar Gift Bags Say About Us?

If you’re nominated at the Oscars, you win so much more than personal satisfaction…namely a gift bag worth $62,023.26.  What does that say about us as a society?  For perspective, here’s roughly what you can also get for that amount…

An entire house through Habitat for Humanity.

124 heifers through Heifer International.

238,551 meals for children in Haiti through Trinity/HOPE.

Weekly Question: What Was the Worst Public Scandal?

Depending on how high a bar you set for certain positions of leadership, you might recall certain public scandals that were exposed with different levels of personal disappointment.  Maybe it’s the Evangelical leader, Ted Haggard, who admitted to having an affair with a man in Denver.  Maybe it’s presidential candidate John Edwards, who was found to be committing adultery while his wife Elizabeth suffered from cancer.  Perhaps it was Bill Clinton or O.J. Simpson.  Which public scandal was one of the most memorable for you?

Weekly Question: A Mother Forgives Her Son’s Killer…Would You?

The mother of Demetrius Hewlin, a victim in the tragic killings at Chardon High School in Ohio, says she forgives gunman TJ Lane.  A little quick isn’t it?  Why would she do this?  Wouldn’t you wait a little…get the anger out…and then forgive?  Or maybe you wouldn’t forgive at all.  I wonder what you would do in this situation…