Episode 23: 4th Sunday of Lent

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We continue into the 4th Sunday of Lent with Rev. Brian Coulter, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Aiken South Carolina and author of the book Be Holy: Find Identity/Find Belonging/Find Purpose.

“You cannot be proud and expect to be transformed away from your sins. You need to humble yourself and have a spirit of repentance within you. Then you will see real change.” – Mable Vine

Brian provides a reflection on 2 Corinthians 5:

“To understand ourselves as reconciled or holy and then do nothing is to misunderstand what those things mean. We cannot choose to be holy and be done.

Holiness is not a goal that we will ever fully achieve. Holiness does not have an end-point. Holiness will never be checked off your list. Holiness is a continual pursuit.”

Episode 22: 3rd Sunday of Lent

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We continue into the 3rd Sunday of Lent with Rev. Brian Coulter, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Aiken South Carolina and author of the book Be Holy: Find Identity/Find Belonging/Find Purpose.

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis

Brian provides a reflection on Isaiah 55 and the gift of holiness:

“When we embrace our calling to be holy, we not only participate in
God’s recreating the world but we participate in God’s recreating of us.
That is the best part of our calling. By accepting the invitation and living to
reflect God’s holiness in this world, we actually are the ones who change
the most. We are the ones who experience the greatest transformation.
We benefit. These benefits do not come as money, fame, or power —
but as identity, belonging, and purpose.”

Episode 21: 1st and 2nd Sunday of Lent

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We continue into the 2nd Sunday of Lent with a little backtrack to the 1st Sunday courtesy of Rev. Andy Kort’s lovely sermon found here as episode 8. He reminds us that our time in Lent is a chance to affirm our baptismal identity in Jesus Christ.

“Jesus did not begin to be loved at the moment of his baptism, nor did he cease to be loved when his baptism became a memory. Baptism simply named the reality of his existing and unending belovedness.” ― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Rev. Brian Coulter provides a reflection on Philippians 3:17-4:1

I have often told you of them,
and now I tell you even with tears.
Their end is destruction;
their god is the belly;
and their glory is in their shame;

their minds are set on earthly things.

“Our citizenship is NOT in the state of normal, our citizenship belongs somewhere else, our citizenship belongs to someone else, we are transformed citizens, never to be conformed to the world.”

Episode 20: Ash Wednesday – Be Holy

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For the next six weeks during the season of Lent I’m partnering with the Rev. Brian Coulter on a series called “Be Holy.”

According to Barbara Brown Taylor, “Lent,” it is called, from an English word meaning “spring”–not just a reference to the crocuses pushing their ways out of the ground in the season before Easter, but also to the greening of the human soul–pruned with repentance, fertilized with fasting, spritzed with self-appraisal, mulched with prayer.

Brian is currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Aiken, South Carolina and is the author of Be Holy where he explores what it means to be holy in today’s world and how living into this calling helps us discover and develop our sense of identity, belonging, and purpose. Brian and I will also invite others into conversation as we journey through this time.

My hope and prayer is that these little seeds will provide meaningful and practical interaction with the holy disciplines of this season.

Episode 19: Advent Themes on Love

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The Reverend Keith Anderson is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and serves at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. He is the author of the new book The Digital Cathedral: Networked Ministry in a Wireless World, which helps ministry leaders understand and navigate our new digitally-networked ministry context, and discover God in the midst of everyday life, whether that’s in local or digital gathering spaces.

Keith’s work on religion, new media, and popular culture has appeared on The Huffington PostON ScriptureDay 1, and The New Media Project. He serves on the editorial committee for Odyssey Network’s ON Scripture lectionary commentary series and the advisory board for the Day 1 radio program.

One of Keith’s passions in ministry is helping people find God in the midst of everyday life. It was born out his own need as a father of four to find God in the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane—and the chaos of raising kids. In his ministry, he lives this out through hosting coffee shop conversations, theology pubs, and collaborating with local and digital neighbors.

Keith holds a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from High Point University, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and a Master of Sacred Theology Degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Jennifer Anderson, a proud native of Canada, graduated from Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario with a B.A. in Archeology and Near Eastern Religion and Culture and holds a Master of Theological Studies degree in Hebrew Bible from Harvard Divinity School.

Jenny’s primary vocation is motherhood. She is immersed in everyday living from kid’s homework, to juggling activities and schedules, nurturing relationships, supporting family and friends, and advocating for education. She also works for a farmer-florist in Philadelphia.

Episode 18: Advent Themes of Joy

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My guest and partner for this week is the Rev. Jim Kast-Keat. Jim is the Associate Minister for Education at Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York City. He is a divergent thinker, an ideation specialist, and an aspiring minimalist. Jim is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament by the Reformed Church in America.  He received his masters of divinity from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan where he received The Faculty Award for Advocacy in Racial Ethnic Reconciliation, The President’s Community Life Award, and was admitted into The Sons & Daughters of Korah Society (an award for excellence in leading worship). Prior working at Middle Church, Jim helped lead a radical theology colletive called ikonNYC, wrote and designed church resources and curriculum with Sparkhosue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and served as a pastor for six years at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jim is the creator and lead curator of
ThirtySecondsOrLess.net where he shares ideas and amplifies voices every day. In his spare time he produces, hosts, and cohosts a variety of other podcasts and online projects and networks, including “The 1st Preacher,” a forthcoming podcast about women in ministry and the art of preaching. To find out more about Jim go to JimKastKeat.com or follow him on twitter at @IdeasDoneDaily. Or just Google him. There are only two Kast-Keats in the world and he’s one of them.

Links to some of the content on the episode:

O Come O Come Emmanuel played by the Piano Guys

Episode 17: Advent Themes of Peace

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My guest and partner for today is the Rev. Tim Hughes. Tim is the Associate Pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore City. After graduating from Davidson College, Tim spent a year in an urban ministry immersion program in West Philadelphia that he considers the second half of his college education. He’s been hooked on city living ever since, with all its layers of culture and community and injustice and opportunity. He got a dual Masters in Divinity and Social Work in order to think more intentionally about how spiritual practices inform social justice. Baltimore City has proven to be an amazing and challenging place in which to put that education into practice. He lives there with his flat coat retriever Zoe.

 

Episode 16: Advent Themes of Hope

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My guest and partner for this week was Rev. Traci M. Smith. Traci is the pastor of Northwood Presbyterian Church, San Antonio. She, along with her partner Elias Cabarcas parent two sons, Clayton (4) and Samuel (3). Traci loves the intersection of faith and parenting and wrote a book on this topic called Seamless Faith: Simple Practices for Daily Family Life. Traci is an Enneagram 7 and MBTI personality type ENFP which means she has endless enthusiasm and ideas but can never find her keys. She is my sister from another mister. She loves cheese fries, red wine, strong coffee and lively conversation.
Links to some of the content on the episode: 
Connect with Traci on twitter  Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!
Video of the father and son talking about the Paris attacks

 

Episode 15: Sharing the Resurrection

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My guest and partner for this week was Rev. Jason Chesnut. He writes: He is still wondering why, exactly, God called him to ministry. On any given day, you can find him creating digital content for an online community (The Slate Project), learning Bible stories by heart (and teaching others to do so), or doing sermon prep as he rides his motorcycle somewhere fun. Jason is an ELCA mission developer in Baltimore.

Snippets from the episode include my morning at Bloomington Bagel Company, Jason with his community and walking around in Baltimore, and then my kids fighting over who gets to feed Ellis, the boxer dog.

Links to some of the content on the episode: 

Here’s Jason’s Twitter.
Here’s the website for The Slate Project.
Here’s the Facebook page for The Slate Project here.
Here’s the Twitter page.
Here’s Eric Barretto’s article: Sell All Your Possessions.