Conference Blog

 

Leaning into Hope

By Brian Bauknight

1/3/2017

Domenico Ghirlandaio's Zechariah Writes Down the Name of His Son (1490, fresco in the Tornabuoni Chapel, Florence) The first two chapters of Luke tell the heart of the Christmas Story.  Most of us are familiar with Luke 2:1-20 – a narrative which is read, sung, and performed in many churches each December.   But these two chapters are also about four elderly folks: Elizabeth and Zechariah, who Luke says (rather delicately) are “getting on in years.” Simeon, who is ...


Bishop's New Year's Covenant

By Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi

12/29/2016

In my tradition one of the most moving worship experiences we had during the holiday season was the Watch Night Service.  On New Year’s Eve we would gather together and through song and testimony we would praise God and rehearse the many ways God had blessed us throughout the year. Then, about twenty-five minutes before midnight my father, who was my pastor during my childhood and youth, would start preaching.  He was never a long winded preacher, but on New Year’s Eve it was especially ...


A Shepherd Who Stayed Behind?

By Brian Bauknight

12/20/2016

Occasionally, in my imagination, I see one shepherd who did not go to Bethlehem that first Christmas night.  One shepherd stayed with the sheep while the others ran to see if the news was true.  Why would this have been his choice?  Why did he not go?   Consider some possibilities!   He was too tired.  It had been a long week, or a long series of weeks. He did not have the time or the energy to do one more thing What about you?  Are you simply worn from the pace and competing claims of recent ...


Waiting Room

By Brian Bauknight

12/6/2016

Every day in December, our youngest granddaughter asks my wife or me the same question: “How many days now until Christmas?”  I am quite sure she knows the answer.  But still she asks!   We don’t much like waiting.  Most of us have had the experience of sitting and waiting for a doctor office appointment.  We know our turn will come eventually.  But still we check our watch.  And often we fret.  We also wait impatiently (and occasionally, fearfully) for a doctor’s visit to our hospital room or ...


Theological Correctness

By Brian Bauknight

11/22/2016

I am not someone to quickly correct another person’s theology; but on some occasions, I cannot help myself.  We heard a lot of banter about “political correctness” in the recent presidential campaign.  Is there such a thing as “theological correctness?”  I think there may be times….   Recently, someone posted this thought on FaceBook: When God pushes you to the edge, trust him fully, because only two things can happen: either he catches you when you fall or he will teach you how to fly.  On ...


Time to Pray!

By Brian Bauknight

11/8/2016

Like many of you, I will be glad for this day to be over.  It has been a long, grueling, and often ugly election season, unlike any other I can remember in my lifetime.  Like many of you, I have been to the polls and voted—about one hour ago.  Like some of you, I will probably wait up later into tonight to catch a glimpse of how Americans voted today.  Like many of you, I really have no clear idea of how the election will go—either in the presidential race or the (possibly even more important) “...


Numbers Games

By Brian Bauknight

10/26/2016

My eight-year-old granddaughter loves number games.  She enjoys math at school, and frequently wants me to be with her while she practices her addition, subtraction, and multiplication on an ingenious computer web site.   On most Sunday nights, she and I play some games which involve numbers.  A game of Tensie, Phase 10, Yahtzee, 500, or Uno is usually one of the games of choice.  Her mind works quickly in these games, and she often wins—especially in the card games.  She can plan ahead and ...


Living a Kingdom Life

By Brian Bauknight

10/11/2016

Kingdom living is at the core of Jesus teaching.  This principle has taken me almost a lifetime to realize and understand.  Jesus is not about my “being good” so I can get into Heaven and avoid Hell.  Jesus is not about a desert piety that will make me more spiritual.  Jesus is about living a “Kingdom life” here and now to the honor and glory of God.   Jesus spoke more about the Kingdom of God in His teaching than about any other topic.  Unfortunately the phrase “Kingdom of God” has little ...


The Defining Event

By Brian Bauknight

9/27/2016

?I thought last night’s presidential candidate debate was largely a non-event.  The hype for the 90-minute affair was incredible.  One network even had an on-screen countdown in the lower right-hand corner for two days!  MLB and the NFL seemed after-thoughts by comparison.   All real news seemed to pale into insignificance.  Only the weather was “normal” in broadcast schedules.  Countless pundits were summoned to multiple studios to offer their pre-debate analyses and predictions.  To this ...


Spiritual Dimensions of Life

By Brian Bauknight

9/13/2016

A lot of the reading I have done lately has addressed the need to explore and find life at a deeper level.  Most recently, I have been reading a book by David Brooks entitled The Road to Character (Random House, 2015).  While not a specifically religious book, it does seem to explore a lot of the spiritual dimensions of life.  Brooks is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, teaches at Yale, and appears on various  television “news magazines."   At one point, he writes about the relatively ...


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