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Showing posts from June 17, 2007

What Do You Do When You Get There?(A Reflection on the Poverty Initiative’s January 2006 Katrina Relief Team Trip to the Gulf Coast)

The following is a sermon I preached at Union Theological Seminary's (UTS) James Chapel on February 6,2006 during the special "History of the Black Church Series"- Sponsored by the UTS Black Caucus as part of its African American History Month Celebration.

The scripture text which guided this sermon was Isaiah 6:8-11,one of the scriptures selected for the Poverty Initiative's accompanying Bible Study Course resources for the January 2006 Immersion Course trip to the Gulf Coast.

In our scripture today, Isaiah, the 8th Century prophet stands in the presence of God and receives directly from God his commission. He sets forth how the prophet is to bring judgment upon “this” people” through the context of disaster. God commands Isaiah what to say and do, and sets out the purpose of those words and actions.

He is to tell the people to look but not understand; he is to prevent the people from understanding, hearing, or seeing lest they see, listen and comprehend and “turn an…

Oscar Winner Demme Sees Extended Katrina Project

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Jonathan Demme
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Hurricane Katrina.The memories of our trip to the Gulf Coast early last year on a trip sponsored by Union Theological Seminary'sPoverty Initiative are not pretty. The wreckage and debris I would suspect still remains even today in some places.At least that is what I've heard from some reliable sources, some who have traveled as recently as last month on mission trips to the New Orleans area.

I still have plenty of video footage and photographs that were taken from a journey that spanned from Atlanta,Georgia to Biloxi,Mississippi.I also have plenty of information still floating around in my memory bank about the terror people experienced when the flood waters and winds came swirling through the town and the levees gave way.

I am glad to see that Oscar winning producer and director Jonathan Demme is going to do some follow up. I am interested in keeping an eye on his efforts and seeing what the results yield.

If you're interested in reviewing some of…

....Is Peace Possible?

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The following is an excerpt from a sermon I delivered at the Jan Hus Church on Sunday,April 15,2007 on the subject of war,entitled "Same Tray,Different Waiter: Is Peace Possible?" The guiding scripture text was Matthew 24:6-8 concerning Jesus' reference to "War and rumors of war..." I address the subject from the standpoint that it seems as though our world has always been full of war,violence and fighting. It appears to have remained a constant from Jesus' time until today. What can we do to bring about peace? Is peace really possible?

The contemporary musical selections chosen for the service because of their thought-provoking lyrics and related peace themes wereJohn Lennon'sImagine and John Mayer'sBelief,which was performed(covered) by me as the pre-sermon music with accompaniment provided by the Church's musicians.The balance of the music consisted of traditional songs and hymns including "When Will People Cease Their Fight…