Words for change
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Words for change

Change.Are you excited or frightened? Is it a command, a request, a statement? Do you see it as external or internal? In the changing of the year, we reflect on change “for auld lang syne.” Time, by definition, changes, and studies suggest the pace of change is increasing. There is economic change, social change, political…

Winter light
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Winter light

As this column appears in your mailbox we are in the season of Epiphany – in the midst of the church’s celebration of light and the one who is the light of the world. The texts that echo in our ears and minds are those that invite: “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” Or…

Madonna Alley
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Madonna Alley

The property we move to when the baby is 18 months old borders a grassy, city-owned alley. It is a secret garden, a lost green plot turned into a tiny community park. Eight properties back onto this narrow stretch of land. Neighbors take turns mowing the grass, half-heartedly tending the gardens, letting their dogs run…

The hyphenated Augustine
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The hyphenated Augustine

“In the West, there is no theologian who can compare with Augustine.” So González writes in the introduction to his groundbreaking biography of Augustine’s life, thought and works. Catholics and Protestants alike turn to the bishop of Hippo as the patron saint of theological discourse, the forefather of our ecclesiological and soteriological imaginations. Whether we…

Sticky metaphors and signature sermons
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Sticky metaphors and signature sermons

John P. Bowen, Emeritus Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College, Toronto, has given us a gift in his collection of sermons, essays, and reflections titled God is Always Bigger: Reflections by a Hopeful Critic. That was his goal as a theologian who is a self-described “collector type” – collectors must give away their collections to…

The art of questions
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The art of questions

Art Linkletter asked children questions. He concluded “kids say the darndest things.” Do we ask enough questions? Questions play different roles. Questions investigate, inquire, interrogate. Questions expose need, attitudes, understanding, misunderstanding, interpretation and inconsistencies. Questions can challenge, express frustration or curiosity, create agreement, or show disagreement. Questions create interaction, discussion, relationships. Good questions invite. Do…