It has been a tough time in our nation over this last year, not to mention all the challenges our world is facing, ranging from ecological concerns to economic disasters, to war and the threat of war. There is much to concern us But it is also right to take time to be grateful for the many blessings that we do enjoy. I am thankful to God for taking me to the brink of 2013 in reasonably good health with so many things to be thankful for:
First of all, there’s my wife, Susan: she enjoys her work here in the Twin Cities with Aeon, using her MSW skills.
I am also very thankful for our oldest, Jonathan, along with his lovely wife, Erica, now live in Atlanta, GA. Jonathan is an artist and a social worker. Erica is working on her PhD in Education at Georgia State University.
I am thankful for our next child, Jason. He is a musician and educator, still living in Washington, DC. He writes music, serves at our former church, and works with middle school boys in an after school program.
I am thankful for our third child, Joanna, who recently relocated from Northridge, CA to Brooklyn, NY (a place she’s not lived since she was 6 years old!)
She interprets for deaf people, mostly students at Kingsborough Community College.
I am thankful for our youngest, Jessica, who remained in Houston after college and teaches Social Studies and Drama to Middle School students at a Title 1 school.
I am grateful for you–my friends and family, and for my new ministry call as the senior pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. I have the awesome privilege of joining my experience and gifts with those of the wonderful folks in this diverse and talented congregation.We are trusting in the Lord for guidance in 2013. I miss so many people in Washington, DC, as I was a pastor there and adjunct instructor of Bible at two different institutions. But I am look forward to what God has in store for me here in Minnesota.
Along with my pastoral duties I have much writing to do in 2013. I am striving to be more productive by focusing my time and energy better than I have in the recent past.
I also want to grow in the discipline of prayer. Even after many years in ministry there is much more to learn about prayer and its practice.
I sincerely hope that you will have a blessed New Year. Thanks to all of you who keep in touch. It truly warms my heart.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.