Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood is the name of Pat Reyes’s new book, a personal look at the economic and racial oppression that threatened to kill him in his youth and the community that saved him. You can purchase the book on Amazon.
Dr. Donald Megnin’s (STH’60) new book, Sermons for the Separated, was written for those disenchanted with the institution of religion. He wants to offer hope and ideas that will help people live the best life possible. You can read more about the book on the Trafford Publishing website.
SCRIPTURE & TRADITION WITHOUT EXPERIENCE & REASON, MAKES POSSIBLE & JUSTIFIES DISCRIMINATION!
by Gil Caldwell (STH’58), BU Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2016
Reconciling Ministries Network has posted my blog, “Becoming a 21st Century Church.” I suggested that our current United Methodist Church anti-homosexuality language, legislation and practice is clothed in Scripture and Tradition. I would add that this is so because Experience and Reason have been ignored.
I want an early resolution of our UMC anti-LGBTQI discrimination in order for our denomination to become a faith-based leader in confronting “America’s Original Sin; Racism.” The presidency of Barack Obama and the ascendancy of Donald Trump have revealed that despite equal rights legislation and action in the USA, the cancer of racism, particularly it’s anti-black expression, is alive and well.
Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican Party presidential nomination was empowered by his “Birther” critique of President Obama. A critique I suggest that is shaped by the Biblical Noah’s “Curse of Ham” that was/is some how interpreted to be a declaration of the inferiority of black people of African descent. The Republican Party and all of the USA have discovered that anti-black racism, like chickens, has “come home to roost.” The “otherization”, the name calling, the demeaning, the police killing/jailing of innocent blacks, has “trickled down” to harm all of us,regardless of our race/ethnicity.
The USA more than the UMC regarding matters of sexual orientation/gender identity has understood the meaning of; “New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth”, James Russell Lowell. The Constitution of the USA has enabled affirmation of the God-given human rights of LGBTQI persons and same gender couples, while the UMC has misused Scripture to justify the discrimination of them.
“Come on” United Methodist Church leaders, affirm in our language and legislation the humanity and rights of same gender couples and LGBTQI persons as has the USA!
And, begin to lead the USA and the world in recognizing and resolving the evil of racism that historically and presently, has infected and inflicted the world. It is time for the UMC to resolve its institutional heterosexism in order to confront national and worldwide, RACISM!
Gil Caldwell (STH’58)
A retired Elder; member of the Rocky Mountain (Denver) Conference
Asbury Park, New Jersey/USA
God of Earth: Discovering a Radically Ecological Christianity (Westminster John Knox Press, Oct.) is a work of creative nonfiction in which I track, through the church year, the question what happens if we imagine the Jesus of Christian theology to be realized in the nonhuman natural world?
This article is featured in Counterpunch, and is called, “Trump’s Road Rage to the White House,” which ends with a powerful poem by Ted Lockhart (STH’68, 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award).
Read the entire article here:
“It’s none of your business!” We would never say that to God, especially in terms of how our churches work. In fact, our churches ARE God’s Business. Everything that we do in our church is a reflection on God. Therefore, we are responsible for doing our part to make the Church thrive in every way.
We are pleased to announce that on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, the Illinois Conference UCC Council voted on the recommendation of the Personnel Committee to call the Rev. Dr. James J. Olson to serve as Acting Associate Conference Minister for Fox Valley and the Chicago Metropolitan Associations.
The Rev. Dr. James J. Olson, OCC, is from the Boston area, and was baptized and raised in the UCC at First Congregational Church, Randolph, Mass. He earned his M.Div at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, the S.T.M. and D.Min degrees from Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Olson has served churches in Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut and in Illinois. Additionally, he served as the Associate Dean of Religious life at Marsh Chapel, and as a teaching assistant in the School of Theology, both at Boston University. He is a brother of the Order of Corpus Christi, a covenantal order within the United Church of Christ rooted in the theology and ideals of the Mercersburg liturgical and theological renewal movement of the late 19th c. in the German Reformed church, one of the predecessor bodies of the UCC. Dr. Olson serves as the president of his seminary Alumni association, and has served on the board of the UCC Coalition for LGBT concerns. Most recently, he has been the co-chair of the clergy Fitness Review Response Team in the Illinois Conference.
Dr. Olson is married to the Rev. Darrick D. Jackson, a Unitarian-Universalist minister who currently serves as a member of the faculty and as the Director of Contextual Ministry at Meadville-Lombard School of Theology. They live in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, with a lot of books and two very spoiled rescue cats. Dr. Olson enjoys cooking, classical and very early American jazz and big-band music. He sings regularly in a large concert choir in Chicago and has performed with choirs worldwide.
Rev. Dr. and Professor John H.Stanfield, II, African and African Diaspora Minister and Public Sociologist and former senior professor in numerous major research universities in America and abroad , has been appointed as Post-Retirement Distinguished Research Fellow and Research Director in the South Africa Human Sciences Research Council(HSRC) Research Programme on Democracy, Governance, and Service Delivered with focus on multicultural restorative justice in national governance, civil society, and in residential communities. HSRC is the largest government based social sciences and humanities research institute in Africa and one of the largest in the world. Rev. Dr. and Professor John will be based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Boston University School of Theology alumnus, M. Kent Millard, was elected as President of United Theological Seminary. The seminary announced the news on their website. Rev. Dr. Millard has served as interim president since January 2016. Read more on United’s website.
Mark Davies (STH’01, GRS’01), Lallene Rector (STH’78, GRS’86), Professor David Schnasa Jacobsen, and Professor Karen B. Westerfield-Tucker are inaugural members of the New Room Books Editorial Board. New Room Books is a new academic publishing imprint for the United Methodist Church. The new imprint will offer Methodist scholars and their students a way to share research. You can read more about New Room and see the entire Editorial Board on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website.