The question, written in a Nazi cell, asked "who Christ actually is for us today?" Imprisoned, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pondered what can we believe about, and how can we believe in, Jesus in the twenty-first century, in light of the Holocaust and other atrocities.
Bestselling author and Catholic scholar, James Carroll, takes up the question in the book I've been reading for our summer series. For him, the key lies in Jesus' Jewishness. "No Christian himself, Jesus actually transcends Christianity." We must loosen our grip on the received memory of Jesus that separates him from his crucial identity as a Jew and therefore as a human.
The drift from religion by many still shows people want to believe in Jesus– not the Jesus in glory off in the clouds, nor the historical figure with no divine insight. So who is Jesus? Carroll's book retrieves the power of Jesus' profound ordinariness as the key to a renewal of faith. His book, Christ Actually, certainly challenges some of my evangelical roots and Protestant understandings of Jesus. Given that I just heard AJ Levine speak at the Festival of Homiletics about the need to root any discussion of Jesus in his Jewishness and not try to remove him from that tradition (since he didn't separate himself from his crucial identity as a Jew), this book has been a helpful corrective for the ways we imagine Jesus as somehow Christian. In this religion-less age, what does a life following Christ mean?
For us, this movement toward Jesus, needs others who come alongside on the journey. I'm glad to have the seekers of Main Street UMC alongside this summer as we move toward Jesus.
Jesus was travelling with Laura Towne in Bermuda. Beautiful sunshine and sceneary.
Cheryl Merrill brought Jesus along to see the beautiful sites of Peggy's Cove in
We are in need of a few more volunteers to help us blast off at Vacation Bible School. This includes a Bible story leader and other opportunities. Please let Pastor Kelly or Andrea Weir know if you can help out. Volunteer form is also linked below!
"THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF WHITE CHRISTIAN NATIONLISM: A CALL TO ACTION"
Summer keynote event: The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism: A Call to Action.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, Concord, NH
We are SO excited to welcome the Rev. Dr. Carter Hayward to New Hampshire on August 29th. In a time of rising hate activity across our state, Rev. Dr. Heyward is going to talk with us about her book, the Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism. Together, we will learn about action steps we can take in our own churches and communities as we grow our muscles in this work together.
There will be opportunity to spend time together in both small and large groups, and to connect with other voices of faith from across the state who are also interested in doing this work. Registration, and more details about our book group accompanying this event coming next week!
Thanks to our partners at the NH Conference of the UCC, and Episcopal Diocese of NH who are working with us. We hope you will save-the-date, and join us.
This summer, we're BLASTING OFF! To Mars and Beyond... we'll learn how God can empower us to GO BEYOND with faith, boldness, kindness, thankfulness, and hope. We're on a mission, and we'd love to have you voyage with us!