Saturday, November 27, 2010


There is a movement among black Christians to affirm the truths of the insights of the Reformers and offer an alternative to the "prosperity gospel" that is a dominant theme in many African American churches; indeed, this other gospel is a popular strain within evangelical Protestantism in general.

St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, understood the necessity to know the culture in order to see how the gospel may address the deepest needs of a people. Hip Hop is a lens through which two generations view the world. Thus, today's ambassadors of Christ must understand, speak, and respond to Hip Hop Culture.

Curt "Voice" Allen is a part of this new Reformation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Videos About The United Church Of Christ

My communion, the United Church of Christ, has released two new videos about the denomination.

The first video, "Uniquely UCC", offers an invitation to those outside the church to take a look at a church which seeks to offer an extravagant welcome to all.

The second video, "UCC Values", shares our church's understanding of its values and how we seek to live them.

My parish, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, can be seen in both of them. In the first, members of Ainsworth are seen carrying the church's banner at a peace rally (at about 0.55 seconds). In the second, Ainsworth in worship is seen at the beginning (0.05), and church members at the peace rally are seen later (3.06) .

The United Church of Christ seeks to live out the call of Jesus to join him in the ministry of reconciliation of peoples and all creation.

"No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."

Here are the recent videos:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Reflections: What is the More Excellent Way?

Is it not providential that the same day that the United States honors military veterans, the Church remembers Martin of Tours, a military man who laid down his weapons in order to follow the Prince of Peace?

Martin, a fourth century follower of Christ, chose to abandon his military career after he became convinced that there was a more excellent way. He refused to go into battle. He was not a coward, his trust in his God was his security. "Put me in the front of the army, without weapons or armor; but I will not draw sword again. I am become the soldier of Christ."

We live in a nation which is the new empire, the new Rome. While we respect those who sacrifice their security by taking up arms to defend their country, we should respect and honor those who do not believe in the redemptive value of violence, but believe in the redemptive and transformative power of love.

A new proposal would expand the definition of conscientious objector status to soldiers who believe a specific war is immoral. The "Just War" doctrine offers a stringent test that must be met before a nation embarks on warfare. It recognizes the destructive power of violence and permits a defensive war only when specific criteria are met. Recent US armed conflicts have not met the just war criteria. This proposal will allow soldiers the option to obtain conscientious objector status when they believe a specific war does not fulfill just war criteria.

On Veterans' Day let us remember the countless number of veterans for peace. Let us examine the wars we are involved in and seek a better way.

"I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield...I ain't gonna study war no more."

Friday, November 5, 2010

The United Church of Christ: Seeking to be a Church of Extravagant Welcome

Here is the newest video about the United Church of Christ. Members of my church, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, are featured at a rally with the church's banner proclaiming that we are a multi-racial, multi-cultural, open and affirming church.

Uniquely UCC from United Church of Christ on Vimeo.

Here is a video about the United Church of Christ. We seek to be a church of extravagant welcome. My parish, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, is seen in worship as the video opens. Later members of my church can be seen at a peace rally carrying our church's banner.

UCC Values from United Church of Christ on Vimeo.