compassion 12: sheepish goats and goaty sheep

• September 3rd, 2017

The story of a "final judgment" in Matthew 25:31-46 can turn off just about anyone who reads it. For sure, talk of "eternal punishment" is not something we do much of around Gethsemane. But stirring up fear and engendering panic is not the point. Pr Joanne invites us to think again about "who we are" in the story (and who we are not). And helps us mix the images a bit, sheepish goats and goaty sheep. Have a listen...

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compassion 11: doing justice, loving kindness, walking humbly

• August 27th, 2017

Guest preacher, Rev. Carol Jensen, invites reflection on the great imperatives of Micah 6:6-8: Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with God. Have a listen and consider the ways this word calls to you.

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compassion 10: chosen, called, & amazed

• August 20th, 2017

In her final sermon as Pastoral Intern at Gethsemane, Allison Bengfort discusses transformation as the vocation of pastors and Christians alike (Romans 12:1-2).  She demonstrates how the three themes in Deuteronomy 10:12-22 of being chosen, called, and amazed work together to contribute to this transformation of soul and community. 

 

 

 

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compassion 9: singing together

• August 13th, 2017

On Sunday, August 13, Gethsemane gathered for a "compassion hymn sing," but the realities of the world around us asked for a little more, too. Such as some thinking about why we sing. Some answered Pr Kari's question about that with replies about how singing gives courage, and how it brings unity. Sometimes we sing for joy, others to help us keep going when sad, fearful, or angry.

Using a Ghanian song, "Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love," Pr Joanne invited us to think again about racism in the church and world. The violence and hatred in Charlottesville begged for and was met with love and mercy (compassion!) that bears witness to another way of being in this world. This is the "Jesus way" that invites us to see others as neighbors whom we are called to love and serve. That love sometimes is tough and resistant, but always seeks justice for all. And the service costs us something, not least our preconceived notions of ourselves and our roles. To this loving, serving way we all are called.

 

 

 

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compassion 8: god’s gonna trouble the water

• August 6th, 2017

In this week's reflection, Pastoral Intern Allison Bengfort shares a story from the Lower Elwah S'Klallam tribe, which was shared by Roger Fernandes to the children and counselors at Read-a-Rama camp.  This First Nations healing story sheds light on how the healing stories in the Bible may be about more than physical ailments.  In John 5:1-9, a sick man waits at the pool of Bethesda for the angel of God to trouble the water.  This story, which is the textual basis for the African American spiritual, "Wade in the Water," calls to mind the healing waters of baptism and reminds us that we, too, are sent out to trouble the water of the unjust systems that surround us. 

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compassion 7: the limits of human compassion

• July 30th, 2017

In his research on empathy and decision-making, Dr. Paul Slovic studies the limits of human compassion.  What happens when we encounter a single person in need?  What about when we encounter multiple people?  How far does human empathy tend to reach?  In today's homily, Pastor Kari Lipke makes connections between his research, today's healing story from Luke 7:11-17, and our vocation as Christians.  How do we become more compassionate?  What do we do when we reach our natural human limitations? 

 

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compassion 6: of narrow ways and getting through

• July 23rd, 2017

When the poet Wendell Berry asks, "Why must the way be narrow?" he gives voice to the question many people have when they consider Jesus' words about riches, camels, and the eye of a needle. Why narrowness in a faith so wide as to embrace us all with love? As Pr Engquist reflects on this week's story from Mark's gospel, she is helped by Berry's reflection on the idea of becoming unburdened, less as a way of being right or righteous and more in the way of being helped into another time and space, into the realm of God or what some call "eternal life." Have a listen and see if it helps broaden the narrow way. ;)

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compassion 5: living in the in between

• July 16th, 2017

This week begins our second module which looks at compassion in the gospels. Today Pr Joanne considers a scene from Matthew 9:35-38 where Jesus sees the people's needs and responds. But the response is a little different than we've witnessed along the way as Jesus teaches, proclaims, and heals. In this story, Jesus doesn't do it all. Instead, he longs for more to join in the ways that reveal the nearness of God's reign. Have a listen. And consider what the reign of God looks like to you. How do you know it is here?

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compassion 4: chariots of fire

• July 9th, 2017

Today, we explore another little known story from the Hebrew scriptures:  the story of Elisha at Dothan (2 Kings 6:8-23).  When the King of Aram sends an army to kill Elisha, Elisha manages not only to survive, but to bring peace.  Pastoral Intern Allison explores Elisha's strategy, which includes aligning himself with the enemy and disarming them with love.  This strategy depends on recognizing the chariots of fire that always surround us, even when we feel like we are fighting a losing battle.    

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compassion 2: courage

• June 25th, 2017

In the second week of our summer Compassion Series, we hear the story of Shiphrah and Puah as told in Exodus 1:15-21. Pr Kari Lipke invites us into the story as a way of exploring courage of solidarity and advocacy. She shares stories of others whose courage stood up (and stands up) to oppressors -- and she celebrates the stories of our community's work. What stories would you add? [And yes, that is applause at the end!]

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