Showing posts from August, 2018

Mission Share Changes Everything

By Bishop Brian Maas I know—a bishop suggesting financial support of the larger church. Least surprising thing in your day, right? But I’m not suggesting financial support. I’m talking about health and vitality—individual and congregational health and vitality. As we all know (but often forget), generosity is good for the soul—and the body, heart, and mind, as scripture and even modern science make clear. Generosity rooted in true thanksgiving is better for us still. Someone once said, “I can do more with 90 cents and God than I can with a dollar by myself.” There’s truth in that—and it’s not the empty truth promised by televangelists; it’s not the trading of cash for the promise of a blessing. It’s the real truth that all of us do better when we know how to let go of a little to manage the rest better. Giving generously to anything is good, right, and healthy. Giving to your congregation, and through your congregation to Mission Share, changes your body, mind,

Life Happens and It Can Change Everything

By Rev. Rich Sheridan, Nebraska Synod Evangelist / Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA Not too long ago, our church shifted from the Revised Common Lectionary to the Narrative Lectionary. Since making the change, I’ve gotten a kick out of both the gift and the challenge of preaching on different scriptures than I’ve generally been accustomed to in the past. This last month in particular, this meant exploring more deeply the biblical book of Ruth in my preaching. Ruth is a story that, to my mind, requires a little more explanation than most. It has a kind of soap opera quality with drama and intrigue, a variety of scenes and settings, and several characters with unfamiliar names (at least to my twenty-first century Anglo-American ears!). It can be tough to read just a portion of the book in worship, because the entire book is really one cohesive narrative. At the same time, so much happens in such a short number of verses that it can be challenging to distill j

Communication Can Change the World

By Brenda Rivas, Communications Manager “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”     -Yehuda Berg   Communication, the way we share information and connect with others, is one of the most important parts of our everyday lives. The words we choose, the messages we send, the stories we share, not only tell others who we are, but can affect others in both positive and negative ways. The childhood saying of sticks and stones couldn’t be more incorrect. Words carry a great weight. There is power in the messages we send that can influence others and impact the lives of those who receive them.   Think of the times in your life when someone made it a point to use words against you. They discovered your