Volume 8, Issue 1: Peace
The Flavor of Peace
–By: Candace Chellew
The peace we seek today will never last because there is no flavor to it. We have lost our saltiness where peace is concerned. Jesus said that unless we have salt in ourselves we will never be at peace with one another. Without that flavor, any peace we may achieve in this world will be fleeting.
Let it Begin with Me
–By: John H. Campbell
I feel that fostering a climate of peace does not require attending protests of war, of writing a thousand letters to the government, nor anything else drastic or on a grand scale. No, I would like to propose that it starts with the individual; in developing a sense of inner peace, of oneness with God, in peaceful dealings with one another, and clearing out conflict which creates the opposite of peace.
Asleep in the Perils of Life
–By: Steve Pearson
We are so at peace with God’s love for us that we can sleep through the most dangerous of situations. It is more than mere resignation, the attitude that we might as well sleep because there is nothing we can do about the situation. No, the proper attitude rests easy in the promises of God, that even though we walk through fire, we shall not get burned.
Shalom, Do Not Be Afraid
–By: Tom Yeshua
When Jesus gives us “peace,” what he means is “shalom.” Shalom is not simply Hebrew for “peace,” it is a wish, a hope, for wholeness, completeness. To wish someone shalom is to hope that nothing is ever lacking in their life, that all they need to be human will be theirs. Shalom can only truly be found in Jesus, in him in whom there is nothing lacking.
A Table Spread
–By: Rev. Vera Bourne
Our hunger for an infilling of the Spirit goes unsatisfied for we are too fragmented by the barriers erected by those who would separate us from God’s love. And it is in this vacuum left by the collapse of community that our fears and uncertainties breed and grow to enormous proportions. In our pain and confusion we seek answers and assistance for life’s journey from a variety of inappropriate sources, to no avail.
Protesting Oppression Within and Without
–By: Darrell Grizzle
We need to see the interconnectedness of all the varied activist groups who work on issues of peace, gay rights, racism, environmentalism, and human rights. Although we may have different “causes,” we should all work together since we’re all working for the same goal: an end to oppression and “the domination system” in all its many forms.
Peace Through Pride
–By: Rev. Tessie Mandeville
I believe gay and lesbian pride has a lot to do with peace and the truth of the matter is that this theme of peace was chosen while the United States waged war against Iraq for the second time in twelve years. I’m sure at that time everyone felt the theme was appropriate and now it seems that since the war was waged and quickly won, we now need to move on to other things besides peace. After all, aren’t we all experiencing peace since the war has ended?
Peace: Dreaming an Impossible Dream?
–By: Raymont Anderson
The reason we are not at peace with our neighbors – first and foremost – is we lack peace within ourselves. We focus more on the dissimilar than the similar. We focus more on what’s wrong with others as a way to keep us on top.
Why I Lit a Peace Candle
–By: Miles Christian Daniels
While standing silently at that vigil, I also thought about how my life has changed in these brief years since America’s first war in Iraq. How only a few years ago, I would have been on the other side of the street waiving our flag, holding high my sign proclaiming Saddam Hussein as a devil, and shouting at those who were not being patriotic.
–By: Maria Söderström
I really wish that I could always have peace in my heart, in my soul, no matter what is happening. But it is not the case, not for me. I have suffered with depression for many years now. I have asked God many times: “Take it away.” But it is there still.
Deep and Hard
–By: Ko Imani
Study after recent study tells us that millions of people all around the world hate our country for any one of a number of reasons, and I myself have joined millions of people in the streets protesting the direction our nation is taking. At the same time, in the end, despite my own anger and trepidation about our nation’s current leadership and their choices, I’m forced to admit that I still consider myself a patriot because I believe that our country’s values still present the U.S.A. with the chance for greatness.
The Dawn of a New Beginning
–By: Courtney Maki
Apparently, word had come from the Vatican that the end of the world was to happen tonight at midnight. Priests and pastors alike had confirmed what the Vatican was reporting. It appeared that pandemonium had hit the streets of New York. I flipped to a local station here in Wisconsin, and saw a similar scene. People were running through downtown, carrying rosary beads, and wearing the cross around their neck. I recognized one of the newscasters and listened intently. Prepare for the coming of judgment day, the day of the Lord is near.
Why Hate Hurts
–By: Rembert Truluck
What can you do to make a difference in this hostile, hate-based world? You can begin by accepting and loving yourself!
Bishop-elect Robinson shares his spiritual journey and vision for the church
–Episcopal News Service Exclusive By: Jan Nunley
I want to say that I really do care about what they [bishops of the Anglican Communion] think and feel. It’s been a big part of my prayer life about whether I should do this. There are those who would say that I’m doing this to the church or that New Hampshire is doing this to the church. It’s not my goal to do anything to hurt this church, either locally or internationally.
Mixed reaction to New Hampshire bishop election
— By: Jan Nunley and James E. Solheim
Reaction to the June 7 election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest who is living in a committed relationship, as the ninth bishop of New Hampshire has ranged from joy to outrage. Yet all parties have one thing in common–concern for how the election is handled at this summer’s General Convention in Minneapolis.
Soulforce Response to the report from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals
— By: Soulforce Press Release
To the Southern Baptists leaders, evangelism means conversion to their way of thinking, believing, and being. In this case, they are calling for homosexuals to become heterosexuals, much in the same way they were calling for Jews to become Christian.
The Fighting Methodists and the Political Right
— By: Andrew Weaver and Stephen Swecker
A new book spells out the fierce conflict shaping up in the nation’s second largest denomination (The United Methodist Church) between the political left and right. A battle cry to church moderates and liberals to take up the fight or lose their church and maybe their culture.
Quality TG-Fiction Web Site Launches
— By: Caroline Mason
Our Own Stories, an online, literary magazine featuring short stories, poems and essays on transsexual themes has been launched, according to Terry M., editor-in-chief of the new e-zine.
From the Pulpit
Ah! The Power of Prayer:
Part Two — “Will It Go Round in Circles?”
–By: Rev. Brad Wishon
Prayer is not something that happens when we are only on our knees. There have been moments of prayer where I have been sitting with someone in a restaurant talking and it was a greater moment of prayer, than anytime I have ever been in a church. Prayer is occurring each time we make deep connection with who we are, with God, with other people. Every time that we look beyond the facades and pretences and see who people really are, there is prayer. Every time we know ourselves more honestly, there is prayer.
Serving From a Prison Cell
–By: Gary Simpson
God does not hurt people or injure people so they can do wonderful things to serve Him and to touch humanity. That is not the kind of God we serve and love. But the Lord steps into the circumstances of our lives and into the very rough places, places that seem very much like prison cells to us and gives us the strength, the power and the courage to serve. Then He reaches out through us, to touch lives, to change the world, to make the world a better place in which to live.
Bible Study and Inspiration
–By: Caroline Mason
Sometimes we wonder why the flames of trial assail us. Well, the great shield-maker is simply giving us a defense against the fires of destruction by letting us pass through his fire of purification. When you hold up that shield, there is no missile of Satan that can harm your soul.
I am Not a Zombie
–By: Stacy Reynolds
If I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and then did not try to live a life without sin then I have turned myself into a zombie. I am walking around with some stinky grave clothes, not really aware of what I am doing or where I am going.