Posts Tagged love

Bless Our Boat – Jo Turner – St. Alban’s Episcopal Church

June 26, 2018
Last Sunday’s Gospel lesson relayed the story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee, and their boat was swamped during a squall. There were certainly messages of theological importance in the reading, but what grabbed me was feeling swamped. This last week, perhaps like you, I felt morally buffeted, splintered, frightened, and emotionally swamped.
Thank goodness I was in church for the lovely bilingual service, where something marvelous happened. Sitting in the choir’s front row, singing the communion hymn God Is Love, I was acutely aware of all the people passing in front of me on their way to the Lord’s Table: beautiful golden toddlers, fairly racing their parents to the altar; senior parishioners struggling to make it up the steps; our Spanish speaking worshippers, some equipped with little English and seeking reassurance of safety; couples whose loving relationships had been illegal and demeaned not too long ago; newcomers; parishioners in mourning or with life-limiting illnesses; friends of all shades and accents reaching out in affectionate greeting . . . .
God is Love: and he enfoldeth
all the world in one embrace;
with unfailing grasp he holdeth
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then they find that selfsame aching
deep within the heart of God.
Hymn 379, 2nd verse
I sang the hymn with a lump in my throat and tears welling up. Surely this is how the Kingdom of God appears. Thank God we are all in this boat together, and Jesus is with us in the storm. May we remember that God’s peace is present if we seek it, and may we bear witness to that peace with faith.
God is Love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of all,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
holds and guides us when we fall.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
o’er the universe must reign.

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Faith: A Journey for All – Jimmy Carter – ethicsdaily.com

 

Mitch Carnell – 

'Faith: A Journey for All' | Mitch Carnell, Jimmy Carter, Book Reviews, Baptists, Social Justice

Jimmy Carter comes down solidly on the side of social justice with our obligations to the poor and disenfranchised at the forefront, Carnell says. (Photo: EthicsDaily.com)

One of my birthday presents this year was accompanied by a great compliment.

My son gave me Jimmy Carter’s new book, “Faith: A Journey for All,” and said, “Dad, this sounds like you.”

It was an over-the-top compliment, but I sincerely hope that it is true.

There is not much that surprises in this new volume, but it does remind me of the Baptist faith that surrounded me in my formative years.

Yes, segregation was in full flower, but, even then, it was beginning to fray at the edges.

My parents were products of their time and place, but to their everlasting credit, they never taught my sister and me to hate. They knew that we would not live in the same world that they had experienced.

The message of love for all people was preached from the pulpit every Sunday, just not practiced toward the local African-American population. One of the great ironies was that we took our offering to support missions for those living in Africa.

Carter touches on all of the hot-button issues, especially the struggles within the Southern Baptist Convention that moved this great body from a position where the Bible was the only creed to a hard-and-fast creedal denomination.

The before-unassailable belief in soul competence of the individual was trampled along with the time-honored independence of the local congregation.

Carter says that three words describe this type of fundamentalism: pride, domination and exclusion.

He contrasts these views with the teachings of Jesus: humility, servanthood of leaders and breaking down barriers between people.

The most important statement in the book is, “Christians should be known by our love and our laughter.”

Carter’s love for every human being and the planet shines through loud and clear.

Considering the current arguments against social justice, Carter comes down solidly on the side of social justice with our obligations to the poor and disenfranchised at the forefront.

The press often wondered how such a spirit like Jimmy Carter’s could emerge from what most considered a dark, provincial, unsophisticated background.

If one grew up in the same Southern Baptist churches at the time that Carter and I did, it is not a mystery.

The gospel lessons were presented in such a way that they took hold in a receptive soul.

There was no doubt in my young mind that God loves every human being. The problem was reconciling the teachings with the practices I saw around me.

Jimmy Carter had the great influence of his mother and her social involvement as a model.

In addition to his mother, he was greatly influenced by the theological writings of Karl Barth, William Sloane Coffin, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Abraham Joshua Herschel, Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich.

He also gives great credit for his way of thinking to Millard and Linda Fuller, Dr. Bill Foege and Admiral Hyman Rickover.

One name on his list of influencers that surprises me is that of his brother, Billy. He pays great tribute to him.

Carter has taught Sunday School classes for most of his adult life. He has written extensively about his faith and has practiced his humanity before the entire world.

In this book, he states his basic philosophy very succinctly, “My general attitude toward life is that of thanksgiving and joy, not anxiety or fear. In my weekly Bible lessons at our church, I teach that our Creator God is available at any moment to any of us for guidance, solace, forgiveness or to meet other personal needs.”

He also emphasizes the importance of prayer in his life. At 93 years old, Jimmy Carter states, “Faith is not just a noun, but a verb.”

I cannot recommend this book too highly. Reading it and reflecting on its contents constitute pure joy.

Mitch Carnell is a member of First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Our Father: Discovering Family.” His writings can also be found at MitchCarnell.com.

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How My Faith Can Influence Race Relations – Charleston Post and Courier


The Charleston Post and Courier challenged readers to write a short 100 word or less statement on how faith can change race relations. The newspaper published and posted the responses on November 5. This was my responses which they posted on their web site, www.postandcourier.com.

As a child, I sensed that there was a disconnect between what my church taught and what it did. We were urged to bring our offerings to send missionaries to Africa, but the Black children who lived a few blocks away could not come to our church.

That sensitivity guided me as PTA president at my children’s elementary school during the first year of racial integration, as CEO of a not-for-profit agency and as a board member of the Sea Island Comprehensive Health Center. The first scripture I learned was, “God is love.” There are no modifiers.

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Director of Human Resources of the Year – Suzanne Smith

Presented by:  Mary Powers

Our Human Resources Director of the year truly exemplifies all of our Davidson and Pivot core values.

This person’s work with creative and far reaching recruiting ideas truly shows how this person creates value every day. From working with and learning about veterans transitioning to civilian jobs following active duty, to attending a local job fair that specializes in hiring individuals with disabilities – this person is letting love guide their work.
Talk about love – this person serves others with love always.  Each year they end their Team Member Appreciate Week with a volunteer day at a local charity in their town.

This person knows that greatness requires risk and attends a local school’s career summit that works to create hotel summer internships to encourage careers in hospitality. They have the back of all her team members and has special connections with all.

This HRD is very innovative and has some “expec SEAL ly” wild ideas to raise funds for GKTW. This person is always staying hungry when we ask for help on a transition or open HRD spot – this HRD is first to raise their hand.

We are honored to have this HRD on our team and it is with a thankful heart that I award Suzanne Smith our Human Resources Director of the Year.

THE DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES OF THE YEAR GOES TO

SUZANNE SMITH, FRANKLIN MARRIOTT COOL SPRINGS

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