Author Archives: dmindirector

WHAT DOES A HEALTHY PASTOR DO TO BE HEALTHY?

(And…look for the addendum at the bottom of the page.) What does a call to heath mean for those in ministry? It is a matter of stewardship of our very lives.  I have a good health plan and insurance.  I am fortunate.  I keep receiving postcards from my health plan which challenge me to keep healthy by taking certain actions.  The incentive is that I will receive a savings in the network deductible for the following year.   What is preventive … Continue reading

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Continuing the path and looking ahead…

The Doctor of Ministry Program will be undergoing a review in the coming months, beginning in February.  My goal is an open-ended review, paying attention to a variety of perspectives and voices of those who have been in the program, those currently in the program and also to talk with potential students as to what they might be seeking in a practice oriented degree like a DMin. I’ve been director of the Pittsburgh Seminary’s DMin program for nine years, and … Continue reading

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CHANGE: a looping life

I was born into the church.  It has shaped me, my life and my vocational choices.  Imprinted early or to use current vernacular—the neuro-pathways of my brain–established a religious view as truth and loyalty.  Other people’s faith about God has had a profound effect on me and in many ways shaped both my interests and confusion about the church, belief and all that goes with it.  While others were marching in the streets, protesting great injustices within my baby boomer … Continue reading

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Art and Life; Meaning and Purpose; Agency and God

I read, faithfully, the New Yorker because of excellent writing, great cartoons, and attention to the best fiction, art, opera, film, poetry.  In the October 7, 2013 edition, Goings On About Town: This Week. http://nyr.kr/14HAxi4, the art of Chris Burden is featured.  The New Museum features a piece called, “Ghost Ship,” described as “a crewless, self-navigating yacht that sailed the North Sea in 2005.”    What would make, I wondered, this yacht a meaningful experience with people on board to guide … Continue reading

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TWO PARTS: Working on Emptying and Doing Empty Work

Part One: Can you feel it?  Summer is about to end, and the energy is rising, like a late summer thunder storm.   At the same time, the easiness of at least the month of August leads to a bit of angst.  It is time to get back to real work. In a recent CNN post, the theme was of work, and running on empty.  The phrase empty work—that is—in this constant attention to email and other forms of information, we … Continue reading

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We Seek to Discern God’s Future for God’s Church in Service to God’s Mission in God’s World

…we seek to discern God’s future for God’s church in service to God’s Mission in God’s world A comment on letting go Susan Kendall   This is a variation on a theme I hear or read several times a week and yet in the Bible is clarity.  We are to love, listen, give, pray, weep, laugh, sing and lament, among some other clear active verbs.  A sampling:   “Take up your bed and walk; this day you are healed; feed my … Continue reading

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Walk and Dance: Body, Mind and Spirit

“Our memories, our beliefs, our imaginations are all impacted by the emotions we experience on a daily basis.  Emotions shape and color our world in truly fantastic and meaningful ways.  However, our theologies and ideas about humanity often lack careful attention to our embodied emotional experiences.”   Jason Whitehead, PhD Invited Professor for DMin Focus:  Science and Theology Jesus washed feet. Mary anointed with oil.  The blind were able to see; the deaf to hear.   All these narratives in the biblical … Continue reading

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The Importance of Re-search and Context or Perhaps Science and Theology

I am continually intrigued with Robert Alter’s translations, particularly of the Psalms.  Psalm 147: Hallelujah.  For it is good to hymn to our God, for it is sweet to adorn with praise.  Builder of Jerusalem, the LORD, Israel’s scattered ones He gathers in.  Healer of the broken-hearted, He binds their painful wounds.  He counts the number of the stars, to all of them gives names. These first verses from Psalm 147 are an example of both power and pathos, of … Continue reading

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SHARING – A BOOK REVIEW

I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING NEWSLETTER FROM ALBAN WEEKLY AND THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH A READ.   SUSAN   Like the rest of the nation, we were shocked by the mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last week.  Earlier this year we became aware of a new book, America and Its Guns: A Theological Exposé. We thought, following a number of mass shootings in recent years, especially those this summer at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and at … Continue reading

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FAITH: AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA

Advent lectionary on the PCUSA website has Isaiah 11: 1-9 listed multiple times.  The narrative is titled “The Peaceful Kingdom” in my NRSV Bible.  The narrative offers an image of peace:  wolf and lamb, leopard and kid, calf and lion, cow and bear.  The powerful shall be led by a little child.  A child can play alongside the most poisonous of snakes.  In this vision—it will be a promised reality because the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth—like … Continue reading

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