(The following is the Keynote Address delivered to “Officers as Spiritual Leaders,” a training event sponsored by the Presbytery of Homestead at Southern Heights Presbyterian Church, Lincoln NE; Jan. 11, 2014.)
Good morning and greetings to you from the P…
Well, this is an easy one. (Where’s that sarcasm font when you need it?)
This question essentially is at the core of belief, isn’t it? I know what The Larger Catechism says in today’s assigned reading:
Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of…
Well it’s the time when almost everyone is making New Year’s resolutions and starting new things. For me, I am going to try — emphasis on try — to adopt a new discipline of following the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Company of Pastorsregimin. In…
It’s been a week since I posted about the current state of The Associated Press and…
It’s been a week since I posted about the current state of The Associated Press and some of the reasons it is in the shape it’s in. (Here’s a link to the original on Medium.) And, given the world we’re in today, I also posted it on my blog, which meant it…
Of prayer and foundations
A sermon by John A. Bolt
July 28, 2013
I spent 23 years working for The Associated Press, first as a reporter in Atlanta, then as a business writer, news editor and assistant chief of bureau in Dallas, before being named chief of bureau in Charleston, WV, in November, 1997. I was proud to be…
Just finished a week spent with several colleagues talking to a bunch of folks.
The lesson I relearned is the importance of having diverse viewpoints and backgrounds at the table.
Not exactly a revolutionary concept, I admit, but it’s good to be reminded every now and then.
I was recently speaking to a member of the church I attend who has not attended worship there for several years. He left along with many others several years ago over an issue that severely split the congregation.
Although he has attended other churches in town regularly, he remains a member here, and maintains what, for lack of a better phrase, I’ll call a third-party connection with this congregation.
The church he attends most every Sunday now is a large, non-denominational church in town. I took the opportunity to quiz him on why he’s attending this particular church.
I said I know several folks who go to that church and who, I know for a fact, think very differently than what is my impression that particular church espouses. As with many (most?) large non-denominational churches, it seems very conservative, and yet I know people who attend there who are not.
"I don’t understand," I said, "how some of the folks I know can go to a church with that kind of theology."
His response? “I don’t care about theology. I just want to go somewhere I can worship.”
For someone like me, to whom theology is very important, this comment was like a slap in the face.
The thing is, I don’t doubt he is not alone. (I also think that he probably really does care about theology — if he only knew it, or how to express it.)
This in many ways sums up one of the basic challenges facing mainline denominations as they cope with churches which have opted for a more “entertaining” worship style instead of a more cerebral one.
We, and by “we” I mean mainline Protestantism, have done an extremely poor job of adapting, while maintaining our history and integrity.
Today, I’m especially reminded of a thought I read recently — which I’m going to imprecisely recall. It went something like this: a mature patriotism is one that is willing to challenge and question and hold to a high standard while still supporting and appreciating the freedoms and special life that this country provides.
So while I will enthusiastically celebrate the Fourth, I’m far from ignoring or dismissing its faults and missteps.
A helpful addition to the conversation
I am a white, Southern, Appalachian, male — born in the 50s, coming of age in the 60s, proud to be…