La Paz tiene Nombre de Mujer

Two international Latina leaders present “Peace Has a Woman’s Name” (La Paz Tiene Nombre de Mujer), a bilingual forum and discussion on Friday, Oct. 1 at 4:00pm in historic Santee Chapel on the Lancaster Theological Seminary campus. All are welcome. (Face masks are required indoors.)

The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Soto has served the Mennonite Church in many leadership roles including as the first Latina moderator of the church in the U.S. She is a senior adjunct professor at Lancaster Seminary and the co-editor of Liberating the Politics of Jesus.

The Rev. Alix Lozano is cofounder and leader of Women Builders of Peace, Bogota, Colombia, and former executive director of the Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Colombia.

Image from cpt action.

This forum is presented as part of Lancaster Seminary’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and is made possible by a gift from The Rev. Dr. Paul R. and Catherine Helen Gregory Lectorship.

Money and Ministry

“Don’t ask us to talk about money,” many church leaders say. “Just let us do ministry.” There are few topics that raise such emotion and engender so much silence as money and ministry. Pastors miss an opportunity for ministry, though, if they are not able to narrate their congregational budget in missional terms.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Theological Seminary is offering a six-week, online class, “Money and Ministry: A Theology for Congregational Leaders,” to address this need. The class is taught by Mike Little, Director of Faith and Money Network and co-pastor Bread of Life Church, Church of the Saviour, DC.

I hope you will join us. To register for this class, visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry webpage. Registration deadline is October 8.

Welcoming a New Bishop

Welcome home, Bishop John Schol! The Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church officially welcomed our new bishop during a celebratory service, September 18. Participants gathered at the United Methodist Church of West Chester to join in song, prayer, and communion for a live-streamed service.

Diverse leaders throughout the conference offered signs of the episcopal office during the service. Along with the Rev. Kathryn Dinkelacker-Swan, I was honored to offer the towel and basin, representing leadership as service to others.

The symbol of the towel and basin evokes the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17).

The Rev. Kathryn Dinkelacker-Swan represented the Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors. I represented the Order of Deacons, of which I am chair.

Bishop Schol preached about the call of all Christians to exercise the gifts God has given us, the call on clergy to serve with integrity in the unique way God has called us, and the call to congregations to connect with the community and to be open to the people God is sending our way. Sermon: 1:17:49–1:40:01.

My theology of ministry has deep resonance with Schol’s. This resonance yields much in common and a few points of friendly disagreement.

For my take on vital congregations, see my article in Witness.

For my take on the ministry of all Christians, see my article, “Bivocational Ministry as the Congregation’s Curriculum.”

The Work of Repentance

On the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, I preached from the book of James. “Brothers and sisters, do you . . . really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?” James wrote that faith without works is dead. Today, in Santee Chapel at Lancaster Theological Seminary, I explored the work of repentance as a faithful response to 9/11 (with a little help from H. Richard Niebuhr, Donald Shriver, and the United Church of Christ’s Just Peace Pronouncement). Read the text of my sermon on UM-Insight. Additional resources are linked, below.

Todd Green, “’Never Forget’? 9/11 and the Ethics of Memory.” Church Anew, Sept 9, 2021.

Thomas Kemper, “Reflecting on September 11th,” translated by David W. Scott. UM&Global, Sept 10, 2021.

H. Richard Niebuhr, “The Grace of Doing Nothing.” 1932. Republished on

Donald W. Shriver Jr., Honest Patriots: Loving a Country Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds. Oxford University Press, 2008.

Darryl W. Stephens, Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness through Radical Discipleship. New York: United Methodist Women, 2020.

United Church of Christ, “Just Peace Church.”

Bearing Witness on the Anniversary of 9/11

Saturday, I preach at Lancaster Theological Seminary. The assigned text is from the book of James 2:1-10, 14-17. If this passage is not immediately familiar, it is the one that says faith without works is dead. (Can you hear Luther rolling over in his grave?) Saturday is also the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. Which works would you preach about for this occasion?

I will post the full text of my sermon after the service on Saturday. For a hint to my approach, see Module III of my book Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom. It’s the part titled “Historical Clarity.”