Shalom Church–Time Has Come

What’s happening to Church? “I’m certain that God is in the future, but wonder if the church has a future.”–Leonard Sweet “The future of the Church is Shalom for All–the people of God, seeking the shalom of the community to where they have been sent into exile (Jeremiah 29:7).”–Michael J. Christensen Three Questions: What do we mean by ‘church’?    What is the future of the Church in North America in light of declining church

Occupy Shalom during Advent

Dr. Michael J. Christensen and Bishop Alfred Johnson Here’s a copy of my Occupy Advent Prayer and Statement of Support for Occupy Wall Street, delivered as a Call and Response at Zuccotti Park on December 4, 2011 for the Second Sunday in Advent:  Communities of Shalom is a network of community development sites— known as Shalom Zones—scattered across the country. We are here today to Occupy with Faith in direct solidarity with OWS because we share your frustration

There’s Something About Mary

Invited to preach on the First Sunday of Advent at Palo Alto United Methodist Church, I offered Five Lessons of Mary of Nazareth on her Willingness to wait for the world to Change: I.  The Annunciation (1:26-38)–“There’s something about Mary” Luke’s account of the Annunciation (1:26-27), tells us a number of things about Mary:  “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee with a bad reputation (“Can anything good

Re-imagining 9/ 11 and Befriending Death

Mindful of the tenth anniversary of the September 11th Terrorist Attack on the US, I offer this ‘guided conversation’ on “Re-imagining September 11th and Befriending Death.”  I shared it first with ministers of shalom gathered at Drew University yesterday for a one-day “report back” session after they had completed their 6-10 week shalom zone assignment this summer.   A Guided Conversation, as employed in Shalom Training, is a tool for reflection and a way to

Contemplation or Action?

Following Fr. John Dear’s challenging lecture last night on the Road to Peace, I offered the following reflection on the tension between contemplative and active forms of peacemaking in chapel at Drew this morning:     Are you an active or a contemplative Christian? Are you an activist who prophetically speaks truth to the power…or a contemplative who prays for peace and tries to live a life of compassion?  Are you a contemplative-active or an active