TogetherNew Every Morning | June 13, 2021
Stories can help us to understand and to develop an appreciation for people—even for people who hold beliefs that oppose our own. A few examples: You might believe that terminating a pregnancy is immoral; yet, when you hear a woman talking about the circumstances that led her to such a momentous decision, you convey respect by listening. You may believe that America needs tougher gun control laws; yet, when you listen to the reasons your neighbor is a proud gun owner, you open your mind to validity of another point of view. Or, more practically, you might not think that your church needs to replace the carpet in the sanctuary this year; yet, when you take into consideration the wishes of the people who do, you create space for living together with difference.
—Elizabeth Hagan, Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021)
How has listening to someone’s story helped you stay in relationship even amid differences? Join the conversation.
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
—James 1:19-20 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, grant me the patience and grace to listen, the courage and wisdom to question and speak, and the bravery to create safe space for tough topics.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Some of this goes on between my son and I. We both believe aliens exist, he thinks that when contact between them and us becomes more concrete, God will be proven false. I don’t agree, but the conversation should continue.
In person worship resumes today, singing outdoors before and after worship, bring your own coffee hour at a tailgate after the service. Our retiring pastor has three Sundays in person with us before our new pastor comes. It will be an emotion filled Sunday when leads her last worship service with us, Thankfully she will still be in the community and serve in other ministries. Blessings and prayers to and for all of you. Thank You, Lord.
Many times I have learned so much just by listening to others. I have a friend who struggles with drug abuse and listening to his life story and circumstances informed my thoughts and feelings.
My mom is in the hospital. She has surgery at 9:00 am. She has stress fractures around one of the rods recently inserted in her legs. Please pray for her. Megan is in her area visiting her other grandmother and her dad. She left last night. I called her and told her about my mom and asked her to visit her as well. She probably won’t be able to this morning. Megan’s dad and his brother asked their mother’s doctor to start removing the oxygen. They have started the morphine drip and will begin reducing the oxygen this morning. Megan and her dad are going soon to visit. She should die while Megan is there and I worry about her and her dad. On a positive note, despite her not being a believer she has asked me to seek your prayers for her father who has not gotten his COVID vaccine.
Prayers for Erich and Robert and their continued conflicts. Sorry, Robert, but I do not understand the connection between aliens and the truth of religion. Prayers also for your congregation as they prepare to say farewell to your beloved pastor. Prayers continue for Ally and David, Jill and Larry, Lou and her children, and Marcy. Thank you for your prayers.