Tuesday, June 20, 2006
359 Singing in the choirTeddy Roosevelt enjoyed singing boisterously in church. While he was President, the following joke circulated:
On T.R.'s first day in heaven, he told Saint Peter that the choir was quite weak and should be reorganized immediately. Saint Peter quickly assigned the task to T.R.
"Well," said the former president, "I need ten thousand sopranos, ten thousand altos, and ten thousand tenors."
"But what about the basses?" inquired Saint Peter.
"Oh," said T.R., "I'll sing bass."
"Prayers of our Presidents" Jerry MacGregor & Marie Prys. Baker Books, 2004.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
358 Advice from Pastor PetersenAt his blog, he has a link to his advice for pastors. He is at Redeemer's Lutheran in Fort Wayne, IN.
"They come looking for marital advice? Tell them about Jesus dying for them. They come looking for sympathy and a listening ear? Tell them about Jesus dying for them. They have a new baby, lost their jobs, are afraid of retirement? Tell them about Jesus dying for them. No matter what the circumstances, what the situation, you preach Christ crucified. Never compromise the simple Truth that has saved you."
Monday, June 12, 2006
357 The Church LibraryWe are fortunate at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church to have a fine church library--because our local public library doesn't actively collect much that is specifically evangelical (one magazine, denominational titles that are a half century old, and a few blockbusters like Jabez and Purpose). Twenty some years ago I was the church librarian, but now I just volunteer occasionally to check-in and shelve books. So this morning to took a few photos after I put the books away.
There are also collections at our other two locations, so the church could really use an on-line circulation system, and indeed the librarian has been promised one for many years. About two years ago, the volunteer staff discontinued typing cards thinking a computer system was eminent--so now we don't even have a current card catalog, and still no computer.
I'm guessing the media to book ratio in this library is much higher than public libraries. It gets heavy use from families. I started the video collection back in the mid-80s when it was still fairly unusual and we weren't even too sure how to catalog and circulate them. There is also a small but growing home-schooling section. It's my personal opinion that the most critical quality for a church librarian is someone who is able to inspire, motivate and work with the volunteers--not necessarily someone who has taken course work in or worked in libraries.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
355 Are expectations too high for young familiesShelly and her family aren't attending a church right now. She muses:
"One thing that has me church spooked is the whole "expectations" thing about belonging to church. Now I don't have a problem pitching in, but guess what, with two little kids and a dh that works mega hours, our contribution will be minimal in the physical sense. One of the things about our current/old church is the HIGH expectations from the pulpit on involvement. Cell groups. Kids ministries. College ministries. Meals ministries. Classes. Evangelism. Prayer Army. The list goes on and on. Once you say "yes" to one thing, ever darn ministry is beating on your door. It's like recruitment."
Monday, June 05, 2006
354 AlphaThe Nov/Dec 2005 issue of Outreach had an article on Alpha.
7 million participants
7,500 U.S. congregations
54 languages and braille
395 youth courses
69 prison groups
10 military courses
10 workplace courses
172 campus courses
Our church (Lutheran) offers Alpha several times a year, and the small groups use the tapes for refreshers and discussion.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
353 Dan Brown's TruthinessRodney Clapp in the May 16 Christian Century writes about the errors in Da Code. It's not a journal I regularly read (too liberal most of the time), but I thought he had some good points. Be careful--this may hurt some conservatives' feelings.
1. The book is written like a movie script.
2. The characters have no inner dimension.
3. It's designed for tourists.
4. It is the striptease of truthiness--the seductive solving of obscure and opaque puzzles.
5. Resembles the "Left Behind" series which decodes the Bible through dispensational theology.
6. Plays to a culture that stays close to the surface--a sand castle on the beach that will erode and melt from view.
7. People most drawn to Da Code tend to be ex-Catholics.
8. The anxiety and urgency of the post 9/11 world made it easier to tap into fears of dungeons and theocracy.
9. As a novel, it is a cop out--the hero never locates proof.
10. Brown's claim to doing research--39 books--is nothing in the academic world. [I used that many for just a journal article in library science.]
This is cross posted at Collecting my thoughts.