Peace Through Relationship

20150630_180713This week I went to a presentation put on by a group of 6 from the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA who just got back from a trip to Namibia. It was a great presentation. The team showed a slideshow of the places that they visited, and talked about their impression of the country. The trips focus was on education, and they visited with schools, hospitals, churches, and bishops of the synods in Namibia.

20150630_193006 My biggest take away from the meeting was the discussion around what one of the bishops told the group. He told them that it is through relationship that peace is formed. He is an advocate for peace, and encouraged them to form relationships with others, and fight for the US to not be so quick to go to war. He said that when the US goes to war it makes other small countries uncomfortable and fear the US.

This idea of peace through relationship is really cool, and I know it is important to help with the turmoil that is happening in our country right now. I would like to challenge each of you to get to know someone from a race, gender, or religion you do not understand before you post or talk about the group in a negative way.race

It is only through relationship that peace will happen. I am not talking about a superficial friendship where you do not take the time to really get to know the person. This is about finding out what makes them tick without trying to change them. It is about being open to their ideas even if they are different than the way you understand the world. Once you really get to know a person who is truly different than you it helps you to be more compassionate toward all of humanity, so take the challenge!!

What my fall will look like

I have gotten my finalized schedule for the fall. This is the best part of the year. You get to sign up for classes, and get really excited about them. Then once the classes start you find that they are not exactly what you expected, but this is not always the case. There are times that a class really surprises you, and it is better than what you ever imagined. Here is my schedule.

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  • Living Traditions
    • A class about the Lutheran tradition and heritage. There is a special emphasis on Martin Luther. This will be a good class for me because I was not raised Lutheran, and do not know that much about Lutheran history. I also believe that history is important to have a better understanding of anything you want to understand better.
  • History of Christianity I
    • This history goes up to the late medieval period. This is my favorite period of Christian history, because I believe it is only through understanding the beginning that one can be a full understanding of how things are now. I hope to be able to read some of the works that were written during this period.
  • Intro to the Old Testament
    • Self explanatory. I am not sure how I feel about this class. The Old Testament is important, and I love to read and study all parts of it. It will be an interesting and enjoyable class.
  • Reading Congregations
    • Helps to build observation skills needed to lead a congregation. I think it will be fun to be able to observe congregations and assess them. This will give me a broader understanding of what it means to be Lutheran.
  • Mysticism & Social Change
    • This class looks at literature from activists from different cultures in order to help bring a holistic understanding to activism and ministerial work. This is an understanding that uses both head and body. This was my choice, and I am very excited to read about what different cultures and religions have to say about activism. This will give me a broader understanding of what activism means.

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Well, that is it, and it is enough. I have not taken 5 classes at one time.

The Eucharist

The Eucharist is one of the great traditions of the Christian church, and meaningful to many. While reading Hearing and Knowing: Theological Reflections on Christianity in Africa I came across an understanding of the ritual that I have not heard, or do not remember being stressed in my American setting. How ever when I did a search on youtube I came across this song which sums it up.

In the book, Mercy Oduyoye says, “From the perspective of Africa, an interpretation of the Eucharist that highlights the aspect of sacrifice is one that will touch people’s spirituality in such a way as to affect their lives.” When I have heard about sacrifice in the past it was how one should sacrifice for the sake of Christ, but she is talking about living in solidarity not doing things you really do not want to do, but are told you should.

Oduyoye goes on to say that sacrifice is “the way to replace charity with justice.” This is a different kind of sacrifice than I usually hear in relation to the Eucharist. Usually it is about the sacrifice of Christ, and not our sacrifice for others. (It is important to mention that I am not talking about living with abuse and calling it sacrifice.) There are those who tell people they need to sacrifice, and by that they mean they need to accept abuse. This is not the sacrifice I am talking about. The sacrifice I am talking about is a sacrifice that will help those in poverty get the human rights they need and deserve. It is not about abuse, but moving from charity to justice. This is done by sacrificing for others.

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In 1 Corinthians 11 the Corinthians are told they need to think of each other when they come to the Lord’s Supper. Those with privilege were eating all of the food before the others could get there. “Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves.” (11:28-29) Is saying that they need to consider how they are treating each other before they partake of the Table. Just like Oduyoye says in her theology.
The next time you come to the Lord’s Table remember that there are people all around the world standing right beside you.

New Blog Theme

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I know it has been some time since I have posted. I have been busy with school, work, and family. I am starting on the next stage of my journey, and thought it was about time for me to rejuvenate my blog. I will be using a new theme. The blog will be about my life. Here is an update on what has been going on with me while I was absent:

I will be attending PLTS in the fall. This will be my first year on the road to get my Master’s of Divinity (MDiv), and eventually becoming an ordained minister of the ELCA.

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This blog is dedicated to my friends and family who have been so supportive of me on my journey. They have been great at helping me out, and giving me the encouragement that I needed to make it this far.

My journey started with TCC where I got my Associate of Arts degree. Then I went on to PLU where I got a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Religion and minoring in Greek and Anthropology. This has been a long journey, and is not over yet.

I will be completing the first year at PLTS online, so I will still be in Washington for another year.

Life is an adventure.