Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pentecost Blessings

May we all be surprised, caught off guard, changed, transformed, enlivened, set on fire, inspired, caught up in the Spirit this Pentecost.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus!

St. Luke's Bottle Band

The St. Lukes Bottle Band will be appearing at our synod assembly next week. Gives an altogether different sense of "bell choir."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Wendell Berry, 1973

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sergius Bulgakov

Sergius Bulgakov has been translated frequently into English, and I'm working on a review of his Lamb of God. This seems a helpful tribute/resource page.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Bible Reading Challenge

The following is a draft of the summer reading program we are designing at church. Feel free to comment or add ideas if you have them. Thanks!

Attention all Children (and their parents) ages 2 through grade 12
Catch the Bible Reading Spark

Spark interest in reading the Bible this summer. Register your child to participate in our Summer Bible Reading Challenge. Registration begins June 14th, in conjunction with the kick-off of our week of Vacation Bible School.

Ready to turn a page? Log your minutes, earn points, earn bonus points, and help a cause! All you have to do is:

* Pick up the Bible appropriate for your reading level (Spark Story Bible ages 2 through grade 2 --or-- Spark Bible (NRSV) grades 3-6, Lutheran Study Bible grades 7-12)
* Score points by logging the minutes you read each day (prizes for each 4 hours read, to a maximum of 16 hours)
* Earn bonus points by reading with your parents or reading during worship (Sundays 9 a.m. or Wednesdays 6 p.m.).
* Win prizes while you are at it. Your Bible is free if you read at least 16 hours between June 15th and September 13th.

At the end of the summer, we'll have a special Bible celebration on Rally Day, September 13th, including Bible games, a Bible costume party, face-painting, and much more. In honor of your accomplishment, we'll make a donation to Global Missions to provide bibles for children around the world!

Members interested in sponsoring a free Bible can donate in increments of $10 per Bible, designated as "Spark Bible" in the memo line or on your giving envelope.

Parents, the Sunday school curriculum for 2009-2010 is called Spark, and is connected directly to these new Bibles. Confirmation will be based on the Lutheran Study Bible. This is a great way to encourage summer learning and faith development in preparation for another great year of Sunday school and confirmation. You might also consider picking up your own copy of the Lutheran Study Bible and attempt the Bible in 90 days challenge,

Read more about the Spark Bibles here,

Summer Reading Challenge - Bible in 90 Days

Summer Reading Challenge - Bible in 90 Days

Sunday, May 17, 2009 Journey from Texts to Translations, The: The Origin and Development of the Bible: Paul D. Wegner: Books Journey from Texts to Translations, The: The Origin and Development of the Bible: Paul D. Wegner: Books

Recently wrote the following when writing to a friend interested in the history of the development of the bible, the original texts and translations:

Your question is kind of complicated, because what you're looking for might not be in just one book. There are a lot of historical debates about when precisely each book of the bible was written. As for histories of translation, the more contemporary history of that is clear, but, for example, the Septuagint (the Old Testament in Greek) is called the Septuagint because there was a theory that 70 monks went into their cells and translated the bible and came out with identical translations, which we now know isn't historically accurate.

So, one good possibility is to get a really good study bible, which will have a lot of that information. I like the Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha. The new Lutheran Study Bible from Augsburg Fortress has a good history in it. The HarperCollins Study Bible is also good.

As for books about this topic, there are some very academic books I can recommend if you are interested in that. Maybe the best for your purposes might be: