Advent 4 and Christmas: Love

Joyce VanceLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas: We blow out the candle of fear and light the candle of love. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-20 A child has been born! During the time of preparation, expectant parents have both joy and fear; hope and anxiety; confidence and doubt. What will the child be like? How will their world change when he or she is born? When will the arrival take place? Will the child be … Read More

Advent 3: Advent Joy

Tammy WiensLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Third Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of bitterness and light the candle of joy. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s song in Luke 1 is known as The Magnificat. This title grows out of a Latin tradition where titles assigned to segments of Scripture are based on the first word or line of the text. Magnificat is the Latin word for “magnify.” The lyrics of Mary’s song are a medley … Read More

Advent 2: Advent Peace

Jill Ver SteegLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

We blow out the candle of confrontation and light the candle of peace. Lectionary Texts: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is Mark’s way of saying “Genesis.” This is the genesis of all things. Even as Genesis chapter one, verse one, took us out into the wastes of formless void and primordial chaos before God spoke and created a good world, so Mark … Read More

A Prayer for Educators

Holly InglisPrayer

Most amazing God, we pause in the midst of all that we are doing to soak in your grace and love for us. As we prepare for another year of ministry, you know there are many things on our to-do lists, some of which may not get done or may be postponed until another day. Help us to be gracious with ourselves as you are gracious with us. You understand our need to have things … Read More

The Christian Educator as Instructor and Illuminator   

Sybil MacBethThe Artist as Educator

About seven years ago, Memphis Theological Seminary asked me to be their “artist-in-residence” for the year. Their ironic invitation made me laugh out loud. I am a third-generation Sybil; my mother and grandmother, for whom I am named, were fine artists–oil painters and sculptors. For me visual art has always been a source of deep shame. With my maternal legacy of name and genes, I should be able to draw and paint. The reality is … Read More

Do Not Let Us Miss It: A New Year’s Prayer for Christian Educators and Pastors

Anna George Traynham Prayer

  God of new life, We give you thanks for this day: the first in a new year of life and faith. If we have learned from the lesson of years past, We can guess what this year might hold. There will be joy, and there will be heartbreak. There will be mistakes, and there will be achievements. There will be hands to hold, tears to dry, stories to tell, and grace to receive. Do … Read More