“Could conflict transformation skills be used to heal the growing political rift in this nation?” an Elder asked when I had offered to teach such a class designed for church conflict.
A recent University of Michigan study of the US House of Representatives and Senate shows that political polarization has become worse over the past 40 years regardless of which party hold power. Electing centrist candidates might reverse that trend. However people who vote have also become polarized.
Since Jesus Christ has defeated evil we might see signs of the New Jerusalem descending around us. We might look for leaves for the healing of the nations.
Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.Revelation 22:1-2 (NRSV)
I will have more to say about Revelation 21:9-11, 21:22-27, 22:1-5 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 26th.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
America the Beautiful
In 1893, while on trip to Colorado, English professor Kathrine Lee Bates wrote a poem initially titled “Pikes Peak” inspired by those “purple mountains majesty.” She also wrote of “alabaster cities gleam” recalling her visit to the white buildings at the Chicago Worlds Fair. By 1900 over 75 tunes had been written for or paired with this patriotic poem including MATERNA written in 1882 by Samuel Ward, a church organist and choir director. Ward had sought to update a old Scottish Presbyterian hymn “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem” which lauded the city described in the final chapter of the the Book of Revelation.
This Sunday come and hear Ashley Gillespie sing this beautiful hymn for us in honor of “heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life.”
A Tip for Parents
Where do we worship God? In the Acts of the Apostles, Paul went looking for a place of prayer while visiting a strange city. He found and worshiped with Lydia and her friends while sitting beside a river.
My most memorable worship service was held on board a submarine somewhere in the South China Sea in a room that had previously been launch control for nuclear intercontinental missiles. Communion was grape drink served in coffee cups.
Discus with your child an unusual place where you have worshiped God with other people.