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Jun  2015 26
What a Week to Be a Preacher

Wow! For those who preach, what are you going to preach on this Sunday? In the last two weeks, three HUGE stories for our era begging for public theologizing include:

  • Pope Francis’s encyclical on our home: planet earth. It is worth the read. The pope connects theology, ecology, the purpose of humanity, care for the poor, a critique of “let’s dominate the exploit” theology, and Sabbath.


Especially in the Heartland where some vocal climate change deniers live and powerfully influence our lives, preaching with reference to the encyclical could take unusual courage.

  • The Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of same sex marriage. Marriage in the U.S. now means two consenting adults, period. Some Christians are cheering and weeping for joy. Some Christians are angry and weeping in grief. I happen to be one of the former.


I know lots of congregations that include people of both persuasions. I also know lots of clergy who believe the ruling is right and good and who need to pastor a divided congregation. I pray especially for those clergy this Sunday.

We may see more clearly in the upcoming weeks how much Christ is the center of our communion or how much other matters tied us. Keeping people focused on Christian bonds, and continuing to work and love and serve God together while disagreeing vigorously on some matters, are monumental leadership tasks.

  • All people of conscience and good will in the nation mourn the lives lost in the terrorist act carried out in the Emanuel AME congregation in Charleston.


Considering this latest horrific incident in light of all the other horrific incidents that have resulted in the powerful cry “Black lives matter,” I wonder when we are going to find a celebration moment regarding race relations in the U.S. commensurate with the celebrations we’ll be seeing (and some of us participating in) regarding marriage over the next few weeks.

President Obama’s election night, bathed in the promise of a new dawn for race relations, has turned into a cloudy, cloudy period.

Caring as God cares. For the earth. For the poor. For ALL marriages. For ALL peoples, especially those whose dignity and lives are under assault. Preach it—please.

May God lead and bless your preaching choices.


Browse more posts by: Gary Peluso-Verdend, Phillips Faculty
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