Faith and Politics

Article first appeared in The Gardner News on July 30, 2016

When in good company we are told to never talk about religion and politics.  Well today I am going to talk about both, specifically I am going to talk about how my church helps me see the world of politics.  I am not going to tell you how to vote, I would never do that.  I believe that we have the freedom to vote for whom we believe will serve our country the best.

Faith and Politics

But I will tell you that as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) I have certain ways that I live my life. My faith plays an important part of who I am, what I believe and how I see the world.

I grew up in the Lutheran church and there have been mo­ments in my life when I have looked into other churches and moments when I have considered leaving the church all together. But I have come back to the ELCA time and time again be­cause I truly believe that God is active in the world and that God is active in the church.

So here are some things that I love about my church and things that help me wade through what some have called the “political me­ss” that our country is experiencing right now.

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Facebook Live

A Step by Step Guide for Worship Leaders

A number of years ago I was serving a church as a youth director.  The pastor of the church left for vacation and was gone for two weeks.  We talked about all the things that I needed to do while he was gone.  One of the things we talked about was worship coverage.  “Wouldn’t it be great?” he said, “if I could just give my sermon from the beach?”  We all laughed at the thought because we knew that was not a possibility. 

Facebook Live Worship Leaders

Today we could easily make that off the cuff silly idea a real possibility.  Technology is constantly changing and advancing.  We can do so many things now that we could not even imagine doing just ten years ago. There are billions of devices and fast networks that easily connect us to one another.  There are apps that help us find directions, play games, text, talk and so much more. 

One of the ways I believe God is using me in the world is to create content that equips people in finding clarity and confidence so they can live out their God-Given purpose.  The content that I have spent the most time creating are written through my blog and in my sermons on Sunday.  Since January of this year I have been experimenting with video content through Facebook Live.  

What is Facebook Live?  

Facebook Live offers live-streaming video capabilities to users. By tapping the live stream icon, you can start broadcasting video live from your smartphone. Any users following you will have the ability to “tune in” to the broadcast. At the end of the video, you can tap “finish” to complete the video, at which point it will be posted as a permanently available feature on your timeline.

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Holy Trinity: Gods Fingerprints

Sermon for Holy Trinity Sunday Year C

Welcome to Holy Trinity Sunday Year C.  This sermon was preached at Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA.   Holy Trinity Sunday falls after Pentecost Sunday.  What is the Trinity?  What difference does it make in our lives?  The scripture readings for the day are Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31Psalm 8Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15

NYC

Listen to the Sermon

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My Manifesto

Day 1 of Intentional Blogging with Jeff Goins

I became a follower of Jeff Goins after I read his book Art of Work. I listen to his podcast, I read his blog and subscribe to his mailing list. Jeff provides great value for anyone who follows him like I do. He has started a 7 Day Blog Like a Pro Challenge.

pastorjoe.me

I have not blogged recently because much of my time has been focused on getting the 2 Bald Pastors Podcast up and running. I have found so much joy in podcasting and this love is multiplying as my children are showing their interest in creating media content to share.

The challenge for the first day is to create a manifesto. Jeff writes “What’s your worldview? What gets under your skin? What wrecks you? These are the questions great writers, and incidentally great bloggers, must ask themselves…And once you’ve identified it, that thing you’re writing about, you’ve created something powerful for your readers to connect with.”

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40 Days of Podcasting

Thoughts about Lent and Sermon for Ash Wednesday

I have been thinking about Lent recently.  What is Lent? Why is it important?  What difference does it make in my life?

HolyLent

During the season of Lent I will be podcasting every Monday through Friday.  I will be talking about what I am experiencing during Lent and what kind of difference it is making in my life.  

I hope you enjoy this latest episode of Stepping Towards Transformation.

I have also included my sermon for Ash Wednesday in this episode.  

Enjoy!