Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Friends of Orange County Detainees by Felicity Figueroa

My name is Felicity Figueroa and I’d like to tell you about a group I work with called Friends of Orange County Detainees.

You have been hearing a lot lately about the mass incarceration of certain economic and ethnic groups, but there is also another kind of detainee in our US jails and prisons: the undocumented immigrant. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A #Storyteller is Born: Marjorie Bowes Knox

At VBS this week I made a new discovery! I love telling stories and I want to become a better story-teller. How did this happen? Well, I'd signed up to be a story-teller at our VBS, and since we're learning about the Reformation, I  was assigned a heritage person whose story I had to tell: Marjorie Bowes Knox, wife of the great reformer John Knox. I had to write the story and get completely into the part of Marjorie and I was able to do this because of a lot of help from many people but three of them were key: Pastor Mark Davis, Christian education director Susan Thornton, and Nikki MacDonald. Nikki sent me brand new scholarship about John Knox all the way from Scotland. Mark helped me simplify my story and loaned me the clothes to wear. And Susan put together an awesome curriculum for the VBS along with story telling resources (what are the elements of a good story) and the points she wanted the heritage story tellers to cover (e.g. basic facts, essence of the Spirit, etc.). The proof of course is in the pudding. How did I do? I received wonderful compliments: "knocked our socks off" "captivating" were some of the comments I heard. The children asked a lot of questions and I enjoyed it. Story-telling feels so natural to me, like writing, Within twenty-four hours, I'd also told the story to other groups as well, resulting in fascinating discussions!!! Story-telling gets people engaged. Stories rock! So I thought I'd share. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Speaking our truth by Mark Davis

Two weeks ago, 23rd June, a Tuesday, there was A Call to Action Prayer Service in honor of the victims of the Charleston shooting. A lot of churches in our presbytery and in the Southland came together and David Whiting of the Orange County Register has written powerfully about it here. Pr. Mark Davis (Pastor, St. Mark Presbyterian church, Newport Beach) was one of the speakers. Echoing Martin Luther King Jr. Mark shared a vision of the "beloved community" together with a call to us to recover "the biblical languages of truth, such as the language of rage, the language of lament, the language of frustration ... and the final language ... - hope in the steadfast love of God." 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Coming home after Charleston by Chelsea Leitcher

I first met Chelsea almost 10 years ago. Earlier this year, I had the amazingly unexpected joy of presenting Chelsea in her ordination and installation (my story here and her story here). Now, I share Chelsea's response to the Charleston shooting.  

White Privilege by Mark Davis


Monday, June 1, 2015

Justice (Devotional) by Ron Shackelford

 Angel Trumpet blooming in the Garden of Grace.
 “Woe to you, Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices…but have neglected the more important matters of the law---justice, mercy and faithfulness.”  Mt. 23:23 NIV

Want to do the will of God? Here’s one of the most critically important verses in the Bible. If you ponder it and integrate it, you can’t go wrong. God desires three things: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. If these are “the important matters,” Jesus implies conventional religious practice can unconsciously “neglect” and even replace these. 

What did Jesus mean by “justice?”

Monday, April 20, 2015

Life in Meekdom (Devotional) By Ron Shackelford



“The meek and lowly are fortunate, for the whole wide world belongs to them.”     Mt. 5:5 L.B.

Our culture says the world belongs to aggressive types who possess things, like stock certificates. How is it possible for the non-aggressive folks, whom Jesus calls “lowly” and gentle, to authentically claim ownership of “the whole wide world?”      
 

The lowly meek are not weak,
It’s a different world they seek.            

R.S.