The Essence of Being Human

Ubuntu is an African worldview that is hard to translate into Western culture. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has offered several definitions. One of them is “my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.” But he offers another definition, simple and profound, that resonates with me: Ubuntu is “the essence of being human.”

Two weeks ago a group of Columbia Theological Seminary students representing various ethnic and cultural traditions began their journey as Practical Theology students. None knew what to expect – of the school, the program or each other – but we were all united as one by the radical love of Jesus and the unifying power of the Spirit.

During an intense week-long session, half of the class journeyed to be with members of the Friendship Center of Holy Comforter Church. For over 15 years, the Friendship Center has provided services to individuals marginalized by poverty, serious mental illness, and disability. Funded by small grants, the Episcopal Diocese and friends, The Friendship Center offers three programs: Wellness and Recovery, Art and Gardening and Community and Relationship Building. Continue reading

Lent through Easter Family Devotion Booklet

A Garden of Devotion, Conversation and Reflection for Lent and Easter: 2015

The special seasons of preparation for the church Smit Post 2-10-15offer congregations the opportunity to support families in the developing and maintaining of good practices for faithful devotion as families at home. Parents are very clear that they believe that they ought to be the primary teachers of faith to their children, but often struggle with how they might do that. Parents want to share their faith with their children, but they often simply don’t know how to do it. Research also affirms that children learn faith best from their parents. So, the best thing that the church can do for our children is support and resource their parents in the ways and means of passing on their faith with those they love so much.

Here is one resource that congregations can give to families to help them do just that. Continue reading