Christmas is coming. The wrapping paper and artificial trees invaded stores before children could even initiate post-Halloween tooth decay.<read more>
What better time to turn our attention to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity? The chapel--originally built in A.D. 330 and rebuilt in its present form around 565--is supposedly located on the exact spot the Christ child was born.
"Otterville" is copyrighted and is not to be reproduced in any form without permission. Contact Merrill Miller at <email@example.com><read more>
A place of welcome
by J. Ron Byler
In Luke 19, Zacchaeus found an unexpected place of welcome with Jesus. "Today, salvation has come to this house," says Jesus, "because Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham." Jesus says he has come to seek out and save the lost.<read more>
That Jesus is meant for the lost is a lesson we have needed to learn over and over through the ages. I saw this for myself on the High Cross at Castledermot southwest of Dublin.
The parable of the persistent widow came to mind recently while I was reading a story about an immigrant facing a judge in a deportation hearing. Victor, 24, had been "lawfully present" in the U.S. since he came here from Guatemala at the age of 3. He has a 2-year-old daughter who is a U.S. citizen. Victor was picked up by immigration officials after a misdemeanor marijuana conviction and placed in a detention facility in rural Georgia.<read more>
Merry Christmas! 'Tis the season to reflect on the birth of God's Son, extending the message of peace on earth, good will to all. 'Tis also the season to avoid negative family and social stigma through the exchange of material gifts. What better opportunity to further peace and justice?<read more>
For the last four years, my vocational life has been devoted to walking alongside some of the poorest residents of Latin America, often times found right here in LaGrange. As co-founder of a ministry called Alterna, I seek to offer compassionate accompaniment to immigrants here in Georgia and to many of their family members in Latin America where I travel at least once a year.<read more>
In 2008, during one of my visits to the highlands of Guatemala, I trekked to the remote village of El Mamonal. The reason I was drawn to this out-of-the-way aldea was to meet with a young widow and her four small children to express our community's condolences. In the prior Holy Week, on Good Friday to be exact, this family's husband and father died from a traumatic head injury sustained while working at a LaGrange area business.
The other morning, as we celebrated the Holy Eucharist here in the monastery, we monks and our guests prayed the Lord's Prayer, as we always do at the appropriate place in the liturgy. While doing so, I found myself completely absorbed in the doxology of the prayer, that part in which we pray "For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory..." and I have found myself meditating on it ever since.<read more>
I have heard that the recession is over. If, like me, you are looking forward to a time of abundance, it might do us good to stop and think for a moment about how we've been getting along during the recession and what new habits we can take with us as we move forward.<read more>
By Bert Newton<read more>
Sam Muthiah looks and acts in many ways like a typical 14-year-old boy. Before or after church he can often be found throwing a football in the parking lot. He likes to read fantasy, such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. What sets Sam apart from other 14-year-olds, however, is his commitment to peace and justice. He speaks of wanting to hold a huge peace rally in the park and of his idea to promote fair trade in the public schools. On a personal level, he tries to wear only sweatshop-free clothing or clothes bought in secondhand clothing stores.
With two business trips and one vacation to Alaska in recent years, I thought I knew about that great state. I was not prepared, however, for what I would learn and experience 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle.<read more>
In August of 2006, I joined my first of three "Learning Tours" with New Community Project, a faith-based non-profit with its roots in the Church of the Brethren. NCP works to promote global peace through justice, care for creation and experiential learning.
This month's Prayer for Peace was written by Carol Penner.<read more>