Back to Basics

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

On August 15, we are returning to in-person worship at our three normal times: 9:01, 10:00, and 11:00. You probably already knew that since we’ve been announcing it over and over. But what you may not know is that another “return” is in the works starting that same day, a …

What Makes a Life Worth Living?

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves, Uncategorized

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation Three years ago this January, the New York Times published an article, “Yale’s Most Popular Course Ever: Happiness.” The course was actually called Psychology and the Good Life, and within six days of being listed for the previous …

Socially Distanced, Socially Connected

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Most every week when the staff meets, we read an article or excerpt from a book for us to ponder and discuss. Some are heavy, others not so much. Some focus directly on ministry, others on a variety of topics with us having to make our own connections. But there’s …

Tales from a Cotton Patch

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Clarence Jordan was a farmer. Clarence Jordan was a New Testament Greek scholar. Clarence Jordan was a Southern Baptist minister and social activist. Clearly, he was not your ordinary kind of farmer.

The Power of the Printed Page

Lara Schopp Mike Graves

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence One of my good friends finished off 2019 by reading his 52nd title of the year. Unless a person’s diet of reading is limited to Dr. Seuss or Daniel Tiger, a book per week is impressive. Of course, my friend is a professor, so reading …

Joyful Communion

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation If you look up the word communion in the dictionary, the first entry simply reads “sharing,” whereas other entries have the usual religious overtones. Turns out, sharing is precisely what the Greek word means as well, only with …

What’s a Podcast?

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation It’s not uncommon in her sermons to hear Carla reference a book she’s been reading or a podcast she’s listened to recently, maybe an episode of “The Moth.” It only recently occurred to me that not only are …

Unless Someone Guides Me

Lara Schopp Adult-ministry, Articles, Bible Study, Mike Graves

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence/Minister of Spiritual Formation There is a story in the early church of a man named Philip coming across someone reading from the prophet Isaiah in the Bible. Philip asks the man if he understands what he’s reading, and I love his response, “How …

Travels

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence If you’re sick and tired of hearing about our recent trip to Israel, my apologies. Ask anyone who went (and who is now over the jet lag and weather-related rerouting) and they will tell you what an amazing adventure it was. Walking in the …

Books, Books, Books

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

By Dr. Mike Graves When I was only part-time at Country Club Christian Church, and still serving part-time on the faculty at Saint Paul School of Theology, I actually had three offices, including the one at home. That meant I had three sets of bookshelves for all those volumes. When …

Not in Latin

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation Among the church staff, there is something of a standing joke. When it’s your turn to write a piece like this one for the newsletter, if you don’t have it in by Tuesday noon when we meet, the draft …

Scholar or Nerd?

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Rev. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation When I was in seminary, there were days I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what was being presented was a piece of trivia that would never come in handy, not in my daily life as a …

1968 and Now

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves, Uncategorized

By Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation All this year, National Public Radio has featured a series on the 50th anniversary of 1968, one of the most traumatic years in American history. Here’s the briefest of reminders: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were …

From Pew to Pulpit (and Back Again)

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Dr. Mike Graves, Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation Occasionally, someone will ask me how long it takes me to prepare a sermon. My standard answer nowadays is 61 years. Sermons come from a life of learning and living. But of course, what they’re asking is how many …