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 …

Another Name for Community Camp

Leslie Tenjack Articles, Mike Graves

In the movie, Cool Hand Luke, there is a classic scene culminating with Paul Newman’s timeless line, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Pardon the grammar, and never mind the context; but I think the same could be said about our church’s annual Community Camp. (Shortly after coming …

Big Bread

Lara Schopp Articles, Mike Graves

Down through the centuries, biblical scholars have learned a lot of interesting tidbits about eating in the first century Mediterranean world. They know, for instance, how diners reclined at their meals on a couch called triclinium, how they had bread before dinner and wine during dinner of course, but one ceremonial cup of wine afterwards

“And” Is the Key Word

Lara Schopp Adult-ministry, Articles, Metro Service, Mike Graves, Serve

As many of you know, my title at the church is Scholar in Residence and Minister of Spiritual Formation, a title with “and” in there. But that’s not the “and” I mean to reference in the title of this article. When I think about
spiritual formation, I think naturally about how persons mature in their faith, which for me implies “and” in the process. Specifically: learning and doing.