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Seeking religious harmony, the urgent call of our time

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In speeches and columns over many years I have made the point that interfaith understanding is vital if there's to be any hope for world peace.

And America — a stunning amalgam of ethnic and religious traditions — can be a model for the world in this regard.

In fact, if the call of the 20th century for Americans was to work toward racial harmony, the call of the 21st century is to seek religious harmony in our increasingly pluralistic culture.

When a congregation chooses its pastor

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For almost a year now, I’ve been doing something in my Presbyterian church that Catholics don’t get (or have) to do.

I’ve been serving on a pastor nominating committee. Our job is to search for a new senior pastor and, when we’ve found one, recommend that our congregation vote to call him or her (yes, Presbyterians have been ordaining women since 1956 — and I even know that now-retired first ordained female.)

The challenge Christian Millennials offer has joys and risks

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My inner John Calvin (sometimes I have to arm wrestle him into quietude) occasionally whispers this reminder to me: Faith is not about having all the answers. Rather, it’s about learning to live confidently with unresolved questions.

That’s the healthiest place to locate oneself on the theological spectrum because it allows -- indeed, encourages -- a lively conversation that can deepen one’s commitment to the faith community that provides a safe space in which asking hard questions is a normal way of proceeding.

Balancing the right and left brains at worship

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A few years ago at my Presbyterian church, we tried a Sunday evening alternative worship service at which we served Holy Communion. It was a terrific idea that ultimately failed for reasons unrelated to weekly Eucharist.

But that experience reaffirmed for me my conviction that both Catholic and Protestant worship were out of balance. They still are.

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In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

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