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Author: Phil Schaefer

Easter and revolution don’t seem like they go together. One is about celebrating and new life and the other is about conflict and undoing things. Renown historical theologian, N.T. Wright, has written two books addressing these two ideas and they both revolve around the Easter story. The title of…
We live in an era of fast-moving information via all manner of media. The 24 hour news cycle seems to have an insatiable appetite. It seems like every other day there is a new crisis. The speed at which these things confront us can be overwhelming. I now have…
We’ve been welcoming new members into the life of our church twice a year for nearly forty years. But this time was different. Not only were we welcoming those who looked familiar in present society, we were also welcoming those who had come from 10,000 miles away, across a…
Handel’s Messiah. We all have heard of it. 2017 marks the 250th anniversary of George Frideric Handel’s death and the celebration of one of the greatest and best known operas in history. From ‘Comfort Ye my People’ to ‘Unto Us is Born a Child’ to ‘The Hallelujah Chorus’ it…
VISCERAL Visceral is a word you know, although you may not know its definition. Visceral is a deeply felt emotional reaction. It is to be touched in a place you weren’t aware existed. It is to be shocked, saddened, angered, frustrated, or amazed at the depths of your feelings…
Do you know the saying ‘Think globally and act locally‘? It came from the early days of the environmental movement. It is a good catch phrase that connects broader thinking to individual actions. I think this phrase also carries a tone for how we can see ourselves as World…
It is easy for those of us who live in Columbia, Missouri in the middle of the United States to see terrorist attacks from abroad as nothing to do with us. We catch the headlines, look upon it with some curiosity, and then get on with life. But is…
I was pleasantly surprised when Deb and I received in the mail an Easter card from our youngest son and his wife. I thought, “Who sends people Easter cards? What thirty year old would send someone an Easter card?” And these two are in Europe right now; so, how…
Preparing to give a teaching on a Sunday morning requires a variety of people to consider. There is the Biblically well-read, the theologically astute, the ‘been-walking-with-Jesus-a-long-time’ person who figures he or she has heard it all a hundred times before, the ‘I-grew-up-in-the-church’ who can feel a bit vaccinated to…
It has been said by a number of leading theologians and pastors that reading literature, especially fiction novels, may be the best way for people to understand the Bible. That is a bold and odd-sounding claim. But what they are saying is that the better one is versed in…