Pastoral Backstory – April 28th, 2016
Apr28

Pastoral Backstory – April 28th, 2016

    April 28th, 2016 The late Christopher Hitchens spoke defiantly about his perceived dangers of religious faith, the events of 9/11 catalyzing his simmering thoughts on religion into a full-scale crusade in both book and lecture. You might even have called him a prophetic voice against atrocities committed in the name of divinity. But his invective against the heinous acts of so-called religious people often distorted his...

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Pastoral Backstory – April 7th, 2016
Apr07

Pastoral Backstory – April 7th, 2016

    April 7th, 2016 You might not find a more provocative headline than the one written for a column in The New York Times last week. The article was by Professor of Philosophy at King’s College (Wilkes Barre, PA) William Irwin, entitled, “God is a question–not an answer.” The title comes from a recent work of fiction, which itself took its cue from an earlier work by Camus. But to Irwin it captured...

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Pastoral Backstory – March 10th, 2016
Mar10

Pastoral Backstory – March 10th, 2016

    March 10th, 2016 With last Sunday’s sermon on gluttony, you’d expect some leftovers. Here’s a little of what we were just too full to partake of. Laurie Shapiro is a writer who found her weight-gain inexplicable. She’d had seasons of excess eating, due to stress or pregnancies or loss, but at least during those times she could account for the gains. In recent years she’d sworn off...

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Pastoral Backstory – February 25th, 2016
Feb25

Pastoral Backstory – February 25th, 2016

      February 25th, 2016 When the Korean War reached a stalemate in 1953, the only way to both cease hostilities and carve out some form of peaceful coexistence was to designate a region between North and South that would be a mutually-agreed sector of neutrality. It came to be known as the “Demilitarized Zone” or DMZ. It stretches 160 miles along the 38th parallel and establishes a 2.5 mile wide...

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