ENCOUNTERING CHRIST THROUGH
WORD AND SACRAMENTS

May 20, 2020


Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends:

Very late Easter Season grace and peace to you and yours. I hope you are well during these last, warming-up days of May.

A surprising flower can bloom during a surprising season. Take, for example, "Reading Barth Together." That is the name of an online course taught by Bishop William Willimon and Professor Stanley Hauerwas. Each Tuesday at 10 a.m., they take a platform on Zoom to discuss Karl Barth's Dogmatics in Outline (a commentary on The Apostles' Creed).

Bp. Willimon has been the Minister to Duke University and now teaches at Duke Divinity School. Prof. Hauerwas is a moral theologian who taught for years at Duke Divinity School. And Karl Barth -- who stood with the Church universal and with the Church's historic faith -- is the greatest Protestant theologian of the 20th century. Sometimes the Willimon-Hauerwas discussion is out there. Sometimes it is inspirational. Sometimes it is thought provoking.

In the end, it is usually rewarding. You can join their discussion by visiting Bp. Willimon's website (willwillimon.com) and scrolling down. In his "Coronavirus Diary: New York, May 12" (www.firstthings.com).

Dr. R. R. Reno also provokes some thinking: "We live in a technocratic social order. Its 'sole aim' is not to control people. That's a mistaken view. But it is a regime in which material goods are supreme. \

The present public health challenges reinforce this technocratic social order, and for the expert class it makes complete sense to impose draconian measure of restriction and control in order to protect a material good such as physical health. In truth, most of New York welcomes these restrictions, even demands them. The technocrats do not 'impose.' The 'experts' minister to our fears and promise to deliver us. That's why it's a consensus, not a conspiracy."

Thank you for your continuing financial faithfulness to Whiteville United Methodist Church. Below is the order of service and the prayer concerns for this coming Sunday morning -- Easter VII/The Sunday after Ascension Day, May 24. You are invited -- even encouraged -- to use this "bulletin" and participate in the worship service, as you listen to 1540 AM, 103.9 FM, or the Internet livestream (which can be reached through www.whitevilleumc.org).


In the Christ who now nears Jerusalem,
Pastor Paul

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