The Line

In the Company of Hysterical Women from New Zealand published “Live below the Line: Day One” this morning as we in Minnesota, USA are launching a press release to announce  the screening of a film on the new face of poverty in America. Click HERE to read In the Company of Hysterical Women’s post.

Here is today’s press release for “The LINE: Poverty in America. It’s not what you think”:

CHASKA, Minn., Sept. 24, 2012 – The new face of poverty in America is the subject of a new documentary film called The Line. The public is invited to a free screening of the movie at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, Minn. on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. CST in conjunction with the premiere in Washington D.C. and sites all over the United States.

Logo for “The Line”

The Line is a groundbreaking documentary from Sojourners, a national Christian, non-partisan organization committed to faith in action for social justice, and Emmy Award-winning producer Linda Midgett. It features real people, their struggles, and their inspiring and creative responses to the challenges they face. The goal of the film is to break through traditional political divides, foster honest dialogue, and refocus our society on the common good.

Shepherd of the Hill Pastor Gordon C. Stewart will host a discussion immediately following the 40-minute film as part of First Tuesday Dialogues, a community forum held at the church from October through May each year that examines critical public issues locally and globally.

“Poverty is a faith issue. When I learned about the film I thought we should show that here. It fits our First Tuesday Dialogues program mission,” said Pastor Stewart. “What is more critical than poverty? The middle class has been slipping for a long time now. The problems are structural. Hand outs – traditional Christian charity – don’t address the deeper problem.”

Working through Sojourners magazine, Sojourners’ website sojo.net, public speaking events, media outreach, educational resources, books, advocacy, and trainings, Sojourners is an internationally influential voice at the intersection of faith, politics, and culture.

Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church is located at 145 Engler Blvd. in Chaska, Minn. 55318.  www.shepherdofthehillchurch.com

The World through a Poet’s Eyes

Join with Plato Oct. 23: “Poetry is closer to vital truth than history” … or a political campaign.

An evening with Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen 

MN Poet Laureat Joyce Sutphen

Joyce Sutphen’s first collection of poems, Straight Out of View, won the Barnard New Women Poets Prize; Coming Back to the Body was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and Naming the Stars won a Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. In 2005, Red Dragonfly Press published Fourteen Sonnets in a letterpress edition. She is one of the co-editors of To Sing Along the Way, an award-winning anthology of Minnesota women poets. She is also a Renaissance scholar and has published essays on Shakespeare’s Sonnets. She grew up on a farm in Stearns County, Minnesota, and she teaches literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Her latest collection, First Words, is a “memoir in poems,” and was published in 2010.  She is the second Minnesota Poet Laureate, succeeding Robert Bly. Joyce will read and discuss her own poetry and works of other poets:

  • Wislawa Syzmborska,
  • W.S. Merwin,
  • Charles Simic,
  • Mary Oliver, and
  • Nazim Hizkmet.

“Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history” – Plato. Take a break from the campaign season to look through the eyes of a poet.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012    7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church, 145 Engler Blvd., Chaska, MN 55318.

*First Tuesday Dialogues: examining critical public issues locally and globally” is a community program for the common good, re-creating the public square in the southwest Twin Cities metro area. 

www.shepherdofthehillchurch.com

“A place for the Mind and Heart”

Health Care in America: The Affordable Care Act

You’re invited to an evening with Bob Stevens, CEO of Ridgeview Medical Center, and other health care professionals and providers for a close look at The Affordable Care Act.

Robert Stevens, CEO, Ridgeview Medical Center

What is it? What is it not?

What does it do? What doesn’t it do?

Facts, information, and discussion about health care in America.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church, 145 Engler Boulevard, Chaska, MN.

A First Tuesday Dialogues program “examining critical public issues locally and globally.” Offered free to the general public in the service of the common good.

Same-sex Marriage

 “What does Obama’s announcement {supporting same-sex marriage) mean to you? Will it make any difference in your life?” asked CNN’s blog this morning

Here’s how I responded:

“The President’s declaration has not changed my life, but it has moved it one step closer to leaving behind the trail of tears the church has inflicted on its own members. I am a pastor. My family and church are straight and gay. I have shared the tears and listened to the sobs and shouts. I have cried their tears and shaken my head and wanted to make a fist.

“Here in the state of MN a referendum to amend the State Constitution –  similar to the one that just passed in NC – will be on the ballot.  I cringe that the proponents of the amendment – the opponents of marriage equality – often do so “in the name of Christ,”  ignoring the fact that we have nothing to indicate any statement by Jesus on this issue, while at the same time they ignore the Beatitudes and other teachings of The Sermon on the Mount that clearly oppose the church’s endorsement of and participation in state-sponsored violence and war. It saddens me.

“My family makes no distinctions among us. Orientation is orientation.  Families, churches, and cultures change slowly, and sometimes tumultuously

“My professional life will change when both the church and the state celebrate the commitment of two people, regardless of their gender, to the estate of marriage. Until then… every heterosexual wedding celebration will also remind me of those who cannot celebrate the same.

“A comedian once asked why GLBT folks shouldn’t be allowed to be as miserable as we (heterosexuals) are. Misery and joy do not reside within the lines we draw between “us” and “the other.” My gay son pays little attention. He’s not married, and, although his state permits it, he has chosen otherwise. But, in the event he decides that the blessings and miseries of marriage are for him, the choice should belong to him and his partner of 12 years. And, in the event he should so choose, the church should be there to celebrate and share the cake. When that day comes, my life will have changed.”

How would you respond the CNN question? Leave a comment to generate the discussion here.

And, if you’re looking for a welcoming church, stop by Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska Sunday morning at 9:30. Whatever your opinion, or any other source of division – no matter who you are – you’ll be welcome.

Sermon: The Estate Sale and a Thousand Years

Click 

This sermon, inspired by a visit to an estate sale and Via Lucis’ photographs of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, was preached at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN.