Speaking of interfaith worship, last month I wrote about Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s concept of the “Three-Mile-Per-Hour God.” I have finally re-discovered the video footage online!
The Seeds of Compassion conference has video archives but I cannot figure out how to access them. But I found it at the University of Washington’s online UW-TV website. You can both stream and download this and other videos from the conference for free. Considering how long it took me to find the footage again, I would download it if you fall in love with this image of God as much as I have. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to take out the piece in question and embed it here, so all I can do is point you in the right direction and get out of the way.
If you go to the 48-minute mark of this video, you’ll see
This morning I read a news story explaining that the pastor from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Newton, CT had to issue an apology to the LCMS president for participating in a prayer vigil two days after the murder of innocent adults and children because leaders of other faith traditions also participated.
Here’s a highlight from Pastor Rob’s apology letter (read the entire letter for context here):
To those who believe that I have endorsed false teaching, I assure you that was not my intent, and I give you my unreserved apologies. If any of you know church members or friends or family who are now confused because of my participation, believing that the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod fully endorses the doctrine of anyone else who was on that stage, please correct this confusion lovingly, and I will personally be happy to help in any way that I can. Feel free to pass on my apologies for having given that impression.
Here’s an excerpt from LCMS President Harrison’s open letter response (read the entire letter for context here):
I delivered a sermon this morning about how the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) might inspire us to create a New Year’s Resolution focused on being the person we wish to be not because we owe it to ourselves but because we wish to better serve God. The podcast will be up later if you want to listen and I will update this post when the audio is available. In the meantime I want to address the final piece of the sermon, a quotation from Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
In 2008, the Archbishop was part of an interfaith conference in Seattle, WA called Seeds of Compassion as part of his speaking tour with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. During one of the panels, a young man, around the age of 12, asked, “How can you learn to not be so hard on yourself… for a mistake?” It’s a big question and certainly not only on the mind of merely children but of persons across the age spectrum and across the world. Here’s a portion of Archbishop Tutu’s answer (emphasis mine):
A group of dear friends and former seminary colleagues are in South Africa for approximately three weeks on a global justice journey. These trips are not mission trips in that they’re not doing service projects and recovery construction (awesome mission trips!) nor going specifically to convert people to a particular brand of Christianity (not my cup of tea!). Rather, these are on-the-ground ways to experience God’s creation of the interdependent global community and see the struggles for justice, liberation, and peace face-to-face. Through the travelers’ learnings, they return home changed people who might be more enlightened and spread the spark to others (now that’s evangelism). I wish I could go but the trip is out of my budget and time reach, unfortunately. I’m following along on their trip blog to learn about everything they’re experiencing and I anticipate I’ll be a little more than jealous if (and when!) they meet the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
I went on one of these global justice trips in March, 2010 to El Salvador and