Tag Archive: Patheos.com


What do an alumni e-newsletter, a Holocaust museum, and gusto have in common? They are past, current, and ongoing projects of RCC D-FW Chapter members. The December DFW Chapter meeting, held this year at Christ UMC in Farmers Branch, is traditionally a time of sharing the year’s accomplishments and trials. The Chapter furnished the lunch and presented each member with a gift (chocolate covered pecans). Members shared samples of their best work, some of which they are considering entering in next year’s DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards, to be awarded at the RCC Convention in April in Philadelphia.

Alice Dykeman, of Dykeman Associates, Inc., discussed her past year’s work. Her current intern, Emrah Yildiz, is no stranger to the group, having attended meetings for several months. Dykeman also introduced her guest, Reverend Charles Curliss. Rev. Curliss is founder and pastor of The One Church. Debbie Tull, marketing and advertising consultant, brought the group up to date on her work at Patheos.com. Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs.” Tull explained that, in an effort to be all-inclusive, the website has recently added an atheist channel. They also created Patheos Press to publish e-books. The site has titles already available.

Tim McLemore, Associate Director of Public Affairs at Perkins School of Theology, presented each member with a Perkins marketing eco-sack containing a folder with informational brochures. The Begin Your Journey With Us brochure, a recent addition introducing the school to potential students, illustrates the diversity among faculty and students. McLemore displayed the Perkins website, concentrating on the alumni pages – specifically, the Perkins Precis, an e-newsletter for Perkins alumni/ae. Even before he took the page and e-newsletter live, McLemore was contacted by alumni who had searched on Google, found the page, and asked to be put on the list.

Chris Kelley, principal of The Kelley Group and PR Consultant with the Dallas Holocaust Museum, provided clips from the video of his interview with Frank Risch. Risch was the 2011 Honoree at the museum’s Hope for Humanity dinner. His parents, Herbert and Irma Risch, fled Nazi Germany in 1937 to escape the Holocaust. Risch has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance (DHM/CET) for nearly twenty years. “He has been instrumental in transforming the organization from a memorial and resource center located in the Jewish Community Center to a creative museum in the West End Historic District.” The clips were emotionally moving, leaving the room in momentary silence.

Kay Champagne shared the work she and fellow chapter member, Sharon Chapman, have been doing to market the King Of Glory (KOG) Lutheran Church’s Gusto! series. “Gusto! Is a Life Group at KOG for the mature adult community (all are welcome) that creates and promotes enrichment programs that stimulate intellectual growth and expand personal interactions in a supportive and nurturing Christian environment.” Past guest speakers were Martin Marty, Walter Brueggemann, and a series of speakers on Dwight D. Eisenhower. A Holocaust survivor will speak in January, and the group will visit the Dallas Holocaust Museum in February.

During lunch, between small talk and presentations, members of the group discussed the changes in communications methods over the years. From the manual typewriter and mimeograph machines to bulky pcs running on MS-DOS and floppy discs to smartphones that have more power than previous mainframe computers. Several members admitted to still having outdated equipment in a closet or garage. Yet reminiscence is not indicative of a willingness to re-live the times discussed. It is simply a fondness for days that, while they were perhaps simpler, were also the stepping stones to the lives we know and enjoy now.

The meeting was an appropriate ending to the year. It went over the allotted time, due to the continually interesting conversations. Members shared pride and appreciation for past accomplishments as well as excitement for current and future projects. Members left with smiles and exclamations of Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, looking forward to another year in the world of communication.

Peace be with you.

Alyce McKensie, Professor of Homiletics at Perkins Theological Seminary at SMU, published a post before Easter entitled “Have You Got Your Ticket” on Patheos.com. With three teenagers and end of the year school and church activities, I was distracted and only recently re-read the post. The lectionary text that week was the Walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. “… Easter season is a journey that begins with the empty tomb and the Risen Lord. But for some reason I’ve been thinking about journeys and ways we can remember where were headed and why.”

McKensie recalled the well-known story about Albert Einstein’s train trip when he was on the floor looking for his lost ticket. The conductor told him it was okay, he knew who he was, and trusted him. “It’s not a matter of trust,” said Einstein. “If I don’t find that ticket, I have no idea where I’m going!”

Alyce then wrote about receiving an original ticket to the Wesleyan Class Meeting of the Wesleyan-Methodist Society from 1829. How holding the ticket in her hand led her on a mental spiritual journey back to when James Hart (the name on the ticket) was in fellowship and worship with the society and back to the beginning of the Christian church with the Last Supper and the empty tomb. Read the full post here.

While I was reading her post, my mind went in a slightly different direction (as my mind is wont to do) with the example of the ticket. I do not know what the conductor would have done with the ticket when Einstein found it. But I remember having to get my ticket punched when riding on a train – ostensibly to prove the conductor had validated my ticket. Which led me to consider another kind of ticket.

Part of the problem with the decline of churches today is that many Christians live as though they are mentally getting their ticket punched. Not exactly a good example with which to persuade people to come to, or come back to, church. It’s more about having their eternal ticket punched than faithfulness or discipleship.

Went to Communion Sunday – punch. Went to Wednesday night dinner – punch. Church music programs – punch. Holiday worship services – punch. Christmas services and Easter services – double punches at least. As if the totality of one’s good works can bring entrance to heaven.

If St. Peter at the golden gate were the conductor to eternity, when handed the attendance punch card, he might ask: “Where is your mission punch card, your evangelical punch card, your kindness to strangers punch card?” And so on. If the applicant is using the punch card approach, they are going to fall short of the mark of a good and faithful Christian.

Approached with a true and right spirit, attending church services and events are joyful times of worship and fellowship. Worship and fellowship create an impetus for doing good works, not the other way around. The good works come as acts of faith to, in some small way, return the favor for the Lord’s magnanimous gift of grace. We should want to do good works to further our spiritual journey, not to collect points.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2:9,10

Peace be with you.

%d bloggers like this: