Wealth, Justice, and the Kingdome of God

Wealth, Justice, and the Kingdom of God

Wealth, Justice, and the Kingdom of God For the second week in a row, I neglected to address in my sermon the elephant stomping around the Sunday Scripture readings. Last week I did not speak about marriage and divorce – which were central themes in both the Genesis and Mark...

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Marriage, Divorce, and the Misuse of Scripture

Marriage, Divorce, and the Misuse of Scripture

Marriage, Divorce, and the Misuse of Scripture This Sunday I did not address the elephant stomping around the appointed Scripture – divorce, and by extension, human sexuality and the tortured interpretation history of Genesis 2 and Mark 10. To be clear, no Scripture should ever be used as a “clobber...

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Reverence

Reverence

Reverence In many Lutheran congregations it is a common practice to reverence the altar and the cross (usually positioned in the same place), especially for worship leaders such as acolytes, pastors, and assisting ministers. This act of reverence is usually performed with a slight bow toward the cross and the...

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When Would I Deny Someone Holy Communion?

When Would I Deny Someone Holy Communion?

When Would I Deny Someone Holy Communion? The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is considering a statement on communion practices that could deny admission to the Lord’s Table to politicians who support pro-choice public policies. The Roman Catholic Church carefully stewards the Eucharist, welcoming to the Table those in communion...

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Who Is Our Neighbor?

Who Is Our Neighbor?

Who Is Our Neighbor? Last week we held our first Know Justice, Know Peace Bible Discussion out in the New Joy Pavilion. We began by listening deeply to Scripture – using the Collatio method we’ve used at New Joy for Praying the Psalms.  

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Job Opening at New Joy

Job Opening: Office Manager

Job Opening at New Joy Lutheran The New Joy Personnel Team is actively looking for a person to fill the role of Office Manager.  Please consider sharing this opportunity within your networks, or consider your own call to serve the church in this way. All interested applicants: Please submit a...

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Fasting from the Feast During Lent

Fasting from the Feast During Lent

Fasting from the Feast During Lent Admittedly it’s an odd fast to keep, to give up Holy Communion during Lent. Our church teaches that in the bread and cup of Holy Communion our Lord gives himself to us in a special way. “This is my body, given for you. This...

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Waiting and Worshiping Together this Christmas

Waiting and Worshiping Together this Christmas

Waiting & Worshiping Together this Christmas Our Advent waiting this year feels much more poignant, or urgent, or in-our-face than usual. We’re waiting for Jesus to come – in Bethlehem, in our Christmas celebrations, yes – and also, most importantly, in the promised time to come. This season is designed...

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Pledge 2020

Stewardship 2020

Beloved in Christ at New Joy, As the Israelites were defeated and taken captive into Babylon, they cried out, “How can we possibly sing the LORD’s song on foreign soil?” (Psalm 137:4) Their lament was one of being uprooted and disrupted, and of seeing the promise of the temple and...

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Pastor Chris Duckworth and the Indiana Army National Guard

A Time of Transition

Dear People of New Joy, Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything under the sun. This month, it is time for me to resign my commission as an officer and chaplain in the United States Army and the Indiana Army National Guard. It has been the...

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The Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross

With Appreciation I walked into my office on Tuesday to find gifts and cards strewn over my desk. It was Pastor Appreciation Day. I had no idea. At a time when I’m feeling like I’m at the end of my rope – the layers of emotional and spiritual weariness I’ve...

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Wedding Banquet Tension

Wedding Banquet Tension

Invitation and Response It is easy to be aghast by Sunday's Gospel text Matthew 22:1-14 in which the king invites everyone to a wedding banquet, but then later condemns a guest who arrived without wearing a proper wedding garment. It seems like such a reversal, a refutation of grace. How can...

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Rejecting the wicked grapes of anitisemitism

Rejecting the Wicked Grapes of Antisemitism

Rejecting the Wicked Grapes of Antisemitism This Sunday's Gospel text, Matthew 21:33-46, is one of those texts that lends itself to some really bad interpretation. Certainly, all Scripture can be interpreted poorly. But bad interpretations of this text, in particular, can lead to some ugly theology and attitudes about the...

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Worship updates for October 2020

Worship Updates

Worship Updates for October 2020 Dear Siblings in Christ, Starting on Sunday, October 18, we will gather together for worship in our homes, scattered across our community as we livestream the service from inside our sanctuary without a gathered congregation. Governor Holcomb recently issued a statewide order requiring continued mask-wearing...

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Sermon Scraps by Pastor Chris

Sermon Scraps

SERMON SCRAPS I have lots of material on the cutting room floor, so to speak, from my last two sermons. These two Sundays brought us incredible texts from the Gospel of Matthew – two readings that were really just one scene spread out over two weeks. In Matthew 16:13-28 we...

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Prayer for Leaders

Praying by Name

Praying by Name Since shortly after the pandemic disruptions began, we have prayed every Sunday morning for the President and Governor by name, usually in a prayer petition asking God to grant wisdom to our nation’s leaders and to give a generous spirit to all during these extraordinary times. Grant...

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Returning to In-Person Worship—Outdoors

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ, We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, July 12, New Joy Lutheran Church is returning to in-person, outdoor worship at our new pavilion. Services will continue to be streamed online via YouTube for those not attending in person: New Joy YouTube Channel We...

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