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Articles written by David Parks

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 By David Parks    Opinion

Congregations should speak out during Pride Month | Worship

June is Pride Month. It is an opportunity for communities of faith to be public and explicit in their affirmation and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people. When congregations don't announce... — Updated 6/9/2021

 By David Parks    Opinion

Christianity has been hijacked | Worship

News coverage of the riotous insurrection in our nation's capital on Jan. 6 included video of the disturbing scene. There were confederate flags, Q-Anon banners, Viking helmets and... — Updated 3/3/2021

 By David Parks    Opinion

Christmas past and present | Worship

He dubbed himself, “great.” He was feckless, narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, and desperately afraid of being seen as a loser. When they told him that another king was about to... — Updated 12/23/2020

 By David Parks    Opinion

Evangelical Lutheran Church : The Whitest denomination | Worship

It’s true. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the least racially diverse in the United States. I am humbled and troubled by that. Lenny Duncan has written, “Dear... — Updated 10/14/2020

 By David Parks    Opinion

Bibles, kids, and the earth l Worship

Millions watched as a 16-year-old from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, addressed the 2019 UN Climate Change Summit in New York. She was urgent. She was blunt. “This is all wrong,” she... — Updated 10/2/2019


Forgiveness and clergy sexual abuse l Worship

Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported hundreds of cases of sexual misconduct among pastors and leaders in Southern Baptist Churches. They describe misconduct in the last 20 years that ranges from possession of child... — Updated 2/20/2019 Full story


When clergy behave badly l Worship

Earlier this week, I sat with other members of my family in a hospital waiting room. We were waiting for news from the doctors about my 84-year-old father’s heart surgery. It was a busy place with paper coffee cups, Christmas... — Updated 1/2/2019


Learning from our youngers l Worship

The latest census projections for our county predict a significant increase in the number of people 18 and under living in, and going to, school in our community. According to the bureau, in 2016 there were about 182,000 of them.... — Updated 2/28/2018


Christmas then, Christmas now l Worship

The ancient Biblical narratives depicting angelic visitations, shepherds with flocks by night and the adoring Magi from the east all seem quite familiar to many of us. These time-tested story elements cling to the lines of... — Updated 12/27/2017


500 years later, Luther’s legacy offers tricky lessons | Worship

It’s a tricky thing to be Lutheran as the world celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. You may remember that in the last days of October 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses onto the church door in Wittenberg,... — Updated 10/4/2017 Full story


Let’s pray for – then vote for – inclusive, tolerant candidates | Worship

Election season has arrived in our community. The yard signs touting candidates and initiatives crowd the street corners and vacant lots. Some have bright colors; some have endorsements. Some are names we recognize; some are... — Updated 7/19/2017


No Room in the Inn

The first pages of the New Testament provide a compelling narrative of the earliest episodes in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Matthew’s gospel paints a vivid picture of the perils of life in first century Palestine. It was not a... — Updated 12/21/2016

 By David Parks    Opinion

Saying goodbye to Trinity Lutheran College | Worship

It was the toughest decision of my life. More than a dozen members of Trinity Lutheran College board sat around a conference table in the library on the fifth floor of the... — Updated 9/21/2016 Full story

 By David Parks    Opinion

Lutheran church opens doors to Latino followers | Worship

“Hola, la paz de Cristo,” may not be the first thing you would typically hear in a Lutheran church, but it is shared from the heart by the new pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in... — Updated 7/13/2016 Full story


Life comes wrapped in package labeled ‘perishable’ | Worship

I’ll turn 60 on my next birthday. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It seems like a big deal – a bit like coming around third base, headed to home plate. My body reminds me often that I’m approaching another decade.... — Updated 2/17/2016


The late service on Christmas Eve | Worship

Some have tears in their eyes, some look as if they are asleep on their feet. Some are wrestling with young children, and some are bent over with hands locked in a white-knuckle grip on the pew in front of them. Aging hips make it... — Updated 12/23/2015 Full story


This bibliophile’s relationship with the Bible | Worship

On most days I rise early, make some coffee, check emails and look for a weather report. After that, I open my Bible and attempt a conversation with God. Sometimes it’s a glorious experience. I read lines from the Psalms that rem... — Updated 7/15/2015


Letters from prison | Worship

I cringed a little bit when I discovered the envelope in my mail in-box in the office. It was from the State Corrections Center in Shelton, Wash. I had heard from inmates in prison before. I had visited those convicted of serious c... — Updated 2/18/2015


The Beacon made a mistake | Worship

The Beacon made a mistake. It was not a big mistake or a serious mistake, but it did cause some confusion. Last month, they published a worship column written by The Church of... — Updated 12/10/2014


Re-examining the spiritual trauma of suicide | Worship

In the last 25 years of ministry, there were several times when I presided at the funerals of people who had committed suicide. Those times have been among the most difficult and painful experiences of my life. My heart breaks for... — Updated 9/23/2014


Some things I used to believe | Worship

I had a seminary professor who used to say that the human problem is the inexhaustible capacity to draw imaginary lines between good and evil – and then put ourselves on the good side. I always wanted to be the one on the good... — Updated 7/9/2014


An awkward lunch with pastors

I was certain it would be a disaster. I felt anxious as I looked to what I imagined would be a difficult meeting. The participants were, after all, such an eclectic and diverse group of people. The prospect of sitting down... — Updated 2/6/2013 Full story


Same sex marriage: One pastor’s change of heart

They came to my office one afternoon. Two women in their early 30s wanted to talk to me about presiding at their wedding. They were nervous. I was nervous. It was a kind of fork in the road for me. I realized that I would have to... — Updated 7/11/2012 Full story


I belong to a cult

Pastor Robert Jeffress, of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday, Oct. 7 before a speech in Iowa. According to Kasie Hunt of the Associated Press, he contrasted Perry's religion with Mit... — Updated 10/26/2011


Two flags, two loyalties?

Last summer, the Fourth of July landed on a Sunday. It seemed to me like the perfect occasion to preach about the difficulties of living with dual citizenship. I went on and on in the sermon about how we as American Christians and... — Updated 6/29/2011


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