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Articles written by David Parks

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 By David Parks    Opinion    October 2, 2019

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 said. “I shouldn’t be here.” The young activist called for...

 

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 pornography to aggravated... 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 carolers, staffers in...

 

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. We’ll need them....

 

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 Christmas carols and...

 

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, Germany. It proved... 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 unfamiliar. I’m glad...

 

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 an easy time. A brut...

 

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 school’s campus building... Full story

 
 By David Parks    General    July 13, 2016

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 Everett. The Rev.... 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. Without thinking about...

 

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 difficult to... 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 remind me of God’s s...

 

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 crimes. I had spent...

 

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 Jesus Christ of...

 

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 those left behind....

 

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 side. I wanted to be...

 

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 together with them for 90... 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 make a decision.... 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 Romney's, and in...

 

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 Christian...

 

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