Theological Wisdom for Preaching and Teaching, Issue 101

January 6, 2017 by Presbyterian Foundation

Provocative insights on religious themes from contemporary novelists …

On Faith:

“Oh, yes. You’re a convert? Do I have that right?”
Convert. From the Latin, to turn. As in Eliot: Because I do not hope to turn again.
She nodded, wondering uncomfortably where his knowledge of her ended.
“Was that Beth’s requirement, or Tom’s?”
“Neither … I didn’t convert to marry Tom or anything like that. I chose to do it.”
“But for Thomas’s sake?”
“It hardly matters to Tom,” she said. “I did it for myself.”
She could see him struggling to make sense of it.
“I suppose it’s some consolation?”
“Most of the time it scares the s**t out of me.”

Christopher Beha, What Happened to Sophie Wilder

On God:

Instead, one found natural catastrophes. Children mistreated. Kidnappings. Loneliness. Separation of people who love each other. His anger increased. The problem with anger against God is that it’s impossible to go higher in the system to complain.

Peter Høeg, The Quiet Girl

On Death:

There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.

David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives [23]

The Biggest Gifts Your Church Will Ever Receive

Gifts from wills and estates are often the biggest gifts that people ever give – and the largest that most congregations receive. There are small steps pastors can take now to develop these gifts – and the Presbyterian Foundation is here to help. Check out these resources:

  • Planned Giving Seminars – Your regional Ministry Relations Officer is available to lead a planned giving seminar or workshop for prospective future donors in your congregation.
  • Composing a Legacy – This workbook guides members in how to think about the gifts God has given them throughout their lives and how they can use those gifts to share their faith at death.
  • Live Forward, Give Forward – A an easy-to-follow program to help you manage end-of-life discussions with your church members. These can be joy-filled and rewarding!

Want to learn more? Contact your Ministry Relations Officer or call 800-858-6127.