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Reflections

A Central "Cloud of Witnesses"

A Reflection from Central Alum. Rev. Tyler Tankersley, Pastor of Ardmore Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC Not long ago I was driving to visit a member of my congregation who lives about an hour away in rural North Carolina. I plugged their address into my phone’s GPS app and turned on some music. The robotic voice...
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For Such a Time as This

A Reflection from MDiv Student Debbie Giese  April of 2020 finds me in places I never thought I’d be. One, clearly, is being under quarantine during a global pandemic in a country that can’t agree on anything. The second is preparing for my third term as a seminarian at CBTS.   Shortly before my 52nd birthday,...
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Worship Online?

A Reflection from Women's Leadership Initiative MDiv Student Andrea Huffman I remember being flabbergasted when Central announced that our Worship Leadership course would be online. “How do you learn to lead worship online?” my classmates and I asked incredulously. We had been attending Central for three years, and half of our classes met in person...
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50th Anniversary of Earth Day: A Reflection

by Rakmi Shaiza “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 4:24. I only came to hear about Earth Day after I moved to the USA. Back in 2002, I came across a small book in the library about it published by the United Nations. After reading the book,...
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Holy Saturday - Liminal Space

  Holy Saturday, situated between the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is what might be called liminal space.  It is an in-between time that bridges what was, to what will be.  It is a transitional time between what is known and has to be let go of, and the unknown future. The friends...
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A Lament

  "My God, my God, why.........?" Why has our world been turned upside down, as wave after wave of crisis and grief crash over us? Why the betrayal, the dissonance, the difficulty grasping what has happened? Why the escalating deaths, untruths, and incompetence of leadership? How long, O God, how long? How long will the...
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Seeking Truth - A Reflection for Holy Friday

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.  Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.  The Lord saw it, and was displeased that there was no justice.  (Isaiah 59:14-15, NRSV)   Pilate asked Jesus, "So you are a king?" ...
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Theological Studies in the Time of a Pandemic

by David M. May, Ph.D. Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies Central Baptist Theological Seminary Living in this unprecedent time of the Pandemic of 2020, multiple existential questions arise—from the deep and thoughtful question, “Will I risk my life in serving others who are infected with COVID-19,” or the simple and quotidian question, “Where can I...
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A New Way of Being Church

A Reflection from Central Alum and Pastor of Blue Valley Christian Church, Rev. Lois Kelley At Blue Valley Christian Church (BVCC) we like to say, "we are so far outside the box that we can't see the box and don't want to see the box." About six years ago, BVCC decided to sell its building....
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Reflections on the Politics of Contempt

“Super” Tuesday during Lent - March 3, 2020 By John Jones IV, Ph.D. 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be...
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One Church's Response to Joining God in Saving the Earth

Several members of Englewood Baptist Church in Gladstone, Missouri, participated in Joining God in Saving the Earth: Mobilizing for Action on the Climate Crisis at Central in October as their churchwide retreat. The congregation was in the middle of a worship series, Celebrating God’s World, based on the book Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and...
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Lessons in Following Jesus from Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Love Your Enemies" (Part 2)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also helps us understand what Jesus meant when he told us to love our enemies.  Almost inevitably, efforts towards justice will be resisted by those who are at risk of losing their greater privileges, and sometimes this resistance will be vigorous and even venomous.  We see this in reading the...
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Lessons in Following Jesus from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me" (Part 1)

As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, I am reminded of the profound influence his life and teachings have had on my thinking, faith, and understanding of what it means to live as a Christian. It was while I was in high school that I became deeply aware of...
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Blessed are the Peacemakers

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence    It was still Christmastide - a season for celebrating the birth of Christ.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we had heard words from the prophet Isaiah declaring that God's anointed one would be the "Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6) and...
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4000 Volunteer Hours Later: My Reflection on Leading Stitching Change

by Rakmi Shaiza Not long ago, I heard a live interview broadcast on NPR about a four-year-old grandson saying goodbye to his grandfather because his family was no longer safe to stay in the Syrian border region. With so much love, anguish, hurt and emotion, the grandson asked his grandpa, "Why are you not coming...
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Earth’s Caretakers

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence National Geographic regularly shows up in my newsfeed, and I find much that is intriguing.  I love learning about our earth’s creatures.  Did you know that mother whales whisper to their young to keep them close and safe?  And I’m amazed at the...
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A Time to Speak about the Climate Crisis

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence   Most weekends I am able to escape the hustle and bustle of Kansas City and retreat to our place in the country.  As I now sit on the deck, overlooking green trees and sparkling water, I hear the morning birdsong and breathe...
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Teaching Jesus’ Nonviolent Way in Myanmar

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence   Recently my husband Terry and I, along with our son Nehemiah, were in Myanmar, teaching the class “Transforming Society and Conflict in Ministry” for the joint Central Seminary/Myanmar Institute of Theology Doctor of Ministry program.  Those taking this class included pastors, denominational...
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That Old Gang of Mine - Ron DeVore, MDiv 2008

The recent Disciples of Christ General Assembly was its usual combination of joys and challenges, just like real life.  Being profoundly lazy, I like easy joys like good preaching, interesting workshops, useful vendors and reconnecting with old friends.  I like these things so much, I’m willing to scale the challenges represented by the thousands of...
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Lifetime Connections - Ron Stair, MDiv 2008

When you take classes together, work on projects together, worship together in chapel, and eat meals together once a week, you build a special bond with you classmates, so it is always heartwarming to cross paths with them years later.  That's what happened when I attended the Disciples' General Assembly in Des Moines.  A group of...
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Alum-Professor Connections Flourish Beyond Seminary

A Reflection from Central Alum Jake Taylor, Pastor of Maywood Baptist in Independence, Missouri     In my undergrad at a large university, I never made a connection with a professor that extended beyond the classroom. Central Seminary was different. The small classes, deep subject matter, and professors who valued the callings of their students...
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Our Unending Relationship To Time

  Lenten Series Blog   A Lenten Reflection from Stephen Guinn, Central Seminary Associate Dean for instructional support and Student Success   Outside of work, family consumes the remaining hours of a weekday and the whole of the weekend.  The question of time always centers around the family.  Who will take this child there?  Does the...
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We Repent

  Lenten Blog Series   A Lenten Reflection from Dr. Sheryl Stewart, Central Seminary Director of Language Development and Curriculum Implementation In this season that Jesus took on the pain of humanity, it is appropriate that we take some time to sit with pain, embodying the pain of the evil that has been allowed to grow...
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Teaching Jesus’ Nonviolent Way in Myanmar

'=   A Reflection from Dr. Ruth Lofgren Rosell, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology-Pastoral Care and Counseling   Recently my husband Terry and I, along with our son Nehemiah, were in Myanmar, teaching the class “Transforming Society and Conflict in Ministry” for the joint Central Seminary/Myanmar Institute of Theology Doctor of Ministry program.  Those taking...
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Tell the Story - Luke 9:28-36

  Lenten Blog Series A Lenten Reflection from Rev. Dr. Terrell Carter, Central Seminary Director of Contextualized Learning and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology   One of the themes in the gospel of Luke is the importance of storytelling as a way to share historic events, build community, and affirm God’s presence and commitment to...
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My Lenten Fail

  Lenten Blog Series A Lenten Reflection from Rev. Jessica Williams, Central Seminary Registrar and International Students Officer At the start of 2019 I made a New Year’s Resolution to try to reduce the amount of plastic I use, especially single-use plastic.  I started bringing cloth napkins and silverware to work to eat my lunch,...
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How Shall We Pray?

Lenten Blog Series A Lenten Reflection from Dr. Sheryl Stewart, Central Seminary Director of Language Development and Curriculum Implementation     How shall we pray? For ourselves. Why? As we pray for ourselves, we become more able to pray for others. “Make me an instrument of thy peace,” the famous prayer of St. Francis, asks that...
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“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Lenten Blog Series A Lenten Reflection from Rev. Nathan Huguley, Student Success Office     I recently listened to a discussion on NPR about supernovae. Supernovae occur at the death of some stars when they use up their fuel supply of lighter elements like hydrogen and helium in their process of nuclear fusion. The gravitational...
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Ash Wednesday: The Beginning of Mending

Lenten Blog Series by Dr. David May, Professor of New Testament & Director of MA(TS) Program     In Herman Melville’s book Moby-Dick, the narrator, Ishmael, watched with interest the religious obligation of “Fasting and Humiliation” of his whaling companion Queequeg. While many might have viewed Queequeg’s rituals as strange and even comical, Ishmael did not....
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A Reflection on An Evening of Global Learning from Sungjoon Lee, a student of Korean D.Min. program

  Greetings in Christ! “An Evening of Global Learning” was one of the most memorable events of my life. Thankfully, it was even more meaningful to me that I was able to participate in the process of preparing the event. With the encouragement of Professor John Park, I gladly started the preparation for the event....
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Cuba Through CBTS 2017-Cohort Eyes

  by Timothy Bonner, 2017 D.Min. Cohort Scholar We DMin students knew we would see plenty of 1950s American cars, but we weren’t sure what else to expect. We found Cuba to be full of surprises.  First was the amount of horse traffic there is, both in the city and the rural areas.  Also, a...
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Conflict: Bring it on!

Reflection from 2017 Central Alum Elizabeth Buckner, Pastor of Dearborn Christian Church, Dearborn, Missouri, who participated in the Buttry Center Training for Conflict Transformation Trainers this summer at Central. I have never loved conflict. I have never been one to seek it out, and I definitely have never been one to welcome conflict with open...
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What Is Ministry?

A Reflection from Nathan Huguley, Office of Student Success What is “ministry?” I’ve been struggling with this question for a number of years now. Traditionally, we might understand ministry to be essentially pastoral. A woman or man is called by a church or assigned there by an ecclesiastical authority to be the pastor, the spiritual...
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