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The Union of Heaven and Earth

This post was originally posted forPentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice
Each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew chapter 6:9-13 we pray these words, “your kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 
We thoughtlessly recite this prayer without paying a whole lot of attention to just how astounding these words really are.That’s what I want us to dive into today in this blog post. 
The Beginning:
In the beginning God created a beautiful world where he would dwell with his people.Then he created human beings and put them in the world that he created.The Biblical authors called this world a garden because garden best describes what life is like in the presence of God.It is a flourishing world within which God’s people partner with God in doing the will of God.God’s people partner with him as image bearers—tending the garden, reigning in union with God and bringing life and filling the earth with people. 
It was a place and a people who were fully in uni…

Re-thinking Romans 13

This Blog was written by Rev. Faith Totushek for  Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice

Romans 13:1-8 is a passage that has been used in ways that are unjust.  It has been used to justify the divine right of kings, to justify slavery, to justify apartheid and segregation.  This text has been used in support of the Just War Theory.  It’s still used in the church to justify oppressive policing and discounting of immigrant’s basic human rights.  If people would just obey the law, the logic goes, then they will be left alone.  But is that what this passage means?  Is Paul saying that that all laws are good? Is he saying that all people are treated equally under the law? Is he saying that laws should be obeyed without question?  These things are often read into the passage making these verses something like a sword to keep oppressed people in their place.  I don't believe that was Paul’s intent.
Just because a particular action is legal does not mean it is just.  As God’s p…

Philoxenia: Love of the Stranger

Written for Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice.
https://pcpj.org/2018/02/10/philoxenia-love-of-the-stranger/

What is Philoxenia? When I first heard this word, I wondered if I had just stumbled upon a new kind of flower, Philoxenia… sort of like a Xenia or phlox or a Xenia crossed with a phlox to create a whole new flower.It’s not a flower, it is the Greek word for Hospitality.It literally means Philo or Love; Xenia or Stranger; put together it means LOVE OF STRANGER.  Hospitality then is the act of making strangers feel loved, as if they belong, welcome—like family.Hospitality is another thread that is woven throughout the entire Bible.  Growing up in the church, hospitality was more about making sure the coffee was on and the donuts and cookies were placed out on the serving table.We had a hospitality committee, usually made up of women, who made sure there were plenty of good things to eat and coffee to drink—cool-aid for the children and decaf for the senior folks.And…

Heavenly Lullaby

I wrote this poem about 15 years ago or more during a time in my life where I was dealing with my image of God.  It was pre seminary so it has a bit more of a reformed feel.  I felt for the first time that God was someone that I could go to with any concern, even my questions.  


Heavenly Lullaby
By Faith Totushek
Speak to me my child, share the burdens in your heart Tell me all the fears that are tearing us apart Lay upon my ears, the shadows in your mind Come to me my child, for I am gentle, meek and kind
Greet me in the morning, when you walk along the way Share with me your deepest dreams as you go about your day I long for you to know my child, the love I have for you Come draw near to me, you will find a love that true.
Talk with me my child, I want to hear your thoughts Share with me the questions, the pain of life has brought Whisper well kept secrets, I always want to hear Come to me my child, I am so very near
Greet me in the morning, when you walk along the way Share with me your deepest d…

Immigration 101, Refugees, Asylees and TPS

I have been listening carefully to the immigration debate and discussions in this country and have come to the realization that most everyday people do not have a clear grasp of how our immigration system works and how it affects those migrating to the US.  While not an expert, I have taken a 40 hour class on Immigration Law and can explain some of the rudimentary elements of our system.

First, when we hear about immigration on the news, the various categories of immigration are lumped together and important distinctions between a refugee, and asylee, and TPS are seldom made, making it confusing for people to grasp the implications for our country.  I wish to lay out some simplified definitions and answer some of the questions I often hear everyday folks ask.  Since this is only the first in a series, know that immigration includes many different categories and these are only three.  More to follow.  (Home Land Security Chart on differences between refugees and asylee)

What is a Refug…

Biblical # MeToo Stories

What does the Bible have to say about sexual harassment, sexual assault and the #MeToo experiences that are coming to light?And how might the Bible reveal how the distortion of power can create conditions for a #MeToo culture.
I believe God is a purging our country today and powerful people are being exposed because they have abused their power and have exploited men and women sexually. Many believe that sexual harassment and assault are primarily about sex and desire and indeed sex has something to do with it but harassment, assault ,abuse and rape are about entitlement, power and about powerful people exploiting the vulnerabilities of others.Sometimes that power is physical strength but often times that power is from a higher position entailing more social status or the power to offer jobs or take them away.Sometimes it is the power of an older adult exploiting the inexperience and gullibility of the young.
For too long our churches have been silent about harassment and assault except…