Saturday, January 28, 2006

Willing to engage in ministry and service

My latest column for the Clintonville Christian Church newsletter, dated January 23, 2006.

Are You Willing?
The Reverend Nathan Day Wilson

Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of children?

Are you willing to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old?

Are you willing to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough?

Are you willing to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts?

Are you willing to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke and to carry it so that your shadow will fall behind you?

I adapted these questions from Henry Van Dyke’s poem, Keeping Christmas. They are critical and Christian questions for us to ask ourselves at any time of year.

Last Sunday, Mark’s gospel reminded us that the call to discipleship, the call to follow, comes to us over and over again. This next Sunday, January 29, we’ll hear from Mark about the teacher with authority to cleanse whatever unclean spirits possess and control our lives. Before Sunday, you are encouraged to read Mark 1:21-28 and Psalm 111.

Look forward to seeing you at the place where we are willing – Nathan

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Socially Responsible Investing

Top 5 Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2005 has released its list of the top 5 stories for 2005. Microfinance, CSR and climate change activism hit the marquee. Enjoy --


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Clintonville Christian newsletter

New Year to Serve and Grow
Reverend Nathan D. Wilson

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2006! Welcome to a new year of worship and learning, ministry and mission, service and stewardship, fellowship and fun.

I will frequently preach from the Gospel of Mark this year. Only sixteen chapters long, you could read the whole thing in a few hours. Go ahead and try it; I dare you! I think you’ll find Mark’s gospel engaging as it moves from action scene to action scene showing us a picture of Jesus that is captured well by the forty-fifth verse of its tenth chapter: “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I share the following poem with you as a good way to begin this New Year.

I Am The New Year

I am the New Year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time. I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me; I am waiting for you to search it out again and with more determination.

All the good that you tried to do for others and didn’t achieve last year is mine to grant – providing you have fewer selfish and conflicting desires.

In me lies the potential of all that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not perform, all you prayed for but did not yet experience. These dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of an enduring purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Christ who said, “Behold, I make all things new.” – (Revelation 21:5)

I am the New Year.

See you at the place where we celebrate all things new – Nathan

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Are today's college students less academically engaged?

Emory English professor, Mark Bauerlein, has an excellent article in the upcoming issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he describes two simultaneous trends among today's college students: the growing fascination with all things technological and the shrinking engagement with anything classically academic.

Writes Bauerlein, "The trends are not unrelated. The more young people gather to watch TV shows, transmit e-mail and text messages, and blog and chat and surf and download, the less they attend to their regular studies. What develops is an acute peer consciousness, a sense of themselves as a distinct group."

Bauerlein notes five important areas where the knowledge levels of college students has either dropped or remained flat, indicating that "Young people are cut off from the worlds beyond their social circuit."

So, what do we do? Bauerlein does not offer an answer, but notes that the inevitable time crunch when students spend more time sending text messages than reading text books forces stark options. One can go with the wind, as did a literature professor who said, "Look, I don't care if everybody stops reading literature. Yeah, it's my bread and butter, but cultures change. People do different things."

Or one stand against the wind, siding with Leo Strauss that "liberal education is the counter-poison to mass culture."

Surely there is a third option. What is it?

Nathan D Wilson