Thursday
Nov142013

annunciation

Move over King Kong!  Goodbye Gumby!  See you later Tim Burton!  There’s a new stop-motion pig in town, and his name is “Hamlet!”

SALT is pleased as punch to announce the world debut of, “The Gospel According to Hamlet.”  In his first episode (first of many, we hope!), Hamlet and his friends tell the whimsical and mysterious story of Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary about Jesus’ birth.

Filled with tutu’s and bluebirds, sound effects and knock-knock jokes, this little stop-motion animation film is sure to please everyone, from two to ninety two!  We love the way in which this little pig can take this old, old story and make it shiny and new.

So, if you love Hamlet as much as we do, give him a little Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumbler love – and, if you have a blog, he’s ready and waiting to be embedded, frame by painstaking frame. 

Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone,

The SALT Team

Monday
Nov112013

Monday
Nov112013

chickens

We got two new chickens the other day at a farm, 

just south of our home.

They were less than two weeks old;

strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

My daughter folded up three paper towels right before

my son placed the chicks into a shoebox full of breathing holes.

As we drove home, my children squealed with delight -

they are also strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

They know nothing of the hawk circling above even now;

nothing of that fox already sniffing around the coop 

full of anticipation.

All they know is that we need to plug in the heat lamp 

the minute we get home.

So for now, my job is to feed and water and create 

a safe place for all of them;

praying, all the while, for that peaceable kingdom to come near,

for the lion to lay down with the lamb,

for the owl to lay down his life for the mouse,

and for justice and peace to kiss while the chickens 

and the children roll their eyes and grin.

+ Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton

Tuesday
Oct292013

day of the dead

The statistics are everywhere: Americans will spend 8 billion dollars celebrating Halloween this year, with the average person spending $75 on decorations, candy, and costumes.

When I first read these statistics, my mind filled to overflowing with holier-than-thou thoughts like, “What are people thinking?  How can they spend money on cobwebs and giant spiders when over 800 million people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight?  How can people justify dressing up their dogs as vampires when poor nutrition will cause the deaths of over 3 million children this year alone?”

Then, a few days later, I walked into the World Market and the shelves were full of “Day of the Dead” decorations - ornate skulls, colorful masks, intricately cut flags - how could I resist?  I loaded up my cart, dropped $65 on decorations alone, and thought nothing of the 49 million Americans living in food insecure households - 16 million of them children, better head to Costco for some candy!

All this makes me think of Jesus’ story of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-34.  In this parable, Jesus presents the crowd and the reader with some of his most radical teachings about money, self-protection, and the accumulation of halloween decorations.  The rich fool, who now has to go to the Container Store to buy new storage bins for all her “Day of the Dead” stuff, has become deaf to the ravens who continue to caw about relying on God’s goodness and grace.

So, this Halloween, I’m going give out candy with wild abandon as a means to an end.  

This Halloween, I’m going to light my “Day of the Dead” candles while confessing my sins and then I’m going to recommit myself to following Jesus along the way of living more simply, giving more away, and storing up treasure in heaven “where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” + Luke 12: 33-34

+++++

So, tell us, how are you feeling about Hallween?  Are you spending money like water?  Or, are you a spend-thrift?  Are you using this holiday to think about "giving to everyone who begs of you?"  Or, are you just grabbing your pillow case and heading out for a good time had by all?  

Let us know in the comments below...

+++++

Thanks to JenPeth for this yummy "Day of the Dead" cookie photo!

Monday
Aug052013

congo

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. + 1 Corinthian 12:26

Since the 1990s, the Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered from the deadliest global conflict since World War II.  Two civil wars have taken the lives of 6 million people and an estimated 2 million have been displaced from their homes and their communities.

Because of their deep relationships in the Congo, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, has made standing with the people of the Congo a priority.  In 2011 the Disciples General Assembly and UCC General Synod each passed a resolution entitled “A Call for Reflection and Advocacy on Behalf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

The resolution was passed in order to, “raise awareness of and engage settings of the church in advocacy regarding the violent conflicts and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”  The resolution also calls on the church to, “reflect and advocate on behalf of sisters and brothers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

SALT was fortunate enough to partner up with the Global Ministries' Congo Initiative this summer to bring churches around the world a glimpse of life in the Congo.  Over the next few days, we’ll post the videos we’ve been working on and pray that churches will continue in their mission of promoting justice, defending women and children, and supporting our brothers and sisters in the Congo so that we all might rejoice!