Adult Playlists 2022-2023

What’s a Playlist?

A Playlist is a set of activities exploring a topic.  The activities might include reading an article or scripture, listening to a podcast or sermon, watching a video or movie clip. Each month we’ll post three Playlists designed for Children, Youth, and Adults.  All of us will explore the same topic, but the Playlists will be designed for each age group.  You can work your way through the Playlists at your own pace throughout the month.

Remember you can always share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this page.


September Playlist

Generosity

Denise McClellan, Director of Adult Ministries & Missional Service

9/1/22

Introduction

When I think of generous people I’ve known in my life, I think of my mother-in-law.  I know what some of you are thinking . . . your mother-in-law?  Really?  If there was a mother-in-law lottery, I won!  Jean was generous in numerous ways.

Like a lot of parents and grandparents who can afford to be, she was generous financially.  Even when Mike and I were hosting dinner, she’d pay for the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas ham.  At the start of each school year, she’d buy our kids new shoes and new clothes.  When we were living on one income, she’d show up with a couple packages of diapers.  Jean did all of this without our asking . . . she just gave generously.

Jean also gave her time and attention generously.  Jean volunteered at the local hospital in the gift shop.  Jean was a very quiet, extremely shy person.  I imagine serving in such a public setting was a challenge for her, but she wanted to contribute so she found a way.  When she spent time with our kids, I don’t think they ever thought she had another thing to do but be with them.  When our girls were little, she’d watch the “TGIF” TV line up of silly sitcoms with them.  They weren’t great shows, but the girls liked them, so Jean watched.  When our son was little, she’d spend hours with him playing “shoe store” at her house.  She gave her time with love and generosity.

Generosity of spirit was what I appreciated most in Jean.  When Mike and I married, I became a stepmother.  I wasn’t prepared, and at times it was a difficult transition.  There must have been a hundred things for her to “advise” me on about parenting.  Instead, I only heard encouraging words from her.  She never told me how I should’ve done something or how I should’ve handled a situation.  Instead, she always found a way to tell me something I had done well.  She went out of her way to notice the little things and the small steps of progress.  She was very generous with words of praise when I needed them.

So, when you think of generous people you’ve known in your life, who comes to mind?  If possible, thank them this month.

Generosity & Prayer

The following prayer is attributed to St. Ignatius.  Use it as your guide as you work your way through this month’s Generosity Playlist.

Lord, teach me to be generous,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to look for any reward,
save that of knowing that I do your holy will.
Amen.

Generosity & Scripture

Below you’ll find a link to the Faith Practices Project focusing on generosity.  It includes a list of passages including Acts 4:32-35, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 1 John 3:16-18, and Luke 15:11-32.  Each section is followed by several questions to consider.  Use these passages for personal study this month.  Focus on one passage and one set of questions each week.

Generosity & Scripture

Generosity & The Bible Project

Below you’ll find a video from The Bible Project.  The video explores how God’s generosity started with creation, moved to Abraham, and then to Jesus.  The Bible Project imagines God’s generosity as a party.  Click the link below to join the party!

Generosity & A Way of Living

Click the link below to watch a TED Talk featuring Ami Campbell, co-author of Love Let Go:  Generosity for the Real World.  She shares interesting research about generosity, but she also shares her personal experience seeing “radical generosity” in action.  It’s an amazing story of paying it forward!

Generosity & Surprise Gifts

Do you think only the rich and famous have much to give away?  You’d be surprised.  Click the link below to read about folks who led modest lives and left significant gifts as legacies.  They generously gave away fortunes so that others could benefit.

Generosity & Surprise Gifts

Generosity & Time

Charles Clark is paid to be a janitor at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas, and he takes pride in that work; however, what he’s really known for is the way he generously gives his time to others.  Mr. Clark listens, advises, and loves students at the school, and they appreciate his generous gift.  Click the link below to watch how one man gives away his time.

Generosity & The Tennis Court

If you follow tennis, then you know the US Open is on right now in New York.  If you know me, then you know I’m watching!  Chris Evert’s goals have changed a lot since her days on the court.  These days she’s generously sharing her knowledge on and off the court with kids who love the game.  Click the link below to read about how her self-described “entitled” life led her to this new place.

Generosity & The Tennis Court

Generosity & Music

“All That We Have” is a beautiful hymn reminding us the gifts we have come from God.  Click the link below to enjoy a performance of the hymn.

Click the link below to listen to “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant.


























October Playlist

Faith

Denise McClellan, Director of Adult Ministries & Missional Service

10/1/22

Introduction

This may sound strange, but one of my models of faith is someone who never discussed his faith with me.  Instead, he showed me.  Week in and week out.  My dad had us (all four of us) in the pew each Sunday.  We went to church before my mother’s death, and we continued that practice after she died.  There wasn’t a question about it come Sunday mornings.  We were going to worship.  Looking back on it, it couldn’t have been easy.  My dad was a widower before he was forty years old.  He had four young kids.  He must’ve questioned God in those days.  He must’ve wondered at his loss.  He must’ve been overcome by tremendous grief.  And yet, he modeled faith for us.  We prayed before meals, and we prayed at bedtime.  He took us to Sunday School and Confirmation Classes.  He signed our family up to clean the church and to cut the grass.  Without saying a word, he modeled his faith for us.

As you work your way through this month’s Faith Playlist, think about the models of faith in your life.  Also, consider how you’re modeling faith for others.

Faith & Prayer

The prayer below is from Martin Luther.  Return to it as you work your way through the Faith Playlist this month.

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled.  My Lord, fill it.  I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.  I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.  I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.  O Lord, help me.  Strengthen my faith and trust in you.  In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.  I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.  I am a sinner; you are upright.  With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.  Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.  Amen.

Faith & Scripture

Spend some time exploring Faith in Scripture this month.  Below you’ll find a list of texts.  Open your Bible and see where these passages lead you.

Hebrews 11
Psalm 100
Matthew 15:21-28
Matthew 17:19-21
Mark 2:1-12
Luke 17:5-6
Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith & ELCA

A living, daring confidence in God’s grace.  That’s how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America begins its description of Faith.  Click the link below for the full passage from the ELCA.

ELCA

Faith & Trust

At times, our faith might waiver.  At times, we might struggle to trust.  How do we get through those times?  One answer:  The faith of others gets us through.  Click the link below to read a devotional about this.

Trust

Faith & The Bible Project

God.  Emet.  Truth.  Faith.  Click the link below for a video from The Bible Project explaining how all of this is connected.

Faith & Queen Elizabeth

When Queen Elizabeth died last month, there were many articles about her long life, the future of the monarchy, and the family dynamics.  I found the article linked below about her faith interesting.  Different faith leaders reflect on how they saw Queen Elizabeth follow her faith during her reign.

Queen Elizabeth

Faith & Poetry

Take some time to reflect on the following poem by Wendell Berry.

“The Wild Geese”
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Faith & The Future

It’s no secret.  Church attendance and church membership are declining.  Across denominations and demographics, the number of people in America identifying themselves as Christian is declining.  You’ll find a link below to an article from Christianity Today discussing a new survey from Pew Research.  Reading the article has me asking a couple of questions.  What do we do with this information?  How do we share our faith with others?  Read the article and see what questions come to your mind.

Future

Faith & Christian Music

Faith, as you can guess, is the topic of many hymns and songs.  Use the links below to listen to a few.

“Come Thou Fount”

“Waterlife”

“Trust in You”

Faith & U2

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  That’s the saying . . . but not all rock bands sing only about these topics.  Below you’ll find an article from a Christian magazine in the United Kingdom discussing faith themes found in U2 songs.  Even better you’ll find links to the songs in the article!  Happy listening!

U2


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