Oscar Romero and The Church of the Poor


Portrait of Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero served as the Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until his death in 1980. Romero is considered a kind of patron saint of El Slavador, and I do not joke when I say there might be more pictures of Romero posted everywhere than there are of Jesus. This is a significant difference than when I was in El Salvador twenty-five years ago when the government harassed and silenced anyone associated with the controversial Bishop. Continue reading

El Salvador Trip 1st entry (the before entry)

I leave for El Salvador on Thursday. While excited about this new adventure, I am now caught up in all my preparations for the journey. I have my checklist of items to bring: warm weather clothes and sunscreen (Eat your hearts out you cold West Des Moiners.); Passport and ID (Why do the pictures make you look so old?); and various toiletries and medications (Including Imodium I pray I will not have to use!). Continue reading

Dancing with Jesus – A Note from Alex

“Dance then wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance said He,

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,

And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He. “

         ~Refrain from “Lord of the Dance”

I have been dancing with you only a month now. My first weeks have been a whirlwind of meeting new people, going to meetings, visiting community organizations, and enjoying Des Moines (Teresa and I have already been to the Downtown Farmers Market and discovered Jethro’s Barbecue). It has been exciting and enlightening and more than a little dizzying.

I am learning how Heartlanders like to dance!

Photo Credit: roseannadana via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: roseannadana via Compfight cc

If you haven’t realized by now, I do love to dance — all kinds of dances from the Two-Step to the Waltz to good old Rock and Roll gyrations. I will even admit to my disco days!

Much of what a Pastor does in the first year of their ministry with a church is to try and discern the dance steps of the congregation. I listen for the music you dance to and the various ways you dance with Jesus, the Lord of the Dance. I have only begun to catch on to how Heartland dances, but I have discerned some of your dance moves.

I have found that you like to dance intelligently.

The life of the mind is an important way you experience and express Jesus in our life together. I have found you like to dance joyfully. There is a deep contemplative spirituality running through Heartland expressing the gift of Jesus in our midst. And I have found you are willing to try new dance steps. That you are part of that progressive theological tradition that claims we are “Reformed, and Always Being Reformed.” I can already tell it is going to be fun to dance with all of you in the coming years.

One of the things I believe deeply is that Jesus is always inviting us to dance in the Spirit wherever we may be in life.

At times this is a joyous dance; at other times is may be a slow, mournful dance; but it is a dance always rooted in Jesus, the incarnation of God’s love among us and in the world. It is a dance that heals brokenness; a dance that brings justice into the world, and a dance that embodies peace amidst divisiveness.

I am excited to be dancing with you and with Jesus, the Lord of the Dance.

Grace and Peace,