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September is a funny month; while working professionals no longer have summer breaks we nevertheless continue to lean toward the academic calendar. For those older with children, the September ritual of school starting remains a family focal point. For those just out of college, well, old habits die hard and September remains the month of new beginnings. This is true as well of Christian Union New York.

The National Intelligence Council produces a report every five years which looks at global trends and how they will shape the following decade. This report makes for fascinating reading for those interested in causes and effects on a global scale – determining trends, assessing their causes, and extrapolating their probable outcomes.

Vaclav Havel, in his essay Politics, Morality, and Civility, shares his thoughts on how society is established to produce a flourishing culture.  Having come out of a dark period of communist rule that chose many of the tools and structures of a democratic system and turned them to other ends Havel knew well that structures ultimately rest on something much more fundamental.  They rest on morality – our understanding of good and evil, and the willingness to pursue that which is good.  Havel calls “living in truth”.

Greetings from New York!

Dr. William Hurlbut, professor at Stanford Medical School, spoke at a recent CU New York forum on “The Challenge and Opportunity of Gene Editing: Scientific and Ethical Considerations”.  Prof. Hurlbut addressed the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, especially when applied to direct interventions in human life.  The evening stands as an example of thoughtful Christians exploring both a deeper understanding of a key scientific advance, and the range of implications it contains.  CU New York’s mission is to equip and encourage Christians in New York in engaging culture in redemptive and transformative ways.  You can watch the video of the talk here.

A belated Welcome to 2017 — a year that promises to be eventful, no matter how you look at it.  A verse that jumps to mind is Psalm 28: 7, The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.  Because He is my strength, and because I trust in Him — my response must be joy, and this is how I look at the year ahead.

Greetings from New York!

Welcome to Fall — that is what has been going through my mind for the past week. Cooler temperatures are a joy to me; I look forward to this season starting early August, and this joy lasts until I am finally driven mad by the fixation on all things flavored pumpkin — usually by mid-October.

Greetings from New York!

I’m always excited to be at this point in May — the promise of summer and the greater promise of newly arrived graduates in New York and other cities.  They are excited to be done with their formal schooling (at least for a time) and many of us a little further down the path are excited for them as they begin to connect to the wider world of work and life that faith calls us into.

Greetings from New York!

During the past century it has been an interesting development where the celebration of Christmas has taken on greater social and cultural significance.  Historically the church has elevated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, as the more defining event to mark.  The death of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of humanity, and His subsequent resurrection overcoming death and the power of Satan are defining factors in the uniqueness of the Christian faith.  It resolves the overwhelming problem of the human condition and it points to a future where all is made whole.  I hope this has been a remarkable season of hope and renewal for you.

Greetings from New York!

I’m not sure if you view this month in quite the same way as I do — a somewhat comical juxtaposition of the silliness/romantic celebration of Valentine's Day and the sobering start of the Lenten season when we consider the path of Christ as He approaches His crucifixion and resurrection.  Certainly any serious celebration of the former would be rather empty without the tangible demonstration of the love of Christ shown for us in the latter.

Greetings from New York City!

There is much to relate in this letter, all of it encouraging. We seem to be in a season of great activity in a number of areas, all of which provide some wonderful opportunities for those of you in the New York area.