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Mark Ellingsen

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Mark Ellingsen, a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), has been a professor of Church History at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1993. He graduated magna cum laude from Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania) and Yale University, from which he received three master's degrees in divinity, arts, and philosophy, as well as his Ph.D. He has authored eighteen books including Sin Bravely: A Joyful Alternative to a Purpose-Driven Life (Continuum) and The Integrity of Biblical Narrative (Wipf and Stock). He and his wife have three grown children. When he is not writing or teaching, Ellingsen enjoys discussing politics, sports, and playing guitar.
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Commentary

Emphasis Preaching Journal

God is with us everywhere -- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
We need prophets -- Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2018
Remembering our spiritual roots -- Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Romans 4:13-25, Mark 8:31-38 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
How God gets us to love him -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Maundy Thursday - B -- 2018
The Goodness of God -- Acts 3:12-19, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
God does not abandon us -- Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
God's Love Is In All Of Creation -- Acts 17:22-31, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 2017
Easter Makes A Difference In Our Lives -- Acts 10:34-43, Colossians 3:1-4, John 20:1-18 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Easter Day - A -- 2017
Revealing The Divinity Of Christ -- Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Transfiguration Sunday - A -- 2017
Living In Jesus Can Ease Our Anxieties -- Genesis 21:8-21, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - A -- 2017
God Sets Us Free And Keeps Us Together -- Exodus 12:1-14, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - A -- 2017
Knowing Who God Really Is -- Exodus 33:12-23, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 24 | Ordinary Time 29 - A -- 2017
What are our priorities? -- Judges 4:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - A -- 2017
Sermon Illustrations for Christmas 2 (2016) -- Jeremiah 31:7-14, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:(1-9) 10-18 -- R. Robert Cueni, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Second Sunday after Christmas - C

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God is with us everywhere -- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
God Sets Us Free And Keeps Us Together -- Exodus 12:1-14, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 18 | Ordinary Time 23 - A -- 2017

Illustration

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 3 (2018) -- Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez -- Epiphany 3 | Ordinary Time 3 - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 4 (2018) -- Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28 -- Ron Love, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove -- Epiphany 4 | Ordinary Time 4 - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 5 (2018) -- Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove -- Epiphany 5 | Ordinary Time 5 - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for The Transfiguration (2018) -- 2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9 -- Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez -- Transfiguration Sunday - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Ash Wednesday (2018) -- Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, 2 Corinthians 5:20b--6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21, Isaiah 58:1-12 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Frank Ramirez -- Ash Wednesday - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 1 (2018) -- Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:9-15 -- Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates -- First Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 2 (2018) -- Mark 8:31-38, Romans 4:13-25, Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Derl G. Keefer -- Second Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 3 (2018) -- John 2:13-22, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Exodus 20:1-17 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez -- Third Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 4 (2018) -- John 3:14-21, Ephesians 2:1-10, Numbers 21:4-9 -- Bob Ove, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez -- Fourth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Lent 5 (2018) -- John 12:20-33, Hebrews 5:5-10, Jeremiah 31:31-34 -- Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Frank Ramirez -- Fifth Sunday in Lent - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Passion/Palm Sunday (2018) -- Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Mark 14:1--15:47 -- Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love -- Passion Sunday - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Maundy Thursday (2018) -- Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, John 13:1-17, 31b-35 -- Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Bonnie Bates -- Maundy Thursday - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Good Friday (2018) -- Isaiah 52:13--53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1--19:42 -- Frank Ramirez, Bob Ove, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen -- Good Friday - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Easter Day (2018) -- Isaiah 25:6-9, Acts 10:34-43, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18 -- Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Easter Day - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Baptism of Our Lord (2018) -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen, Ron Love, Bill Thomas, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Second Sunday of Easter (2018) -- Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 1:1--2:2, John 20:19-31 -- Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates, Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Second Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Epiphany 2 (2018) -- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, John 1:43-51 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bill Thomas, Bonnie Bates -- Epiphany 2 | Ordinary Time 2 - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for the Third Sunday of Easter (2018) -- Acts 3:12-19, 1 John 3:1-7, Luke 24:36b-48 -- Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Bob Ove, Mark Ellingsen, Frank Ramirez, Ron Love -- Third Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (2018) -- Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Ron Love -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (2018) -- John 15:1-8, 1 John 4:7-21, Acts 8:26-40 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (2018) -- Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17 -- Bill Thomas, Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (2018) -- Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, 1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Pentecost (2018) -- Acts 2:1-21, Romans 8:22-27, John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 -- Ron Love, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas -- Day of Pentecost - B -- 2018
Sermon Illustrations for Trinity Sunday (2018) -- Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17 -- Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Bill Thomas, Ron Love -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - B -- 2018
Illustrations for Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 (2018) -- Mark 2:23-3:6, 2 Corinthians 4:5-12, 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20), Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 -- Bill Thomas, Mark Ellingsen, Bob Ove, Frank Ramirez, Bonnie Bates, Ron Love -- Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 - B -- 2018

Political Pulpit

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Are we still fighting wars? How come? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2011
Getting real about ecology -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2010
Getting maladjusted to business as usual -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2010
The market needs some managing -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
The curse of special interests -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
The war in Iraq: what's next? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
Gas prices and the war -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006
Somebody's child is still fighting -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006
Favoring the rich -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2006

Preaching

SermonStudio

All Saints Day -- Matthew 5:1-12, 1 John 3:1-3, Revelation 7:9-17, Psalm 34:1-10, 22 -- Mark Ellingsen -- All Saints Day - A -- 2014
Proper 26 / Ordinary Time 31 -- Matthew 23:1-12, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, Joshua 3:7-17, Psalm 43, Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 26 | Ordinary Time 31 - A -- 2014
Proper 27 / Ordinary Time 32 -- Matthew 25:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25, Psalm 78:1-7 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 27 | Ordinary Time 32 - A -- 2014
Proper 28 / Ordinary Time 33 -- Matthew 25:14-30, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Judges 4:1-7, Psalm 123 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 28 | Ordinary Time 33 - A -- 2014
Christ the King Sunday -- Matthew 25:31-46, Ephesians 1:15-23, Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Psalm 100 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Christ The King (Proper 29) - A -- 2014
Thanksgiving Day -- Luke 17:11-19, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Deuteronomy 8:7-18, Psalm 65 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Thanksgiving Day - A -- 2014
Proper 25 / Ordinary Time 30 -- Matthew 22:34-46, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 25 | Ordinary Time 30 - A -- 2014
Reformation Day -- John 8:31-36, Romans 3:19-28, Psalm 46 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Reformation Sunday - A -- 2014
Proper 6 / Pentecost 3 / Ordinary Time 11 -- 1 Samuel 15:34--16:13, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17, Mark 4:26-34 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - B -- 2011
Advent 1 -- Isaiah 64:1-9, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37 -- Mark Ellingsen -- First Sunday of Advent - B -- 2011
Proper 7 / Pentecost 4 / Ordinary Time 12 -- 1 Samuel 17: (1a, 4-11, 19-23) 32-49, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - B -- 2011
Advent 2 -- Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-15a, Mark 1:1-8 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Second Sunday of Advent - B -- 2011
Proper 8 / Pentecost 5 / Ordinary Time 13 -- 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - B -- 2011
Advent 3 -- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8, 19-28 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Third Sunday of Advent - B -- 2011
Proper 9 / Pentecost 6 / Ordinary Time 14 -- 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10, 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, Mark 6:1-13 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 - B -- 2011
Advent 4 -- 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Fourth Sunday of Advent - B -- 2011
Proper 10 / Pentecost 7 / Ordinary Time 15 -- 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6:14-29 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - B -- 2011
Christmas Eve / Christmas Day -- Isaiah 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) -- Mark Ellingsen -- The Nativity of our Lord - B -- 2011
Proper 11 / Pentecost 8 / Ordinary Time 16 -- 2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - B -- 2011
Christmas 1 -- Isaiah 61:10--62:3, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:22-40 -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2011
Proper 12 / Pentecost 9 / Ordinary Time 17 -- 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 12 | Ordinary Time 17 - B -- 2011
Epiphany of Our Lord -- Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Epiphany of the Lord - B -- 2011
Proper 13 / Pentecost 10 / Ordinary Time 18 -- 2 Samuel 11:26--12:13a, Ephesians 4:1-16, John 6:24-35 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 13 | Ordinary Time 18 - B -- 2011
Baptism of Our Lord -- Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11 -- Mark Ellingsen -- The Baptism of our Lord | Epiphany 1 | Ordinary Time 1 - B -- 2011
Proper 14 / Pentecost 11 / Ordinary Time 19 -- 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33, Ephesians 4:25--5:2, John 6:35, 41-51 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 14 | Ordinary Time 19 - B -- 2011

Sermon

SermonStudio

Wonderful Opportunities For Mission -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 6 | Ordinary Time 11 - A -- 2007
When You're Free (In Christ), Sacrifice Is No Burden! -- Matthew 10:24-39 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 7 | Ordinary Time 12 - A -- 2007
If Your Sense Of Purpose Ever Becomes A Burden, Remember Your Value -- Matthew 10:40-42 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 8 | Ordinary Time 13 - A -- 2007
How Jesus' Friendship Makes Your Burdens Light -- Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 9 | Ordinary Time 14 - A -- 2007
It's Not About You; It's All About God -- Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 10 | Ordinary Time 15 - A -- 2007
Life's Purpose Is Often Hidden! -- Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 11 | Ordinary Time 16 - A -- 2007
Life And Forgiveness Come Easy When You're Filled With The Spirit -- John 20:19-23 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Day of Pentecost - A -- 2007
Having Fun With The Great Commission -- Matthew 28:16-20 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Trinity Sunday | 1st Sunday after Pentecost - A -- 2007
With A Firm Foundation, Application Is Second Nature -- Matthew 7:21-29 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 - A -- 2007
Sick People Like Us Will Always Need The (Divine) Doctor -- Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Proper 5 | Ordinary Time 10 - A -- 2007
God Will Prevail -- John 6:40 -- Mark Ellingsen, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
He Celebrated Easter With His Life -- Matthew 28:1-10 -- Mark Ellingsen, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
Death Saddens Us -- John 3:16, Psalm 90 -- Mark Ellingsen, Charles Cammarata -- 2006
An Our Good works And Generosity -- Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Ash Wednesday - A -- 1992
God Works Through Opposites -- Matthew 21:1-11 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Passion Sunday - A -- 1992
Wash Up First For The Meal Before You Eat! -- John 13:1-15 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Maundy Thursday - A -- 1992
Why Did Jesus Have TO Die? -- John 19:17-30 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Good Friday - A -- 1992
The Empty Tomb -- John 20:1-9 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Easter Day - A -- 1992
What Happens When We Can't Believe It? -- John 20:19-31 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Second Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
What Happens To You When You Die? -- Luke 24:13-35 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Third Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
Led By The Shepherd -- John 10:1-10 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Fourth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
Focus Your Faith -- John 14:1-12 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Fifth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
Good Works Will Not Save You! -- John 14:15-21 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Sixth Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
The Majesty Of God's Love -- John 17:1-11 -- Mark Ellingsen -- Seventh Sunday of Easter - A -- 1992
The Temptations Of Christ And Our Temptations -- Matthew 4:1-11 -- Mark Ellingsen -- First Sunday in Lent - A -- 1992

The Political Pulpit

Emphasis Preaching Journal

The war in Iraq: what's next? -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
The health-care crisis: -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2008
Conspicuous consumption and its politics -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
Beware of virtues -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007
What Christians can do to help our schools -- Mark Ellingsen -- 2007

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John 3:1-17

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Arley K. Fadness
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.... (v. 16a)

Good morning children,

How are you this lovely morning? I'm _______ and so delighted to be here with you.

I love sharing God's word. And I love your listening ears. Does everybody have your listening ears on? Open eyes too? Thinking cap on?

The Immediate Word

Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
Ron Love
George Reed
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
Bethany Peerbolte
For May 27, 2018:
  • Religious but not Spiritual by Dean Feldmeyer -- Try as we might, we all have “blind spots” that, if not treated, can block us from being the faithful Christians we aspire to be.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Wayne Brouwer
Victor Hugo called his masterpiece Misérables, a religious work. So it is. The story echoes the gospel message at nearly every turn.

The main character, Jean Valjean, has been beaten hard by the cruel twists of fate. He has seen the sham of hypocrisy on all sides. So he casts the name of the Lord to the ground like a curse. What does God know of him, and what does it matter?
Mark Ellingsen
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Ron Love
Psalm 29
This is a lesson to highlight the glory of God; such glory is associated with the mystery of the Trinity. Modern Reformed theologian Karl Barth well describes this glory:
In view of what has been said so far, this ‘in the highest’ means quite simply that he is the one who stands above us and also above our highest and deepest feelings, strivings, intuitions, above the products, even the most sublime, of the human spirit. (Dogmatics in Outline, p.37)
Great Puritan leader Jonathan Edwards extols God’s majesty this way:

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
The highlight of the famous Alpha course is the Holy Spirit weekend, although it has to be said that our parishes have not yet managed a weekend. But we have consistently managed a Holy Spirit day. Having started out as something of a skeptic about the Holy Spirit day, I have emerged as a convert, for I have witnessed some amazing transformations through the experience.The Holy Spirit day comes just over half way through the Alpha course, after around 6-7 weeks of discussion and thought about God and Jesus.

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William G. Carter
In his autobiography, actor Alec Guinness tells a story that might keep every pastor and church school teacher awake at night. He was a teenager and it was the morning of his confirmation. The classes were finished. The students' heads had been filled full of Bible stories and theological doctrines. Guinness says Holy Trinity Church in Eastbourne was crammed with confirmation candidates, their parents, friends, schoolteachers, and sponsors.

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