Thursday, March 31, 2011

Swimming in Reproduction

Over the course of the next seven months, I will be conducting research on reproductive theology.  It is my hope to address such issues as reproductive loss (infertility, still birth, miscarriage), reproductive technology and treatments, birth control, abortion, population control; it's an exploration of the world of fertility/reproduction and faith.  Further, I will be examining the inter-faith community responses to such issues as they affect primarily women, but also men.

Have you faced a reproductive issue?  How did your community of faith support you or fail to support you?  Do you have an opinion on a particular faith's position on a reproductive issue?  Where does God exist within these issues?  Are you a doctor, a holistic practitioner, a counselor, who works in the field of reproduction?  If so, I'd like to hear from you.  Please send your stories to  At this time, what you share will only be used to 1) guide and inform my research and 2) may be included in a scholarly thesis to be submitted to only one professor.  Each submission will be treated as an interview, and therefore, will require you to consent to an interview authorization.  If you'd rather be interviewed in person or over the phone, that too can be arranged.

It is my hope to establish an argument that women and men facing reproductive issues are a relatively neglected subculture of our national and global community.  Further, it is my objective to seek ways in which the faith community can encourage, support, empower and affirm those who confront reproductive issues, even amidst a variety of belief systems.  As a woman who has faced both primary and secondary infertility, it is my hope to raise awareness to the issues.  As a pastor, it is my hope to listen to the voices that have been silent for so long and to discover new and better ways to offer pastoral care, guidance and encouragement to the owners of those voices.  As a theologian, I seek to find God in the midst of reproductive issues and to reflect upon God from within those issues in order to discover the voice of God that exists in the suffering, the struggle, the joy, the blessings and the journey.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Lenten Top Ten

by Rev. Penny Ford

10. Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Guitar Hero, texting, tweeeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week. (or everyday of Lent!) Use the time to read & pray.
9. Start a prayer rhythm. Say a prayer every time you brush your teeth, hear an ambulance, or check your e-mail. Before you text someone, pray for them.
8. Read one chapter in the Bible each day. (Matthew's a good book to start with. Psalms, too.)
7. Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it (maybe even yourself.)
6. Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in Haiti or others in crisis.
5. Create a daily quiet time. Spend 30 minutes a day in silence and prayer.
4. Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.
3. Be kind to someone each day.
2. Pray for others you see as you walk to and from classes or drive to and from work.
1. Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry or a Habitat for Humanity project.

For more information on Lent and Ash Wednesday, go to:

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