The Pulpit Is My Tardis

My name is Jeff Slater, I'm a pastor in Hutchinson Kansas. This is a place for me to share stuff.

"We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know [God] in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone any more. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship. We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes in community."

—  Dorothy Day, via FB (via expatminister)

Posted on 12 September, 2014
Reblogged from expatminister  



Cartoons and doodles in a 17th century manuscript (AM 563 b 4to).

These images really speak for themselves: playful marginal doodles of the anonymous Icelandic scribes who copied out the sagas of Icelanders found in this paper manuscript from c. 1650–99.

In the first photo (and detail in photo 2), we see an elaborate full-page opening of Þorsteins þáttur uxafóts (The Tale of Thorsteinn Ox-foot), complete with beautiful pen flourishes, human figures –– the full figure in the corner wears contemporary 17th-century clothing –– lots of foliage, and even what might be a dragon at the bottom.

This is a fun saga manuscript (other texts include Eiriks saga rauða [Erik the Red’s Saga]) with a lot of doodles, suggesting that the scribes probably enjoyed copying these texts, or at least had a sense of humour about the work they were carrying out.

The full manuscript can be seen at

Post-medieval doodles, all smiles! I love the elongated ones.

Posted on 7 September, 2014
Reblogged from bookporn  Source smcdwer

Robin Williams and The Liturgy



The death of Robin Williams has really messed with me.  It’s just so profoundly sad and heartbreaking.  But while re-watching many of his interviews and movies, one scene keeps playing in my mind, reminding me of the power of slowly repeating the Truth in love.  Remember the famous “It’s not your fault” scene from Good Will Hunting?  (Watch it here)

This brilliant scene is profound at a number of levels, but lately it’s been reminding me that we all need to hear the Truth more than once.  Slowly, firmly, and with great compassion.  Over and over.  Reality takes time to seep through our defenses and distractions, and we can’t always hear the beauty of Grace when she first begins whispering.

So as a worship leader, this raises a number of questions…

(1) If most of us need to hear the gentle truth repeated over and over, why do I spend so much time pursing innovation in worship and creative ways to reimagine our liturgy? Why are we so quick to add video content, moving lights, and production value to keep things fresh?

(2) If God often speaks in an easily missed, gentle whisper, why are many of my worship sets so loud? It’s pretty hard to hear a whisper at 110 dbs.

(3) Am I more afraid that people will be bored, or more afraid that I will add to the distraction?

(4) Do my worship liturgies create space for people to hear God whispering over and over, or do I give people one more entertaining opportunity to miss God’s voice?

(5) At the core, is my faith in God or in my ability to lead people to God?

These are easy questions to ask and impossible questions to perfectly answer.  But we need to wrestle with them.  I certainly do! Which is why the Liturgy continues to capture and mess with me.  We gather together to tell the Big Story…over and over, over and over, over and over…until it finally begins to sink in.  Slowly and deeply.  And in these holy moments, the beautiful Truth God has been graciously whispering to us since the beginning of eternity sneaks past our defenses and into the cracks of our aching hearts.  Hallelujah.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

May we all learn to have ears to hear what God keeps whispering.

Posted on 2 September, 2014
Reblogged from anewliturgy  

"People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."

—   Ralph Waldo Emerson  (via ablogwithaview)

Posted on 2 September, 2014
Reblogged from to-the-manner-born  Source psych-facts


You shall not steal. Certainly the most misunderstood of all the commandments. It has nothing to do with property and its so-called rights. What ‘You shall not steal’ refers to is stealing men. Taking away their freedom to enslave them.

It is curious irony that in the name of this commandment we have built up a whole theory of the sacredness of possessions, of objects.

A theory that has led to the wholesale enslavement of men- the very thing the commandment in fact denounces.

The slavery of men is, together with violence, the great characteristic of the idolatrous society.

And so the commandments go on to complete the picture of the society that worships the work of men’s hands, where justice is perverted (‘You shall not bear false witness’) and the weak are the victims of rapacity and covetousness.

The idolatrous society thus presents two faces: on the one hand it is a religious society with great respect for the traditional ways; it will be a society in which patriotism is highly valued and in which there is much concern for the country’s heritage. On the other hand, it will also be a society of institutionalized violence in which brutality and injustice is either hidden or given a mask of legality.

It is important to see that any society may become idolatrous in this way, that in fact every society betrays a built-in tendency to worship the work of men’s hands.

In any society men are liable to find their identity simply in what they themselves have achieved.

The rejection of this is the beginning of the discovery of Yahweh.



Herbert McCabe (via expatminister)

Whoa. There’s some exegesis work in my future probably followed by a sermon.

Posted on 2 September, 2014
Reblogged from expatminister  



This is the inside of the lovely binding featured recently.

This book is from Thomas á Kempis and is called De Imitatione Christi from 1489. It is written in Latin. BV4820 .A1 1489

Printed just a generation after Johannes Gutenberg’s Bible, the books in the first 50 years of printing with moveable type in the West are called incunabula (from the “cradle” or origin of printing). The category name exists because they more closely resemble handwritten manuscripts than modern printed books. Printers step by step began inventing the features that developed into what we recognize as a modern book, and the year 1500 is considered the (arbitrary) cutoff for incunabula. Existing side by side with handwritten manuscripts on vellum, incunabula are frequently decorated with care, treated to costly embellishment just like their parchment counterparts.

If you look at the inside of the front and back boards of the binding, this book was reinforced with bits of an “old” manuscript that wasn’t needed any longer as a text.  Sometimes texts thought to be lost turn up in bits and pieces, tucked in as waste in the bindings of later books.  Can you read this one? Our catalog has the scraps identified as “from a 14th century psalter.”

Many thanks to erikkwakkel for supplying additional information about these manuscript fragments used in the binding.  “…not 14th but late 12thc/c1200, origins Germany.”  This makes them some of our oldest fragments in UISpecColl!

Posted on 26 August, 2014
Reblogged from uispeccoll  




Posted on 25 August, 2014
Reblogged from everydayimpastoring  


These are two illuminated gospel books were made between 300-700 AD at Abba Garima Monastery in Ethiopia.

The Garima Gospels contain twenty eight full-page illuminations; each one bursting with color. The remarkably extant book covers are decorated with gold, silver, and holes where gems had been placed.

According to the oral history of the monastery, the manuscripts were scribed and illustrated by Abba Garima himself in the 490s AD. Thus, the Garima Gospels were acknowledged by the monks as being extremely old and religiously valuable.

The handful of Western scholars who managed to venture to Abba Garima Monastery upon their inspection of the manuscripts suspected some Mediterranean influence, but concluded that the illuminations were within a firmly conventional and uninteresting style of 12th-14th century Ethiopian painting.

It was not until 2000, when the French scholar Jaques Mercier brought fragments of the manuscripts’ parchment to Oxford University for radiocarbon dating, that the Garima Gospels were pushed into the international spotlight as one of the oldest (and most well preserved) illuminated gospel books.

Now, the Garima Gospels are considered one of the artistic wonders of the world: a priceless treasure from the ancient world preserved in the most unlikely of places.

The difficulty of actually seeing these extraordinary manuscripts—many of them are hoarded away in the mountain monasteries of Ethiopia—has kept the art historical community from bringing to light what could be a vast and beautiful strain of Late Antique painted religious books.

Additionally, it was not until scholars found a possible connection that the manuscripts shared with the “Western tradition” that they decided it was worthy of actually being looked at!

The Garima Gospels are both heartening and frustrating in this regard…

Posted on 17 August, 2014
Reblogged from artofthedarkages  



And claim “biblical authority” and “God’s will for humanity”


Posted on 31 July, 2014
Reblogged from everydayimpastoring  


Ellie the shower pro & Co.

Posted on 25 July, 2014
Reblogged from to-the-manner-born  Source vicious-seamonkey

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