Tag Archives: Kenneth Chalker

Chalker: ‘We can be a sanctuary wherever we are’

There can be perks for a long ministry in one place. For the Rev. Kenneth Chalker, one of the perks this year was to say a prayer at the beginning of the gospel concert during induction week at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“For some people, it can’t come soon enough, and for others, it can’t be over too soon. During the week, there are educational classes on contemporary music, seminars and concerts that lead up to the induction ceremony,” he said. His sermon title was “Stuck in a Hallway,” and the scripture was John 15:5;14-17.

“This year, Kirk Franklin was going to perform at the gospel concert. When they called and asked me to pray before the concert, I thought about three seconds and said yes. Two of the perks were a backstage pass and a seat in Row 8, center,” he said.

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Chalker: ‘You can rise up from this’

The Rev. Kenneth Chalker went to the barbershop on March 17, 2011, and there were four men dressed for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, talking about the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“They were talking about why the disaster happened, and they were pretty unified as to the reason. God has sent them as a punishment. Well, if that’s how Jesus works, why would we want to give anyone to Jesus?” he said, referring to the title of the Motet Choir’s anthem for the morning.

“If these disasters are caused by our bad theology or because we have not been born again, then I want to turn in my ordination papers. I don’t understand it — the God who is revealed in Jesus is sending disaster on children as punishment? Should I have said something to them?” he asked.

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Chalker: ‘His spirit enables folks to rise up’

The Gospels were not written down until at least 40 to 50 years after the death of Jesus Christ. The words attributed to him are not exact quotes.

“What we have in the New Testament are the remembrances of the person, colored by tradition and lengths of time, except for two experiences, where I think we can safely say they are remembered word for word,” said the Rev. Kenneth Chalker at the Monday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour.

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Chalker: ‘Substance, courage and value for the living of these days’

“I have a question that precedes any study of the gospel records that is foundational to the interpretation of scripture. How important was it for this person who could write to put something on paper?” asked the Rev. Kenneth Chalker at the Tuesday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His title was “Carded at 63,” and his scripture was Mark 4:33-34.

“We don’t think much about paper today. We are overwhelmed with notepads, and Post-its and other mountains of paper,” Chalker said. “But 2,000-plus years ago, paper was scarce and expensive, and few people could read, and fewer people could write. What were the profound thoughts that Mark so desperately wanted the world to remember and communicate?”

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Chalker: ‘We are all on a journey, and more are included than excluded’

“We have heard today’s scripture many times, but the concept of the imperishable inheriting what is next sometimes goes over our heads. Paul was transformed because of the revelation of Jesus Christ. He was a Pharisaic Jew who believed the way to God was by strictly following the letter of the law. His experience with Jesus changed his whole perspective,” said the Rev. Kenneth Chalker at the Monday morning 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour. His text was 1 Corinthians 15:50-54, and his title was “Spiritual Physics.”

“Jesus’ central message was about the Kingdom of God. His idea about what God is like rattled the cages of the authorities and challenged them,” Chalker said.

God’s kingdom, in Jesus’ message, was so expansive that it revealed a universe. Whether we accept Jesus as divine, he transformed people’s thinking about the Kingdom, who would inherit it and how we will continue after death.

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Week Six Chaplain the Rev. Kenneth W. Chalker gives the sermon during Sunday’s morning worship service. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Chalker: ‘Power, purpose and passion in the face of enormous difficulty’

“June 6 is a significant day in our country’s history. Many think of D-Day in 1944 and the many thousands involved and the lives that were lost. But I am thinking of June 6, 2011, the day the late Steve Jobs gave his last major speech,” said the Rev. Kenneth Chalker at the beginning of his sermon at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday Service of Worship and Sermon. Chalker is serving as the Geraldine M. and Frank E. McElree Jr. chaplain for Week Six.

Jobs had gathered a group of engineers and scientists to talk about the lastest innovations at Apple. He introduced iCloud, an innovation that allows people to store five gigabytes of memory in a place that is not any specific place. Just one gigabyte of memory, Chalker said, can hold 4,500 books, 342 digital photos, 256 MP3 selections. Unsurprisingly, the engineers were asking how does it work, how does it function?

“Jobs said over 25 times in that speech, ‘You don’t need to know. I don’t know; it just works!’ The audience clapped. People have been lining up to use it; it just works,” Chalker said.

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Chalker to preach from Amp pulpit in Week Six

As Chautauqua chaplain for Week Six, the Rev. Kenneth Chalker will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship service in the Amphitheater and describe his faith journey at Vespers at 5 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy. From Monday through Friday, he will preach at the 9:15 a.m. Devotional Service in the Amphitheater.

Chalker’s topics for the week include: “Just Ask A Kid,” “Spiritual Physics,” “Carded At 63,” “Remembering It Word for Word,” “My Barbershop Quartet,” and “Stuck In A Hallway?”

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Bible’s message is misinterpreted by clergy opposed to same-sex marriage

Maybe President Obama’s motivation for “coming out” and affirming his support for same-sex marriage was politically calculated. Perhaps the president’s statement, as hard as it may be to imagine, had nothing to do with politics. Maybe, the president’s statement supporting an opportunity for a lesbian or gay couple to enter into a legally recognized, binding, civil, marriage covenant and contract was an expression of his true conviction.

But whatever his motivation, President Obama’s statement of support for same-sex marriage is far more genuine than the unholy response of opposition his statement has received from too many clergy. To be sure, the statements of ordained pastors — African-American in ethnicity or otherwise — thundering their opposition based on their view that God, through the Bible, teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman is just not true.

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