The Congregation at Duke University Chapel

The Salt of the Earth

For the ears, you can listen to an audio recording (with apologies for missing initial few minutes) of this presentation. [high fidelity audio playable under all personal computer operating systems via VLC media player, Microsoft Windows Media Player with the codecs for FLAC et al, OS X QuickTime with the XiphQT plugin, etc., on many Android-based mobile devices, and on iOS-based mobile devices via apps such as FLAC Player or Golden Ear]

The Salt of the Earth - An Opportunity for Christians at a Time of Rapid Change

presentation at Adult Forum by
Melissa Mills, Congregation member
January 14, 2018


The Approach: Scripture, Science and Self

  • A Time of Rapid Change - Why Christians Have a Role
  • Love as Connection and Meaning, Resilience and Healing

Start with the End in Mind

  • "All is well, all will be well, all manner of things shall be well." Julian of Norwich
  • Exodus 33:19 and Romans 9:15 (see below)


  • What is saltiness?
  • What is love?
  • Why love?
  • How to "increase in love"?

Practical Exercises to Increase in Love

Catherine Hepburn: "The time to make up your mind about someone is .... Never!"



Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Exodus 33:19 And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, 'The LORD'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."

Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Galatians 5:22-23 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

1 Corinthians 13:1-10 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.



Loving-Kindness Meditation (Barbara Fredrickson, UNC-CH)

Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're In Without Going Crazy (Joanna Macy)

  • Start with thanks
  • Honor pain
  • Wonder and be curious
  • Get to work

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

  • Observations
  • Feelings
  • Needs
  • Requests