About DrTony

A chemist and a lay preacher - science and faith shared in diverse world.

“Who is your God today?”

This will be the back page for the Fishkill United Methodist Church for this coming Sunday, September 16, 2018 (17th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B)

To be honest, writing this back page was a bit of a struggle.  How does one answer the question when someone asks you, “who is your God?”

There are many who say that their God is the one true God, but their actions tell us that they worship other gods first.

The noted theologian Henri Nouwen stated,  “Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity, and power is a false identity.”

Peter understood that Jesus was the Messiah and not another individual seeking political and earthly power.  It just took him a bit longer to understand what all that meant but, in the end, he would come to understand what he had been called to do.

It takes every bit of our knowledge and experience, our wisdom, to hear the soft words of Jesus amidst the harsh and false words of the world and this society we live in.

But, in Christ we find the truth and know, in the truest sense, that it will set us free.                    ~~Tony Mitchell


Eratosthenes Experiment – September 24, 2018

Teachers! Take note! Have your students take part in the Eratosthenes Experiment – Sept. 24, 2018! (I suggested this experiment as a classroom experiment a few years ago – Was Eratosthenes Correct? A Multi-Class Science Project

Eratosthenes was a mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist who lived in ancient Greece. In 240 B.C. Eratosthenes made the first good measurement of the size of Earth’s circumference.

You can join with classrooms around the world and repeat his experiment with your students! The Experiment: Ask your students to calculate the circumference of the Earth and submit your data to the experiment’s website. Find the time of your local noon at your location. Please use the web-based NOAA Solar Calculator or Solar Calculator or the Stellarium software (A short guide for using Stellarium to calculate your local noon at your location can be found here in English and in Italian).

Take a one-meter stick (H= 1 meter, see figure below) and place it vertically to the ground. Ask your students to measure the length of the stick to make sure it is one meter long. At the time scheduled to conduct the experiment, … Continue reading →

Source: Eratosthenes Experiment – September 24, 2018

“Who Is Your God?”

This will be on the back page of the Sunday, September 09, 2018 (16th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B) bulletin for Fishkill UMC.  Services are at 10 am; come and join us this Sunday.

That is a question many have asked down through the ages; it is still asked today.  And for many, despite their pronouncements to the contrary, their God is simply a thought expressed in the words of books, not something that is a part of their life.  Now, as an educator, there is something to be said for old-fashioned “book learning” but I prefer learning that goes outside the classroom.

I am currently taking a course on faith and science and, in the context of one of the discussions, a fellow class member wrote that their mother always told them to put on their gloves when her hands were cold.  My momma would always make comments concerning windows, doors, televisions and our effort to heat and cool the universe.

John Wooden, the famed UCLA basketball coach, would often encourage his players with statements such as, “be quick but don’t hurry” and “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  His players wise to the ways of the world would often chuckle at these parcels of wisdom but would later find themselves echoing those same thoughts when they became coaches or fathers.

What we must realize is that wisdom is the sum of our education and our experience.

Is your God simply words written in a book somewhere or is He a part of your life and experience?  Will those who have read or heard of God find in you that which they are seeking?

~~Tony Mitchell

“How Will They Know?”

This will be on the back page of the Fishkill UMC bulletin for Sunday, September 02, 2018 (the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B).

It is interesting that the Scripture readings for this Sunday come at a time when schools are starting in the area and have begun in many other areas of the country.

The “Song of Solomon”, along with the companion books in this section of the Old Testament and James in the New Testament are called the “wisdom” books.  The emphasis in these books is not so much what we know about God but how one lives in response to God.

Jesus chastises the “learned” ones for forgetting why the law was the law.  There were reasons why things were done but those reasons had become tradition.

When we teach something and say it must be learned but give no reason why it must be learned, it becomes something for the moment and quickly forgotten.

Our lives in Christ cannot simply be blind obedience to a set of laws set down so many years ago.  Rather our lives must be a true reflection of the nature of God.

Wisdom is more than just learning material; it is knowing what to do with it.                                                     ~~Tony Mitchell

Monthly Clergy Letter Project Newsletter

The new issue of Clergy Project Newsletter is now available on-line.  

In this Clergy Letter Project update you’ll find the following six items:

  1. The God of Retribution vs The God of Love (read on the web);
  2. Astrobiology News for August 2018: A Planet is Born! (read on the web).
  3. The Clergy Letter Project Reaches a New Milestone (read on the web);
  4. Evolution Weekend 2019: A Free Book Offer (read on the web);
  5. Are Faith and Science Contradictory? Or Complementary? (read on the web);
  6. Embracing Ignorance: How Modern Science Helps Us Rediscover Our Ancient Faith (read on the web).

Please take the time to look at these points and join in the celebration of Evolution Weekend 2019.

The WesleyNexus Newsletter

The new WesleyNexus newsletter is now available.  Topics this month include:

Dr. Haught speaks at Potomac United Methodist Church, September 22nd

The New Cosmic Story | Robert Wright & John Haught [The Wright Show]

Quotes from John Haught

A Theologian of Renewal by Andrew Cohen


Are faith and science contradictory? Or complementary? By Christina Zenner

ASTROTHEOLOGY: Science and Theology Meet Extraterrestrial Life

Discovery & Faith: Genesis 1: Reading from God’s Two Books

ASA Annual Meeting Report: Bioethics, Bio- and Digital Technology by Dr. Paul H. Carr

A Certain Outcome

This will be on the back page for the bulletin for Fishkill UMC for this Sunday (August 26, 2018, 14th Sunday after Pentecost – B).

The one thing that struck me about the Old Testament Reading was that Solomon’s Temple was open to all.  People would come because of the greatness of Solomon and they would discover God in the Temple that Solomon built.

What does that say about today when people are turning away from the church out of distrust and anger or they are seeking alternative means of worship because they cannot find God in the church today.

And when I read Paul’s words to the Ephesians, I hear him crying out again the battles inside the church.  The problem is not that the world is evil or anything like that; it is that some people want to exercise their authority as if it came from God,  And it is hard to take on those people; it is hard to take on the tasks Jesus asked us to begin.

But in our faith, and through God, we have been given the tools, the skills, and the abilities to take on those tasks.

What will we do?  Will we give up the fight or will you join the fight?                                 ~~Tony Mitchell