Mass. missionary to be Londonderry church guest speaker
The Rev. Jim Gustafson has written a book condensing the 150 psalms into Tweets. The retired minister, an adjunct faculty member at Northern Essex Community College, travels regularly on missionary trips. (COURTESY)
Rev. Dr. James Gustafson, a resident of Haverhill, Mass,. and a longtime staff member of the West Congregational Church in his hometown, will serve as guest preacher during the March 31 worship service. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Gustafson, who is now retired from his full-time ministry post but continues to teach philosophy and religion courses at Northern Essex Community College, released his most recent book in late December.
"Psalms/Tweets: Psalms in Contemporary Style," lends a modern-day twist to some timeless Biblical lessons.
In the 175-page book, which includes plenty of spaces for readers to jot down some of their own reflections, Gustafson offers some highly abbreviated versions of the 150 verses of Psalms as an appealing option for the Web-saavy Christian on the go.
"One day I just began imagining what might have happened if all these wonderful, ancient writers were trying to get the good word out in modern times," Gustafson said in a phone interview.
Those attending Easter Sunday services in Londonderry will be offered copies of the book and they'll also have the chance to chat to the author following worship.
Gustafson's love for the written word as it relates to the "Good Book" isn't limited to his talents with the pen.
He's shared his faith with congregations in such remote locations as the Tudor Church in Mombasa, Kenya, and small Gypsy churches in rural Romania.
He's also spent time in England and Scotland, and has preached in India on at least nine occasions. Gustafson's most recent trip to India was in 2011.
"There's such a stark contrast between the oceans of people who are desperately poor to the handful of extremely wealthy," he said of his Indian adventures. "Miraculous healings take place in the most unlikely places. My theory is that God wants us to look for Him in those unlikely places. Maybe He just wants to rattle the cage just a little bit to make us stop for a moment and pay attention to Him."
An accomplished pianist and organist, Gustafson said he just might treat the Londonderry congregation to a hymn or two during his Easter appearance.
"They tell me there's an instrument there and its in good working order," he said. "So I'm hoping to try it out."
And while he hasn't yet finalized his Easter Sunday sermon, Gustafson said he has a pretty good idea on a general theme.
"The Easter season is really a time of change, a time for reflection," he said. "It's a time when we stop to think of the new life and many new prospects Jesus gave all of us. Reading the Gospels, we can refer to those and work on changes for the better."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Local author to talk about soul, spirituality - 0
- Church of Our Saviour to host harp concert following Christmas fair - 0
- Keene church to host talk on fair pay - 0
- Historic bell to ring again at Manchester church - 0
- Right Rev. Mark Dyer, Episcopal bishop and Manchester native, dies at 84 - 0
- Peterborough approves plans for construction of Buddhist temple - 0
- Vendors cry foul as Vatican reins in papal blessings sales - 0
- Grace Ministries to host its annual Christmas Tea - 0
- NH Religion Briefs: Musical set for Dec. 7 in Temple Town Hall - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Person found dead in Manchester alley - 0
- Manchester police investigating after man stabbed in neck - 0
- Ferguson protests enter third day; arrests in St. Louis - 0
- Abuse history at Nashua address where 3-year-old died - 0
- Franklin robbery suspect sought, considered armed and dangerous - 0
- Rymes Oil employees pull Bradford man from flaming wreck, but driver succumbs to injuries - 0
- Franklin man and woman arraigned for attempted prostitution of minor - 0
- Rymes is ready to roll following Fred Fuller purchase - 0
- Police investigating death of 3-year-old girl in Nashua - 7
Manchester school exec contract squeaks by
Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass.
Your Turn, NH -- Mike Moffett: Republicans can win in 2016 with Kasich at the top of the ticket
On being American: A point for reflection