3.81: What Does It Mean to Bless?

In this episode, the cohosts talk with Joy J. Moore. Together, they explore the question, "What does it mean to bless?"


Prof. Kathryn Schifferdecker and Katie Langston talk with Professor of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, Joy J. Moore. Together, they explore the question, “What does it mean to bless?”

Show notes

Biblical books and passages mentioned

  • Genesis 11
  • Psalm 1
  • Matthew 5-7

Topics, themes and figures mentioned

  • The Enslaved
  • Mourning
  • Blessing and Blessed
  • Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  • Jacob
  • Beatitudes
  • Persecuted and the Persecuted
  • Dallas Willard
  • My Utmost for His Highest: work by Oswald Chambers

Today's Episode Hosted By

Kathryn Schifferdecker

Kathryn Schifferdecker

Katie Langston

Katie Langston

Joined by

Joy J. Moore


Picture of Joy J. Moore

Joy J. Moore

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Joy Jittaun Moore, Professor of Biblical Preaching, serves as Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Joy is an “Ecclesial Storyteller” seeking to encourage theologically framed, biblically attentive, and socially compelling interpretations of Christian Scripture in order to understand the critical issues influencing community formation in contemporary culture (all that means is she tells community-forming stories from the Bible as a follower of Christ!).

Dr. Joy focuses her research on understanding the stories behind the sound bites, examining how we use words to narrate the realities of our existence. Examining these interests in biblical studies, practical theology, homiletics, narrative hermeneutics and social media, she works with words to tell stories with a theological twist!

Prior to coming to Luther Seminary, she was Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dr. Joy established the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and served as Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Duke Divinity School at Duke University. Previously the director of Student Life at Asbury Theological Seminary and chaplain and director of Church Relations at Adrian College, she has held pastorates in the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church. She has written for Sojourners magazine, Christian Century, Good News magazine, and Working Preacher. She is can be heard weekly on the Sermon Brainwave podcast

Moore has focused on cross-racial ministry in urban, rural, and suburban congregations. Her last parish, an African American congregation, served as a Help Center in Flint, Michigan during the Water Crisis. As a pastor, she has called local congregations to recognize their vocation of glorifying God as a peaceable community—practicing hope, hospitality, and honesty.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Moore’s desire to teach led her to earn a BA in Education and Mathematics from National College of Education (National-Louis University) in 1982 and an MDiv from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1989. A John Wesley Fellowship (2001-2005) from A Foundation for Theological Education enabled her to work on a Ph.D. in Practical Theology, which she earned from Brunel University/London School of Theology in 2007. She joined the faculty of Luther Seminary in July 2019 to teach Biblical Preaching.

Joy grew up in the American Midwest on Chicago’s southside attending Commonwealth Community Church, where she was spiritually formed and experienced a call to Christian Ministry. Professor Moore is currently President of the Wesleyan Theological Society and an avid fan of books by David Baldacci and John Hart. When not teaching, she enjoys traveling, watching episodes of NCIS, and reading. Currently, she is reading the works of Octavia E. Butler and Lord Jonathan Sacks. (and yes, she is fascinated by the Marvel Universe!)

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Hosted By:

Picture of Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Kathryn M Schifferdecker came to Luther Seminary as an assistant professor of Old Testament in 2006. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2001, Schifferdecker was associate pastor for five years at Trinity Lutheran Church, Arkdale, Wisc., before coming to Luther. Schifferdecker is a frequent contributor to workingpreacher.org, Word & World and the author of Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job (Harvard University Press, 2008). She is currently writing a commentary on the book of Esther.

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Picture of Katie Langston

Katie Langston

Katie Langston is a doubter by nature and a believer by grace. She grew up Mormon in a small Utah town and still isn't sure she fits in anywhere sophisticated enough to have a Target. She's the author of Sealed: An Unexpected Journey into the Heart of Grace, an acclaimed spiritual memoir about her conversion to orthodox Christianity. Katie works as the director of digital strategy for Luther Seminary's innovation team, where she oversees digital projects aimed at cultivating vibrant Christian spirituality in a post-modern, post-Christian cultural context.

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