Five Elements of Church Error (pt 2/5) – Leaving Slavery & Segregation Behind

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Do you believe in slavery? Would your church hire a pro-segregation minister? Would you be part of a spiritual community that banned attendees of a different race? Would you attend a church that refused to allow inter-racial marriages?  I'm guessing that not only would you answer "no" to these questions, but that most of you have a hard time imagining that there was a time when the Bible was used to justify and support such notions. Thankfully, almost all Bible teaching today comes from a place o … [Read more...]

When Church Island Crumbles

Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen Disney's Inside Out, this post contains the basic plot of the story but without giving away the ending.I’d like to introduce you Riley. She is the blond, 11-year-old girl who stars in the animated hit, Inside Out. The story of Inside Out revolves around the adventures of the emotions that make up who we are, and what happens when they start to change. In the movie we not only see Riley as she navigates a big cross country move and all of the uncertainty t … [Read more...]

Heritage, Not Hate.

Heritage, Not Hate.I'm from the South. Virginia, born and raised. I love it. This is a beautiful place that reminds me of how creative and extraordinary God is as its creator. When I picture heaven, I see the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am thankful for my life here. I am proud of my Southern Heritage. My ancestors built the South. We planted, harvested, grew and expanded it. My family tree's roots are found in African Slaves, and Native Americans who some how managed to avoid the terrible … [Read more...]

The Long Overdue Conversation about Mental Illness

Colorful Brain Image

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. - Rita Mae Brown Mental illness is the last frontier. The gay thing is part of everyday life now on a show like Modern Family, but mental illness is still full of stigma. Maybe it is time for that to change. - Eric McCormack Trigger warning: This post describes an incident of self-harm and mentions su … [Read more...]

What’s Your Story?

Hipster Lola

First of all, I am sorry. I've been gone for, oh, five months? In my defense, this happened:Yes, my dear, sweet, brain-eating zombie baby was born in April, and thus I have an excuse for everything. Or not. Whatever.But, right, yes, I came here to say something, didn't I?I jumped ship from the S.S. Christianity a while ago. This is not a secret.Yet, no one seems to know how to make sense of this. I've heard everything from "So you're an atheist?" to "Well, you'll come … [Read more...]

How we failed to plant a successful church

Bec Cranford-Smith

 How We failed at Successful Church Planting  I sat with middle aged white men in a room decorated by someone infatuated with browns and oranges. The paintings seemed vaguely reminiscent of French vineyards and Italian streets, yet I was closer to crop dust, cotton and Crepe Myrtles in Macon, Georgia. The inquiry began after a couple of jokes and a word of prayer. I crafted my vision of the Church of The Misfits, sharing with conviction about contextualizing Christ to … [Read more...]

What does emergent mean to a parish church?

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I’ve read enough about the Emergent Church to ask the question, “What does emergent mean” in the context of a parish church?A dictionary defines emergent as something that is either coming into being or coming into prominence. Another dictionary defines emergent as newly formed and arising unexpectedly. A business dictionary defines emergent as only being knowable when the whole system is seen and understood. This Emerging Voices blog describes itself as a voice of Emerging Christianity, “rid … [Read more...]

El Camino: A Pilgrim’s Path To Inner & Outer Peace

El-Camino-Campaign

El Camino: The Sacred PathWhat is pilgrimage? Wikipedia, our new god of definition, defines it as: a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance.What is pilgrimage? Is it leaving the world behind or is it carrying it on your back? Is it both?Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land called Venice Beach, on my mutual birthday with one of my closest friends we took a pilgrimage to Los Angeles and found our way to tattoos. Mine, on my wrist, reads: Every Journey is a … [Read more...]

Buddha Inside/Jesus Outside

I see Jesus in the Lotus every day

Tonight Great Spirit said,' your story is ready to be birthed. Your peace has been lodged in the birth canal and is fading from lack of inspiration. Breathe forth!!!'Two years ago I dreamed of a paper with two paths drawn— one labeled ‘wounded healer’ and the other I could not decipher but knew it said the same thing. I lie in the French Broad River of North Carolina in early July and expose my palms announcing, pleading really, ‘Open my wounds to grace and reveal God’s glory!’. I really need … [Read more...]

Lithium and a Prayer: A Few Thoughts on Mental Illness, Medication, and Spirituality

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Two weeks ago spiritually-minded people from across the country flocked to Hot Springs, NC for the 2015 Wild Goose Festival. The Wild Goose Festival is a progressive Christian festival celebrating art, justice, and spirituality.One of the talks was given by Sarah Lund, author of "Blessed Are the Crazy," and David Hosey, Associate Chaplain for the United Methodist Protestant Community at American University in Washington, DC. Their presentation,  entitled "Christ on the Psych Ward," explored … [Read more...]


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