From Where I Stand: Coming of Age in The Village

"Life Together" Photo by Paul Soupiset

“It takes a village to raise a child,” or so the African proverb suggests. By way of introduction, I’m one of those unfamiliar people Doug mentioned when he introduced this blog almost a month ago now. What excites me the most about this blog is the rich diversity of voices that are present in the collective conversation. I’ll be contributing from where I stand and while my vantage point has much common ground with many of the other contributors, I’ll be writing from the … [Read more...]

Is God Fun? [Improvisational Christianity #3]

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This is the third post in my exploration of Improvisational Christianity. You may want to catch up by reading the first two posts: 1. Improvisational Christianity: I Hope You Like Me 2. Saturday Night Live, Modernity and Stories The first rule of improv we looked at last week was “Tell a Story.” This week we look at the second rule I learned as an improviser: Rule #2 - Everyone Plays. Deeply embedded in this rule is that improvisation is supposed to be fun and … [Read more...]

Jesus and his marbles

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Did Christmas Really Come?

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Did you have a nice Christmas?  Everyone asks you that.  It’s a sort of conversation filler to use between Christmas and New Year’s since it’s too early to say “Happy New Year” yet.  So let me ask you a different question.  Did you have Christmas?  In other words, did Christmas come for you? In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the cable channels are full of children’s shows, done in everything from claymation to CGI, in which the basic plot is always the same.  Some mean … [Read more...]

My Need For Emergent Village – Then and Now

Then - My Need For the Emergent Village By way of introduction, here is the thumbnail version of my spiritual trek in 2 sentences. I could likely write a book about it but it echos many of the stories I’ve read from emergent writers. So many of you could write the book too and have! I grew up in a conservative evangelical church, encountered the Holy Spirit in my 30’s. My husband and I planted a Vineyard church and after 10 years (+/-) burned out, dropped out and disappeared.  The … [Read more...]

It Was A Night Around Christmas

Since the first Christmas was likely in April it won’t be too inappropriate for this to be a few days late. After all, it is called a night “around” Christmas. (Spoken to the cadence of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" duh!) It was a night around Christmas, in a crowded old cave With camels and horses and cattle she laid Knocked up by the Spirit, baby daddy beside Psycho girl in some trouble, or maybe she lied   No time for a cleaning, no time for midwife The … [Read more...]

The Process of Emergent Village Theological Conversation

Over the last dozen years Emergent Village has hosted conversations with Theologians. The idea is to put practioners in conversation with theoreticians. The conversations have spanned a wide spectrum of perspectives. The 2012 conversation will be with Process Theologians January 31-Feb 2, 2012 at Clairmont School of Theology in the Los Angeles area. You may not be familiar with Process thought, or may have written it off, or may be an adherent. Regardless you are invited to this … [Read more...]

Mary, Joseph, and Mysticism

Many years ago, during my days as a university chaplain, I led a weekly prayer and meditation group. We practiced centering prayer, Quaker silence, visualizations, and lectio divina. After one of the sessions, a visitor, active in the campus Intervarsity group, took me aside and asked, “Isn’t this mysticism, taking time to meditate?” To which I replied, “Is there something wrong with mysticism? After all, Psalm 46 tells us to be still and recognize God’s presence.” His response … [Read more...]

Forgotten Figures: Simeon and Anna

One of my favorite pairings of stories in the Bible is the two characters who emerge to interact with baby Jesus and his parents in the temple 8 days after Jesus was born.  After his parents offer the sacrifice and do what was required by the law, the text reads: Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before … [Read more...]

Emotional Gaps

The Bible has what I consider to be many emotional gaps. Places where the text keeps plodding along without comment on the complex feelings the people in the story must be experiencing. I like to write poetry about these emotional gaps in order to understand what is happening in the inner landscape of those inhabiting the story. I wrote this to read at the Christmas Eve community gathering tomorrow at my church, Solomon’s Porch, and hope some of you may enjoy it as well. Elizabeth They … [Read more...]


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