A Seat at The Table: Keep it Wild

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Listening to a recent 'On Being' podcast with the venerable and feisty Walter Brueggemann, I was struck by what seems at first to be rank overstatement.  His contention is that the ancient Hebrew 'prophetic/poetic messengers' serve to critique everything:  all political, social, and religious systems. In Brueggemann's opinion, the worst thing we can do with these Biblical messages is to organize them, domesticate them, and to "create another 'ism'".Surely, part of the reason e … [Read more...]

Missional Conversations with … Kathy Escobar

Last month, I decided to start a series of monthly #missionalchat conversations on Twitter, on the third Monday of the month (which is also when I'm planning to post on the Emergent Village Voice blog).Back in December, the conversation was around the terms "incarnational" vs. "missional" for the type of ministry we're talking about in the emerging church. I had the privilege of doing that first experimental #missionalchat with Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge and author of Down We … [Read more...]

Quoting God by Randy Woodley

Ok, I first need to admit to you, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I’ve been around unorganized Christianity for a while. I was involved in some of the early Jesus people movements, several Christian communities and some wildly charismatic churches and “non-denominational denominations.” I was even a student, and later a chauffer, at Jim Bakker’s PTL Club (pre-prison conviction days). Believe me, I have heard some pretty crazy things attributed to God in the past.For example, once I wa … [Read more...]

daily bread…it’s a frightening diet

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If I hear this once more, " man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord "...I'm going to gag because I know what you mean.I don't read the Bible enough. I think too much.That scripture does show up in the Old Testament, I would give reference to where it's found, but I'm sure you already know, and...will tell me. But it makes  me think of Jesus trial in the wilderness. Upon rising out of the waters of the Jordan, and God's spirit h … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Caesar (Salad)

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My wife Pam and I spend New Years Eve with our friends Bob Scott and Sharon Linnea.  Bob’s hobby is gourmet cooking and this year, like previous ones, did not disappoint.  One of the seven or eight (I lost count) courses of the evening was a Caesar salad deconstruction.  I was unfamiliar with deconstruction in regard to food.  Basically, a deconstructed dish is one that takes foods that are normally combined, changes their forms and puts them on the plate in a different way.  In this case, the el … [Read more...]

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 perspective of what … [Read more...]

My Need For Emergent Village – Then and Now

Then - My Need For the Emergent VillageBy 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 book vers … [Read more...]

Everything I needed to know about church, I learned in Kindergarten.

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Okay, so I actually don't remember much about Kindergarten, apart from the location of the classroom at Vandercook Elementary in Rockford, IL (which is interestingly, now a Muslim community center).  I remember the strange allure of paste (I was a player, not an eater), the utter joy of the playground (remember defying certain death on the merry-go-round?), and tables with toys.  If I learned any important lessons there, I have forgotten them.No, the place where I've been learning a … [Read more...]

In which I am done fighting for a seat at the table

I'm done fighting for a seat at that table.The one filled with (usually) white men, all reading the same books, spouting the same talking points, quoting each other back and forth. It's the table where the men - a small, select, vocal group in no way representative of men in the Church overall - sit around and discuss who is in and who is out, who is right (usually them) and who is wrong (every one else) and, a favourite topic, whether women should be allowed to write or teach or preach or … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]


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