A Life of Love and Academic Freedom


 tenure: the right to keep a job (especially the job of being a professor at a college or university) for as long as you want to have it  --Merriam-Webster Tenure is the beautiful thing that allows professors to have a guaranteed position at a college or university for as long as they want it. It is a highly coveted achievement and one that is celebrated when it is received.Part of the beauty behind this is that it gives teachers the ability to do their work with a sense of … [Read more...]

Accompaniment as Emergence

The Truth a - 2011-02-24

I’ve been called to a ministry of accompaniment that means I have chosen to walk with one or two people or a family, serially, one after the other, to be a support for whatever it is that they are going through. To me, emergent church in the world looks like the ministry of accompaniment. Grounded in scripture, I cling to Jesus’ new commandment to love others as Jesus loves me; by this I will be known as his disciple. [John 13:34-5]In the past, our accompaniment has been to families with imm … [Read more...]

Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental

Spoiler Alert: If you are a huge Star Wars fan and are currently watching or plan to watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix, this does contain a spoiler about Ashoka (Ah-sew-kah) Tano and the end of Season 5. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.Ashoka Tano is a blue and white haired alien that is apprenticed to Anakin Skywalker (the future Darth Vader). The Clone Wars series takes place between movi … [Read more...]

On Darkness and Light

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

Wash and make yourselves clean.    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;     stop doing wrong.  Learn to do right; seek justice.     Defend the oppressed.[a] Take up the cause of the fatherless;     plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,”     says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet,     they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,     they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1: 16-18Have you ever noticed how we speak abou … [Read more...]

Revolution, Evolution or Good Disagreement?


This post is prompted by a number of things that have left me pondering how as Christians we are to bring about change in our churches. When we strongly believe in an issue of justice and yet find that opposed. It is one thing to fight for justice against a government or institution, but what if the struggle is within your own institution? Indeed among the very people who share the faith that inspires our desire to see change? When those we oppose are our brothers and sisters in that faith? The … [Read more...]

“Flipped” About Lent & Resurrection


Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of lengthening, stretching ourselves, as we journey toward celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus.Lately I've been thinking about an idea that has stretched me further, lengthened me. And, luckily, it has a roundabout connection to the Resurrection. So I'll share it with you.Last night my friend, and pastor, Doug Pagitt, hosted a book release party for his fantastic new book, Flipped:The provocative truth that changes … [Read more...]

All About That Faith

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Since the day we first enter the world, we face the realities of imperfection. We know that we will struggle to do well, to live in a way that best reflects Christ and that brings joy to the people we are on the journey with. But sometimes, somewhere along the way, things start to change. The arguments about the color of the sanctuary carpet move from fun and exciting, to painful and dull. The music we have always found as a pathway to worship starts to sound flat and lifeless. The traditions … [Read more...]

Compassion When We Disagree


I was listening the other day to someone talk vehemently about religious people who hold strong views with which he disagrees. This man was energized, describing those others in unequivocal terms. He was emphatic in making his points about how wrong those others are, using labels to describe them. In his passion, he had objectified the others.In the same meeting, a woman lamented the many years of struggle with folks at her congregation who had held the parish hostage with their recalcitrant … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Race


This week at my church, Solomon's Porch, while our usual master of ceremonies, Doug Pagitt, is out of town for the Christianity 21 Conference, I will be hosting the sermon time conversation. Actually I will be co-hosting the conversation with my friend Victor, who is one of the only black men in our community. And we're going to talk about race.Church continues to be one of the most segregated spaces in our culture. And my church is no exception. How does a predominantly white church go about … [Read more...]

The Path to the Dark Side is Fear

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So much fear and worry. I see it's mark all over the church of today. Fear of what might happen if we love unconditionally, lay down our arms, and embrace people that are different than us. Fear that names itself as a boundary or righteousness. Fear that our loved ones won't make it into the good version of eternity if they have different views than us.There are so many instances, in both the Old and New Testaments, where we are told not to fear. We are invited to step out onto the water, we … [Read more...]