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 … [Read more...]

Christmas…a revolution birthed in pain

" Silent night, Holy night...all is calm, all is bright ", every christmas we sing this carol. Usually candles in hand, flickering flames dancing on the walls like some angelic visitation. And we reflect on the birth of the God-child. Having two daughters and being present for both of their entrances into this world, I recall vividly it was anything but silent. Despite the pre-natal and birthing classes when the moment came, calmness and a plan were abandoned...for what ever works. Me standing … [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...]

Why I Am Emergent, Part 3: Theologically Counter-Cultural

  Continuing in the series of processing through the reasons of why I resonate with the Emergent Movement (See week 1 and week 2), I’m left pondering being theologically countercultural. One of the first things I noticed as I began reading emergent books and blogs, visiting emergent churches and events, and meeting emergent people, was that there seemed to be a uniqueness about them and the way they were.  I have heard of a church that jokingly refers to themselves as “the island … [Read more...]

G|od, After the Or(g)y

there is so much meaning that meaning itself  has ceased to exist. somehow, due to the overuse of ideology, concepts, 'truth' and other colloquialisms there is no more reality to experience.the cliche has become too cliche. it is not that reality does not exist. but it is that reality has been hidden behind that which we assume has been reality all along. and then when we peel the curtains back, due to the pregnancy of over-meaning, reality is yet again hidden behind itself. let me … [Read more...]

Saturday Night Live, Modernity and Stories

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My life changed forever the day I wandered into an abandoned dance studio just west of the Las Vegas Strip on a Wednesday afternoon. It was my first professional improvisational comedy class at The Second City. I had no idea that my life was about to shift so dramatically. I had always been fascinated with improv and sketch comedy. As a kid, I used to sneak out of my room at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings to catch the last thirty minutes of Saturday Night Live. In high school I watched a … [Read more...]

Churches, Take Up Your Mats and Walk

There’s an old joke that speaks directly to one of the biggest issues holding back Churches these days: How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Change? Who said anything about change?!?! I get asked to come in and help struggling churches all over the county. Most of them are aging and see the proverbial writing on the wall if something about their future doesn’t look different soon. Pretty often, I’m asked to unlock the secret to getting young people into the … [Read more...]

Emerging Church Still Making Headlines

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The reports of the emerging church's death are greatly exaggerated. The existence of the new Emergent Village Voice blog is one example of a new chapter that's being written. My experience with the Charlotte Emergent cohort over the past eight years reminds me over and over as I meet and talk with new people joining the conversation every month. Then there's the ongoing media attention that this movement continues to receive, 10+ years on. Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and I were … [Read more...]

Advent’s Economic Good News

It’s Advent, and I am waiting for Jesus, trying to keep my eyes open to see him when he shows up. I’ve committed to some particular prayers; I’m meeting one-on-one with each person in my community. I’m listening to the lectionary—listening for clues about where to look. The words of an ancient monk are on my mind: “he comes to us now in order that his future coming may find us prepared.” But I know all the stories about how religious people aren’t prepared. We fall asleep. We … [Read more...]


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