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...]

Eye Gazing in Prison on Holy Saturday

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I spent Holy Saturday at the Philadelphia FDC 3South floor with 12 incarcerated women attending a 2-day Heart to Heart retreat. I was there to share the gift of yoga and meditation. The women really appreciate our visits and openly express their desire to learn.Our last exercise was an eye-gazing and I was partnered with Smoke, an African American woman of about 35. Smoke smiled a lot and agreed that she was willing to try it but admitted it made her nervous to stare into a stranger’s eyes f … [Read more...]

“You’re Only As Good As Your Friends”

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Last night, Anthony Smith (aka Postmodern Negro) and I celebrated our 10-year friendiversary with an impromptu livestream conversation, recorded and shared here for posterity. During our hour-long conversation, we reminisce about the last decade of emerging church conversation, our local involvement in the Charlotte Emergent cohort group (which is still going, by the way!), and the power of friendship (among many other things, including the 15 books Anthony is reading right now!). As Anthony … [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...]

The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection

Painting of Cross over Church

In the Passion narratives I’ve never been that interested in what comes after the crucifixion.  I know that some say the whole ball of wax hinges on the stories of Jesus as the resurrected Christ.They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances.  You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.And that’s my point.When I look at it, all I see is a beautifully complicated presentation of how to accomplish … [Read more...]

No Guru, No Method, No Teacher

garden

Returning to the place where my very first poem formed in my Spirit. I gaze at the trees' reflection and the words return: Look up stretching, never touching, the spindly treetops reach for the clouds Glance down In the rippling water, the treetops dive below the surface brushing the clouds and in the movement of the river, the branches sway slightly Look up tranquil, majestic, at peace in their stillness Penned over 7 years ago, the message of the cross has slowly revealed itself. The … [Read more...]

The Real Emergence

Bed of Coals

 It happened during a difficult time. My life had been dismantled; the pieces were strewn all over the place. I was spending a lot of time alone, trying to figure out what had happened and how to begin to reassemble myself.On this night, I was in my room watching the movie Hotel Rwanda.The movie aptly illustrates humanity’s potential for depravity by telling a story from the Rwandan genocide of the mid 1990s. On this night, I sat on my bed and stared at the TV, becoming more … [Read more...]

It was the Best of Times…It was the Worst of Times

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An ordinary Tuesday that began and ended in tears. But what happened in between is where the magic happens. It's 6:30 a.m. Making breakfasts and packing lunches for the teens. Telling myself to bring joy & gratitude to the activity-- totally faking it. Before I descend the basement steps for my daily meditation, I take a peek at the twitter feed and read "90 year old sisters still making each other laugh".  The thing about awareness-raising is that … [Read more...]

Once You are Real, You can’t be UGLY

spring

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of … [Read more...]

The Wall of Love at the Gay Christian Network Conference

"God Loves Figs" sign from the GCN "wall of love"

For the last few days I’ve been in Portland, Oregon attending the Gay Christian Network Conference.I took a small shuttle bus from my hotel to the convention center Saturday morning.  I’d been walking those few blocks every day; but it was raining, and the driver was standing right there when I came outside. “Hey, wanna ride over there this morning?” he asked.Four of us climbed in. Said hello to each other as we pulled away.It was only a short ride to the convention center, a minute o … [Read more...]


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