Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies

Bec likes selfies. We all do.

Revisiting Christ in missions and service in the age of selfies Bec Cranford serves as the Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services at the Gateway Center, and supervises a contextual education course at Candler School of Theology.Poverty pornography, charity charlatans, and self-serving service versus relational missions honoring Christ in the least of theseAs we mature in Christ, many of us will become dissatisfied with churches that have a mentality of country clubs, and … [Read more...]

All Lives Matter vs Black Lives Matter: The Already and the Not Yet

Ahnnalise Stevens-Jennings

There has been a lot of debate over the phrases “Black Lives Matter,” and “All Lives Matter” over the past year. I would like to frame this conversation in religious terms. Christians have a unique vision of the eschaton, or in non-theological terms, the end of human history. We believe that in some ways, the end, that is the full reign of the Kingdom of God and the restoration of all creation back to its creator, is here now already.If we look around us, it is clear that the world is not hea … [Read more...]

Five Elements of Church Error – The Unexpected Jesus (Part 1of 4)

Part 1: Were We Wrong About Jesus Being Wrong About Eschatology?Early in my journey to a fulfilled eschatology perspective, I had the question, “How could the mainstream church have been so wrong for so long about eschatology?” I asked the question this way, because I held to the presupposition that God wouldn’t let the faith I grew up in be in error about something as significant as the timing and nature of the coming of Jesus for “most” of history.I had the perspective that the majority … [Read more...]

What is a “Coming of God?” Part 1

There is much confusion in Christianity today surrounding the milieu of biblical eschatology. Specifically, there is widespread misunderstanding about the nature and timing of Jesus’ coming, arrival or presence (parousia in Greek). In popular preaching and imagination, it’s often called his “second coming” or “return.” Many life-long Jesus-followers are surprised to learn that these are not terms found in the Bible – and then to consider how these terms effect our thinking on just what this all m … [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...]

Let’s Talk About Race

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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...]

This Advent, Think Different. What Is GOD Waiting For?

be the change

It’s Advent again. This is the time, leading up to Christmas, when we reflect upon the thousand storylines of prophecy through the centuries that moved in solemn procession toward that One climactic event; the incarnation, the birth of Jesus. We reflect upon the convergence of those storylines culminating in this one Messianic babe. Every sacrifice, from Abel’s altar to the last Passover lamb before the Passion, paved the Messiah’s path. Often, during Advent we use this time to refle … [Read more...]

Jesus Did NOT Come To Save Your Sins

Baby Jesus

I used to know it all. I used to have it all figured out. I had answers for almost everything – including backup answers in case my first answer was insufficient. My “life-verse” was first Peter 3:15, which served as my motivation to “always be prepared to give an answer.”I used to be obsessed with knowledge. In fact, at times I would fall into despair if I came across a problem I could not figure out. I looked at external sources of knowledge (such as philosophy and science) as ways to bolst … [Read more...]

Flap Your Wings

Whose responsibility is inclusion?

Sometimes the conversation for disability justice within spiritual community feels like a monumental task. It might be something akin to that moment when the miller’s daughter is asked to spin that pile of straw into gold. What seems obvious to me seems like just another item on a to-do list to someone else, or perhaps even a potential line item in an already stretched thin church budget.Why does it matter?The first principle of Unitarian Universalism is that all people are important. As … [Read more...]

The River of Years

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I’m at an age when thinking about age is something I do often. I reached my Medicare year, age 65, in March. Little did I or my fellow boomers think we would be cheering this milestone, because it means qualifying for medical insurance when many of us had lost any health insurance coverage a few anxious years ago.The age-old saw is that “aging is not for the timid.”I have to marshal my courage to face physical activities that I sailed through when younger, because my body has betrayed me … [Read more...]


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