Hints of Jubilee

The Old Testament practice of jubilee is perhaps so radical that it is not only inconceivable to imagine its practice in the present time, it was apparently impossible to legislate as a part of the ancient Israelite legal code. The prescription of leveling every gain achieved at the expense of others (land gains or human servitude) every 50th year was designed to specifically prevent the formation of a permanent, multi-generational impoverished class in Israel. Historical evidence generally … [Read more...]

Flexible Faith

You really can't go back home again.  Or at least if you do, it's best to bite your tongue and sit on your hands.One of the running jokes among my friends who are experimenting with emergence ways of doing church is the ongoing aggravation we have with sermons.  There is nothing inherently wrong with sermons, of course, and we all appreciate the inspiring elocution of a good homiletician who has something important to say and is saying it with flourish and passion.  It's just that we've got … [Read more...]

Metamorphosis: Healing and Transformation

The path to transformation is full of suffering. When I speak about spiritual woundedness and church-hurt, which seems to be more and more lately, I use the metaphor of childbirth.Childbirth is an excruciating process, and when naturally felt in the body a woman reaches the crescendo of pain, the point called the “transition,” where it feels like the body can’t handle one more moment, this is the very point the body transforms the pain into new life, into the birthing of a new being.The T … [Read more...]

Journeying Through the Dark Side of Emergent Christianity (Toward the Light!)

This month on the Emerging Voices blog we want to focus on moving through darkness and into light ie: transformation. Tomorrow Teresa Pasquale is going to speak to us about healing woundedness. But today I want to talk about leadership and some of the dynamic that have generated some of the woundedness we see in the Emergent movement.Emergent leadership is being called into question and has been for sometime. In the past few years I have watched the founders of this conversation be attacked … [Read more...]

Right Sized: A Quest for Humility by Michaela Kyle

For most of my life I hadn’t the faintest idea what humility was.  I would hear others share stories about deeply embarrassing experiences followed by a remark along the lines of “Well, I sure got my piece of humble pie…” I witnessed creative, intelligent, and beautiful human beings respond to praise by belittling the subject of admiration, whether it be their appearance, personality, or work. Over and over, I observed people out rightly disagreeing and even arguing with those who dared complime … [Read more...]

People of God Rise Up!

It takes a high level of organizing skill to pull off mobilizations like we just saw in NYC for climate justice. It also takes training and movement building to achieve peace among 300,000 people in the streets. What I hope people realize is that the People's Climate March and Occupy are all expressions of intentional movement building toward building strategic and collective people power that has been going on for 30+ years. We activists train our butts off.Movements are not institutions so … [Read more...]

I Just Can’t Quit You

Sometimes I wonder what I’m still doing here in this conversation. Of all the friends who have been down the road of deconstruction with me, so many have moved on to other communities, other practices, other faiths, or no faith at all. I can’t say that I blame them. Sometimes coming to  a Christian church, whether it identifies as emergent, evangelical, mainline, or progressive, feels like going to a dry well. So much of the language and practices I find in the church no longer resonate with me. … [Read more...]

Killjoy Prophets: Troubling and Broadening Our Visions of Liberation

As a Filipina who is passionate about combining racial justice and feminist activism with my Christian faith, I can tell you my journey has been both turbulent and life-giving.The isolation I have felt because of this commitment to both racial justice and feminism in secular spaces has been painful. As a woman of color I refuse to be segmented. I refuse to be forced to choose between my commitments to ending both racism and the oppression of women. Intersectionality is not just a theory, … [Read more...]

I can’t believe

I don't want to write a post about Ferguson.Or racism.Or even go all-in and nod to my patron saint of womanism, bell hooks by writing about White supremacist imperialist hetero-patriarchy.Like one of my many heroes from the Ferguson protests: smileycreek, Flickr I can't believe people still want to argue about race being an issue.I can't believe I still have to be a modern Clare Huxtable to prove I'm not lazy but know all the lyrics to Nicki Minaj songs at a party to prove I'm … [Read more...]

Our Pain’s Meeting

Over the past three years I have been in a process of learning, unlearning, and trying again. Emergence has given me a language for this wrestling match, a divine lexicon for the struggle. In light of my journey, I want to explore what faith can look like when we find ourselves caught between belief and skepticism; hope and despair; human questions and divine … [Read more...]