Tis the Season…

Christmas just isn't so much my season. I'm not a Scrooge exactly, but maybe just his first cousin once removed. In sum, I hate the whole thing, except for the Christian part of it. But every time I lay claim to the beauty of holy nativity, I sound to myself like one of those annoying, holier-then-thou, put Christ back in Christmas folks whom I dislike more than I dislike the whole secularized mess itself. What it all finally boils down to, in candor and honesty, is that I fall down into the … [Read more...]

But How Amazing Is It That We Get To Help?

Bob and his beard.

This Advent we are looking at the Christmas story through the lens of the Mission of God. So, this last Sunday we got to walk through parts of Isaiah asking, "What will this Kingdom God is bringing thru Jesus look like?" We want to know, if God is about the rescue and renewal of the world, what will that encompass? And more, what's OUR part in the story? Words like peace, justice, fairness, wholeness and flourishing (shalom)... This is what we are promised God is bringing about even now- … [Read more...]

Is God Coming? An Advent Poem

caravaggioimages

Is God coming? God is here! Can’t you see him all around you? From the first light of creation, To the moment that he found you. We’re not abandoned or left comfortless. But Scripture reveals a pattern that we’ve missed. His comings aren't limited two, the bridegroom hasn’t been "delayed". Comings run through Scripture like a thread, our perception needs to be remade. Not all comings were in his body, to be seen and touched and heard, He was in the Burning Bush and Firey … [Read more...]

Your Mormon Friend

Flunking-Sainthood-jpeg

I recently had a near-miss opportunity to have my memoir Flunking Sainthood featured on a prominent evangelical website. Apparently the two editors there who had read it really enjoyed the book and thought its themes of finding joy in spiritual failure would resonate with their readers. They began the process of scheduling an author interview. And then someone found out the dirty truth that I am a Mormon. Not only that, but a "vocal Mormon," as an embarrassed, kind editor at the website put … [Read more...]

Choice Lamb

choice lamb

I receive emails everyday at nakedpastor from people who have left the church. They share with me their struggle to learn how to live without it. Here's a slice from one such letter: We were told to leave a church because we had become tools of Satan in the fellowship. So we were handed over to Satan to do his will for punishment. All because of a difference of opinion regarding actions we believed were unloving. Anyway, person after person has encouraged me to find another church with … [Read more...]

Moving Right Along

I was reminded this morning during a moment of prayer that I am to be contrite and not contrary. I was asking God to give me something worth saying on this blog site today. I am usually not short of words, but have wrestled with where to begin since receiving an invitation to join this experiment. Quickly I knew the foundation of my posts would be centered in prayer and hospitality from the perspective of a follower of Jesus. More specifically, I sensed the purpose of my sharing in this … [Read more...]

A Real Church Health Inspection

handwash

Who would think that interacting with a county bureaucracy could lead to pondering deep ecclesial questions? Over the past few weeks, Vision Community Church, which I pastor, has begun a monthly soup kitchen for local farm workers and their families.  We meet in a closed elementary school that is still owned by our school district.  Even though we are renters, it became our responsibility to maintain the food service permit from our county board of health.  That meant the county inspector … [Read more...]

Why an Emergent Village Blog on Patheos.com

Part 1 & 2 of my conversation with Deborah Arca of Patheos on what they do and why the Emergent Village Blog fits. Recorded on Doug Pagitt Radio this past Sunday.  (Sorry Deborah about the mis-spelling of your name on the video) … [Read more...]

What’s Emerging in Theology?

I am grateful to be part of this new adventure in emergent and emerging Christianity.  While I will let the Spirit move me in my reflections, I have discovered that while the Spirit often takes you where the wild things are, She also moves through your gifts and passions.  By inclination and training, I am theologian, pastor, and spiritual guide.  These gifts, along with my interest in politics, parenting, grandparenting, global theology, and healing will no doubt emerge as I seek to share a … [Read more...]

Why I Am Emergent, Part 1: Conversation

As we start the new Emergent Village Voice blog, I want to launch into a several week series on how I came to associate with Emergent Village and the movement at large.  The emphasis will be on the “why,” but it will include the “how” along the way. One of the first things that attracted me to all things Emergent was the conversational aspect.  This was a network of people who were talking, writing, communicating, thinking, publishing, podcasting, blogging etc.  It was even often … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Emergent Village Voice

Welcome to the Emergent Village Voice. This blog is an experiment. We are seeking to include as many voices as are willing to join together and tell stories, create ideas, and generate friendships that will compel us to the future. There are more than 50 people who will be adding their voices to this conversation. Some will write, some will post audio, some will post video. You will hear from Christians and Jews; denominationalists and free-range spiritualists; conservatives and … [Read more...]

Growing Cafe Churches Singapore Style

coffeebeans

"Why are people so upset at the emerging church?", Tim Wong asked me last night over a mango juice at a Balinese party. We didn't have time to plummet the jelloed depths of EC criticism, although I do enjoy the subject. But we did discuss cafe churches and how they have evolved from cheesy church-basement services in the 80's [GUILTY AS CHARGED] to state-of-the-art, Über-Funky couch-clad temples of Java and Bible that they have now become. Even here in Asia. Particularly in Asia, where cafe … [Read more...]