How we failed to plant a successful church

Bec Cranford-Smith works at the Gateway Center in Atlanta. She is the site supervisor of  contextual education in partnership with Gateway Center and  Candler School of Theology. She is the pastor of Church of the Misfits.

 How We failed at Successful Church Planting  I sat with middle aged white men in a room decorated by someone infatuated with browns and oranges. The paintings seemed vaguely reminiscent of French vineyards and Italian streets, yet I was closer to crop dust, cotton and Crepe Myrtles in Macon, Georgia. The inquiry began after a couple of jokes and a word of prayer. I crafted my vision of the Church of The Misfits, sharing with conviction about contextualizing Christ to … [Read more...]

From Emergent Church to Emergent God

Colours of Life

Introduction [by Teresa B Pasquale on behalf of the Emerging Voices Curation Team--with Holly Roach & Robyn Henderson-Espinoza]February 1st we launched the month, and in some ways the year of 2015, with a sort of mission statement for the Emerging Voices blog, and beyond that, the Emerging spirituality and the [cosmic] wave we are currently riding in Emerging Voices. We see "emerging" and "emergence" as an action verb, always bending forward into transformation and evolution, rather … [Read more...]

A Theology of Sin is a Distraction. It Doesn’t Exist. And Other Cultural Myths…

 The world is not an evil place to be. It's beautiful. Sure, what is beauty is strictly a subjective definition. For some, beauty is in a sunrise. For others, its in a poem. Or a kiss. Or a Tim Burton movie. Evil is itself also subjective. Yes, what this means is that certain things that have become evil are actually not evil. Homosexuality is not evil. Anger is not evil. Some acts of Abortion are not evil; my claim would be that, if its to escape responsibility, then one should ask … [Read more...]

Metamorphosis: Healing and Transformation

naked girl butterfly

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...]

Why is Fundamentalism So Attractive?

PChPT_EmergingVoices_bio (1)

The fashionable place of fundamentalism in history has found a place in the here and now. Why do we all find our knees eventually bending in the pantheon of fundamentalism? The pantheon refers to all kinds of different types of fundamentalism which we are going to dissect in this article. But, why is fundamentalism so attractive? Why are we, who are part of the human project (we're not human yet) so enthralled by fundamentalism? What intrigues us? The sense of a safety that a system inhabits? … [Read more...]

Do Not Fix Others as You Would Not Want to be Fixed

BC_BrianMcLaren_bio-2

The internet, one might think, was invented as a place for angry, excessively confident people to try to fix others.But I think Glennon Melton has it right when she offers this contemporary parable about fixing:"Imagine that you have a new friend that you just love, and she’s coming to your house, and you finally liberate yourself enough to skip the panic-clean before she arrives. You decide that you trust her enough to walk in and see your messy house and you just KNOW that she will GET … [Read more...]

Open Conversation: Friendships & Movements

tree sprout in hand

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote critically about a meeting of Emergence Christianity folks that happened in Memphis in advance of Phyllis Tickle's national book event.  I want to clarify a few things. I LOVE the emergent movement and it's the only reason I am a practicing Christian again, (nothing short of a miracle here.) I'm blessed by this body of work and by the friendships I have made here. It is, as a friend tells me a "generative conversation," (emergent movement speak for a mutually … [Read more...]

Can You Feel Me? Yes, Somebody Did? by Randy Woodley

I actually began the series See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me as a challenge to the colonial Western Church to be inclusive of ethnic minorities at all levels. (intro to series) Then, almost as if it was planned, it broke wide open and the next thing I knew, I was calling for a boycott of "Whites Only" and "Tokens Only" conferences by White speakers and attenders (See Me). With some help from Andrea Smith (her post), Curtiss Paul DeYoung (his post) and a bunch of interested Emergent folks, (see … [Read more...]

Review of Brian McLaren’s Upcoming Book

Identity. Fundamental to us all. Yet so seldom explored. What does it mean to be a Christian in the 21st century? The past few months I've been in a sort of identity crisis. My Christian upbringing has been so fundamental to my worldview that I've rarely taken the time to look at my life from an outside perspective. Being somewhat at a cross roads I decided to ask a new friend for advice. I've emailed Brian McLaren in the past, and, to my pleasant surprise, he has been remarkably available to h … [Read more...]

Book: Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision by Randy Woodley

shalom and the

From the Publisher, William B Eerdman's Publishing: In this book, Randy Woodley draws parallels between the Native American “Harmony Way” and the biblical concept of shalom, arguing that cultivating an appreciation of those parallels can help to bring reconciliation between Euro-Westerners and indigenous peoples, a new connectedness with the Creator and creation, an end to imperial warfare, the ability to live in the moment, justice, restoration, and a more biblically authentic spir … [Read more...]


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