And Yet: Two Words to Transform The Church

tug of war

A friend of mine who works in youth ministry has a theory: Millennials, contrary to popular belief, are pro-institution. They will be the ones to rebuild all of the organizations that the Gen Xers have systematically destroyed.It’s true; we Xers have been pretty down on structure and systems ever since we endured the first rounds of education reform, only to find that all the tedious, test-driven exercises prepared us for nothing. ‘Not caring what anybody thinks of me!’ is our spiritual gift. … [Read more...]

A Good Week For Progress: Boy Scouts, Football, and America’s Man Caves

https://flic.kr/p/mC8sP

I live in Kansas--which, let's face it, has never been the most forward-thinking place, but has lately begun to feel like an out-lying "District" in some dystopian YA novel. Conceal carry WiTHOUT A PERMIT for everyone! Who cares what the Supreme Court says about marriage equality--NOT HAPPENING AT OUR HOUSE! Let's de-regulate industrial standards so we can just go ahead and turn our air and water into poison, and hey, while we're at it, we're going to oh-so-gradually de-fund public education … [Read more...]

Sinking Ships: 6 Do’s, and One Big Don’t, for Fundraising

argentina-319126_640

Ever been on a sinking ship? I have. Literally.But not for long. Because the minute I figured out it was going down, I bailed. That’s what you DO when the boat’s in trouble… you get yourself elsewhere. Quickly.Which is why “sinking ship fundraising” doesn't work.If you’ve ever been connected with an institution for any amount of time—a church, school, non-profit, or civic body—you’ve gotten "the pitch." Maybe it was an email, a paper letter, a phone call, or an appeal at a large g … [Read more...]

More than Half Enough

ryanpost

Guest post, by Rev. Ryan Motter“Well, look at you.  You’re half the man you used to be.”It was in the line after worship, standing at the back door as we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.  The other congregation members were offering gentle reminders: “Don’t forget the Youth meeting on Wednesday,”  “Please remember that I’m having that procedure tomorrow morning,”  “I’ll be out of town for the next three weeks.  Pray for me.”From these folks, she comes up and places her hands on … [Read more...]

Home By Another Way

11227056_10204504959280591_2476135736794276198_n

I'm at my denomination's General Assembly this week. Every other year, in the HOTTEST PART OF THE SUMMER, Disciples of Christ descend on some unsuspecting town--usually in the Midwest--and share a time of worship, workshops, celebration and visioning. There are business sessions too. So I hear...Anyway, there's lots of STUFF going on, every minute of every day. At times, I've left my room at 7 in the morning and not gotten back until after midnight. (In a complete state of sensory overload, … [Read more...]

Saving Atticus

book-shelf-349934_640

One day, all is right with the literary world... And then suddenly, one of the most significant characters of all time has transformed into someone we scarcely recognize. How does this happen? And what does it mean?First, a word about narrative sequence: Go Set a Watchman is not the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Nor is it an intentional prequel. As legend has it (b/c any word spoken in reference to Nell Harper Lee smacks of legend) the author penned these pages first. They amount to what A … [Read more...]

Cloud By Day: Living With Ambiguity and Measuring Ministry

sky-62732_640

In every generation, people of faith journey across the hazy plains of “What does this mean,” and “why are we here?” Right about the time one band of believers establishes a clear sense of purpose and identity for their time and place…well, they die. It is time for them to step aside and let the kids figure out what’s next, with nothing but "a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night" to guide them. And is that ever a painful hand-off, every single time.We can wax poetic and … [Read more...]

Thin Pink Line: Teaching My Daughter About a Woman’s Place

tap hoes

The poorly applied fuchsia lipstick. The nervous stage mothers pounding Starbucks. (The GLITTER SPRAY. God as my witness, there will still be glitter spray eons after the apocalypse. It will outlive the cockroaches and Ted Cruz...) The piles and piles of bobby pins. Strains of Katy Perry lurking around every corner…It must be recital season. Mercy.I used to be a dancer. Then I was a dance teacher. Making the leap from performer/choreographer to dance mom has been a stretch for me. No … [Read more...]

Self-Evident Truths: 7 Ways the Constitution is Not the Bible

book-631760_640

When it comes to guns, religion and the display of hateful symbols on public property, we hear much talk of “rights” and “freedom.”  The arguments amount to blindly sentimental patriotism at best, and toxic entitlement at worst. At the same time—and from many of the same quarters—equal rights for LGBT folks are met with language of “values” and “tradition” and “what God and/or our forefathers intended for all people.” This marks a tragic disconnect among those who embrace the Bible with one hand … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X