Embracing Failure: A Reflection by Derek Penwell

jesus-christ-crucifixion-150

This reflection is reposted here with the permission of the author. It originally appeared on the Dmergent blog.Wrestling with our fear of failing and learning to fail graciously is essential to the concept of Slow Church that we are exploring here, and we are honored to repost this excellent piece. My Dirty Secret I have a secret fear. I don’t like to talk about it, because I find it embarrassing. I’m afraid of looking stupid. I don’t like to be laughed at. As a professor, I operate with a low-grade fear that at any moment one of my students will pipe up and say, “That’s not correct … [Read more...]

Getting to the heart of Slow Church

Food and Faith - Norman Wirzba

If there is one short work that gets to the heart of what Slow Church is about, it is the chapter "Eucharistic Table Manners" from Norman Wirzba's new book Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.It is from Wirzba, and from John Howard Yoder before him, that we borrow the central image of the Slow Church as that of a shared meal: The ritualized character of the Eucharist sometimes causes people to forget that the supper was a meal.  It was not a nibbling session, but the place where the disciples came together to obtain their inspiration, strength and sustenance.  The evidence of the early c … [Read more...]

Sunday Afternoon Book Review: SEEING TREES.

[There have been a multitude of books that have been helpful for John and I in fleshing out the concept of Slow Church.  We will regularly feature a review of one such book every Sunday afternoon. ]One discipline necessary for resisting the speed and inattentiveness of Western culture is seeing.  Although the following book takes trees as its object, it is really about recovering practices of seeing and attention. And given that trees of some sort are pretty much everywhere, Seeing Trees is a helpful guide for all of us in learning to slow down and pay attention to the good gifts of God t … [Read more...]

The Deeper and Richer Life of Gratitude.

Peaches

I wrote the following piece earlier this week for the lectionary blog of the Ekklesia Project.  Thought I'd re-post it here as gratitude is a key virtue of a Slow Church, and because the text will be one used tomorrow in many churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary.(Also, the Ekklesia Project's annual gathering next summer in Chicago --dates in early July, TBA soon -- is on the theme of "Slow Church: Abiding Together in the Patient Work of God."  More info will be available soon...) Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Becoming the Liturgy – Ian Morgan Cron on the Slow Work of God.

This is a lovely clip from The Work of the People of Ian Morgan Cron talking about the Slow work of God... (HT: Scott Emery)  CLICK HERE for another related and excellent clip from Cron, on the bread and the wine... … [Read more...]

Scot McKnight on the centrality of the local church.

Scot McKnight

Our fellow Patheos blogger has been stirring up some intense conversation with his recent post "Kingdom Work, Social Justice" (Be sure to read the comments).  Here's the heart of the post: I’m all for “social” justice. I’m fighting the trend I see today of equating “kingdom work” with public sector social justice work. As if “kingdom” is something done outside the church. As I read the Gospels, Jesus’ uses “kingdom” for himself/God as King, for his followers who enter into his kingdom vision, and for the ecclesial/social conditions created by those who follow Jesus and his kingdom vision. … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Stanley Hauerwas: The local church as alternative to a culture of violence

I recently finished reviewing Stanley Hauerwas's newest book War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity for Sojourners magazine.  I won't rehash my whole review here, as it will be available in due time, but I will say that the most striking thing about the book was his turn toward the local church congregation in the third and final part, a direction in which his work has made gestures in the past, but has never gone as far as he does here.The finest essay in the collection, is entitled "A Particular Place," and while I was writing my review … [Read more...]


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