Judith Valente – ATCHISON BLUE – Review (Patheos Book Club)

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of Atchison Blue ]A Guest Review of Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith Judith ValenteBy my friend, Heidi HaverkampPaperback: Ave Maria Press, 2013 Buy now:  [ Amazon  ]  [ Kindle ]This review originally appeared on The Englewood Review of Books website... Conversatio: The Work of Everyday LifeThe stained-glass windows of the Mount Saint Scholastica Monastery chapel are a striking grey-blue. They were made in the mid-20th century by a German immigrant and artist who in … [Read more...]

Meredith Gould’s THE SOCIAL MEDIA GOSPEL [Patheos Book Club]

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of The Social Media Gospel ] Slow Church and a number of related projects of mine in recent years have focused on the central themes of connection, community and conversation.  Given that all three of these themes converge online in social media, I am always eager to see what others are saying about churches and their use of social media.  Meredith Gould's book The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways is the latest in a loose series of recent books that explain social media to churches, and help them reflect … [Read more...]

Eyes of the Heart: A Photographic Journey Toward Receptivity

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of Christine Valters Paintner's book EYES OF THE HEART ] [ Buy the Book ... ] One of the key facets of what John and I are calling Slow Church is the idea that creation operates as a gift economy: i.e., that all life is created and sustained by God.  Our call as humans is to live gratefully within the broader economy of creation.  Part of a life of gratitude is the living of a receptive life, in which we are wondrously attentive to the abundant gifts of God that surround us at any given moment.The challenge to living such a life, h … [Read more...]

Animate.Faith: A New Kind of Christian Education

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of animate.faith ]I recently had the opportunity to review the new animate.faith curriculum from Sparkhouse, which is a groundbreaking effort to create a new kind of Christian education resource for emerging/progressive church communities.  The curriculum consists of a DVD with seven segments by respected teachers (and bonus segments consisting of interviews with the seven speakers), a facilitator's guide and a participant's journal.  While the DVD and facilitator's guide are essential to the curriculum, I tend to agree with Adam W … [Read more...]

Chris Smith’s Summer Reading…

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Here is a snapshot of my to-read list... I don't have much time for reading now, as we are very close to getting the Slow Church book manuscript wrapped up... But once that's done, I look forward to diving into some of these books this summer! Currently reading: Gandhi's Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading by Isabel Hofmeyr Re-reading to prepare for an overdue review for Books and Culture.  Not only does this book provide a rich portrait of Gandhi's years in South Africa, but the story it tells also makes a powerful case that slow, intentional and attentive reading can be a … [Read more...]

Storytelling for the health of the church

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[Adapted from a script I wrote for a video that IVP made for the Inhabit conference.  My segment didn't get used in the IVP video, but these thoughts are worth sharing here on the blog] My friends at the Parish Collective often speak of the importance of parishes being rooted and linked. These two virtues show us two different ways that storytelling works in our local churches.Storytelling is absolutely essential to the health and flourishing of local parishes. As we seek to be rooted, stories serve to shape our identity—they remind us who we are and how God is at work tr … [Read more...]

Shusaku Endo’s “Silence”

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[Note: Today is the birthday of the great Japanese Catholic novelist Shusaku Endo. To mark the occasion, we're posting an essay John wrote for Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture (IVP, 2010) about Endo's powerful novel, Silence. The director Martin Scorsese has said he hopes to start production on a film adaptation of Silence in 2014.]Francis Xavier disembarked at the southernmost tip of Japan in August 1549, and for two years the trailblazing Jesuit missionary preached in the streets, debated Buddhist monks, and conversed with local warlords. Wh … [Read more...]


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