Reading for Conversation.

Bibliothek_St._Florian

John and I agree that the practice of reading is essential to our understanding of Slow Church. Indeed, it was a mutual love of books that connected us in the first place.  In the age of talking heads, the soundbite and the two-minute YouTube video, reading is a practice that can be useful for slowing churches down and guiding us into meaningful conversations.  Here at Englewood Christian Church, we are blessed to have many people who are deeply committed to the practice of reading, which continually energizes our on-going Sunday night conversation (I have told the story of this a … [Read more...]

Beds and Books: The Hospitality of Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company

Everything that rises must converge. Well, here is a fun convergence of interests.I am writing a chapter on hospitality for the Slow Church book. I have reference volumes stacked ten-high on my desk at home. But in the car to and from work I have been listening to audiobooks by Ernest Hemingway. The first audiobook I listened to is my favorite Hemingway book: A Moveable Feast, which is about Hemingway's time as a young writer in 1920s Paris. In fact, the Hemingway kick was inspired by Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris - also partially set in the 1920s - a movie I compulsively rent and wa … [Read more...]

Eternal Beings Living in Time: On Wendell Berry’s “Jayber Crow”

wendell-berry

I have an unusually long commute these days, a burden I am taking steps to alleviate. The commute is redeemed somewhat by the opportunity to listen to audiobooks. If someone sets out to be a writer, the first piece of advice they get to is to keep writing. The second is to keep reading. I would append the second bit of advice to say "Keep reading. When possible, read out loud or be read to." There is something special about the way hearing a book, story, or poem read aloud can tune a writer's ear to the music of language and good storytelling.For the most part, I've been using the commute … [Read more...]

Shane Claiborne on Chris Smith’s THE VIRTUE OF DIALOGUE.

Shane Claiborne

Yesterday, my publisher received from Shane Claiborne an extraordinarily kind endorsement of my ebook The Virtue of Dialogue...If you have not gotten a copy of the ebook, it is available for Kindle and Nook.Also, you might be interested in the recent blog series that I ran here, Becoming Conversational, which builds on the ebook and gives practical ideas for how churches can create space for conversation in their life together. (CLICK HERE for the last post in the series, and there are links where you can read the series backwards from there.)Chris Smith is smart... and he's … [Read more...]

Wendell Berry on the Necessity of Limits.

Photo by David Marshall http://www.davidaaronmarshall.com  via Wikipedia , Creative Commons "Share alike" 2.0 license.

I'm settling in with friends old and new at the Convent in Cincinnati for a writers' retreat this week.  I'm hoping to make some much-needed progress on the chapters of the Slow Church book that I'm writing.I have taken the opportunity this weekend before and on my way to the retreat to read some of what Wendell Berry has said about the necessity of limits.  I've been meaning to do so for awhile, but this weekend I stumbled upon this fabulous essay that Berry wrote in 2008 for Harpers Magazine -- Faustian Economics: Hell Hath No Limits.  This is a short essay and well worth re … [Read more...]

Becoming Conversational #10 – Start a Community Garden.

The Virtue of Dialogue - C. Christopher Smith

My ebook The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities was recently released by Patheos Press, and in it, I argue that open conversation is essential for the health and flourishing of church communities and the places they inhabit.Today is the final post in the series that I am calling "Becoming Conversational" in which I offer suggestions for how churches might enrich the conversational life of their church communities. (Some of these ideas have been adapted from my earlier ebook, Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities, which is available for free … [Read more...]

Becoming Conversational #9 – Regularly Share a Meal Together.

The Virtue of Dialogue - C. Christopher Smith

My ebook The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities was recently released by Patheos Press, and in it, I argue that open conversation is essential for the health and flourishing of church communities and the places they inhabit.Over the past week and the current week, I will be running a 10-part series that I am calling "Becoming Conversational" in which I offer suggestions for how churches might enrich the conversational life of their church communities. (Some of these ideas have been adapted from my earlier ebook, Growing Deeper in Our Church … [Read more...]


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