From Frankenstein’s Monster to The Body of Christ

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 I have had several conversations over the last week that reminded me how little regard we have for the church as the body of Christ.In reflecting on those conversations, I began to wonder if Dr. Frankenstein's monster might be a fitting image for how we typically think of the body of Christ: a collection of parts, thrown together (and easily interchangeable) and animated by some external, mystical force like a lightning bolt.Having been deeply formed by the individualism of Western Culture, we are trained to narrate our lives primarily as individuals and to think of … [Read more...]

Slow Church and Comprehensive Community Development ( CCDA talk )

I had the opportunity to do a workshop on Slow Church and Comprehensive Community Development at the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference in New Orleans last Friday.  We had a standing-room only crowd (albeit in a small room), but a very engaged audience with a good questions.  Thanks to all who came out to the workshop!If you weren't able to be there, a condensed version of the talk appears as an essay in the current print issue of The Englewood Review of Books (Subscribers, your issues will be arriving soon.  If you are not a subscriber more info is available he … [Read more...]

The Table of Brotherhood: On Having Adversaries.

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"No man is my enemy My own hands imprison me Love rescue me"   - U2 I was deeply disturbed by this Religion News Service article that got picked up by Christianity Today: Top Three Adversaries of Christian Conservatives: Communism, Islam ... and the Emergent Church? Why do we feel, as Christians, that we need to have enemies?  And especially why are we identifying other Christians as enemies? And to think that I encountered this piece on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and its words were echoing in my ear:I have a dream that one day out in the re … [Read more...]

Design Thinking and Neighborhood Renewal

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Lately I’ve been reading about “design thinking,” and I’m starting to see its potential as a tool for community renewal.Design thinking is a structured approach many designers use to generate and develop ideas, products, and innovations. It’s most often associated with IDEO, the well-known design firm that created the first Apple mouse, and Stanford’s Institute of Design (a.k.a. “d.school”). But what began as a process to guide the development of new consumer products is now being applied, often by non-designers, to business (including Apple, Target, and Proctor & Gamble, as well as soc … [Read more...]

A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials from our Churches

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Rachel Held Evans has written a wonderful piece for the CNN Belief blog on why Millennials are leaving our churches.It has been in heavy rotation on the social media circuits the last couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it yet, do stop and read it now.From my experience talking to millennials in churches and colleges, I think Rachel has hit the nail on the head.  However, I am a few years older than Rachel (squarely in the middle of Generation X), and I remember very similar pieces being written about why Gen-Xers were leaving churches in the early to mid-1990s. So, maybe … [Read more...]

Bangladesh – Reviving the Call for Slow Fashion.

The recent fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory that claimed well over 1000 lives was a powerful reminder of how costly "cheap" fashion can be...Extensive coverage of the the fire and its aftermath from CNN.Last year, Amy Peterson reviewed Elizabeth Cline's book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion for The Englewood Review of Books.  As part of that review, she offered a wonderful list of suggestions for how churches could promote alternative ways of thinking about clothes, a slow fashion of sorts that is rooted in our faith communities.We are delighted … [Read more...]

LAST DAY to help Englewood win $25K to complete our gardens!

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 (John and I were both at the Inhabit conference over the weekend; it was wonderful as always and we will get some reflections on that posted later this week.)TODAY is the last day to vote for the Englewood Neighborhood on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis (where I live, work and worship), in its quest for a $25,000 grant Neighborhood Assist Grant from State Farm. Can you do two quick things that will be a huge help us? 1) Make sure that you vote 10 times for us today.  (People are allowed to vote daily, so even if you've voted previously, we'd love to get your vote today.  The c … [Read more...]


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