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...]

The Virtue of Dialogue – Workshop Slides

Today I led a workshop for The Center for Congregations on the practice of conversation, based on Englewood's experience with conversation, and my book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press 2012).  The slides from that presentation are included below....I did make a rough audio recording of the workshop, so if that turns out to be listenable, I might also share it here.I've given a similar presentation to a number of churches and groups of churches. Contact me if your church would be interested in hosting such a conversation...  Download the Slides Here … [Read more...]

Emergent Church: Lacking “a Focus on Issues of Class”?

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An excerpt from the new book:Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude By Joerg Rieger and Kwok Pui-lan Hardback: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012. Page 122. Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]HT: Ric Hudgens for pointing out this passage (Ric is working on a review of this book for The Englewood Review of Books)Generally speaking, these words ring true in my experience of the emergent church.  What do you think?  Is it possible that race and class can become more prominent issues within Emergent Christianity? … [Read more...]

Belonging to our Places. Liberty Hyde Bailey and My Explorations in Urban Naturalism

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Today is the birthday of Liberty Hyde Bailey...Bailey was one of the preeminent American botanists and horticulturists in the early twentieth century.  He also was an agrarian writer who wrote quite a bit about nature -- nature poetry, nature education, conservation, etc. -- and his work was deeply influential on Wendell Berry, and other more recent agrarian writers.Berry pays tribute in his essay "A Practical Hamony," (LGT: the part of this essay on Bailey via Google Books)  Bailey's classic apologia for creation care, The Holy Earth, mentioned by Berry in the above essay is available … [Read more...]

Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice

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Over the coming weeks, I'd like to wrestle here with a series of questions related to how the vision of Slow Church that John and I have been proposing here relates to justice.  The basic question is: What does Slow Church do with the (very real) pain of the oppressed? Which opens up a host of other questions, including:- Is Slow Church only for those privileged enough to live slowly?- Does the inherent slowness of Slow Church only prop up the dominant power structures of our age?- What is the role of a Slow Church in following Jesus in the Jubilee mission of liberation?- How … [Read more...]

Favor: Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities

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My ebook Growing Deeper in Our Church Communities: 50 Ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age is FREE for Kindle this weekend (through 11:59PM PT on Sunday).First of all, download a copy if you don't have one already:  http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeperGrowing Deeper (written in early 2010), was one of my first attempts to explore the practices that contribute to a deeper and richer life together in our church communities, and in that way contains some of the seeds of Slow Church.  Until the Slow Church book is released later this year (Lord willing!), there are two little books that t … [Read more...]

IHOP and the fueling of Anti-Gay Legislation in Uganda

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I was intrigued when I saw the announcement today that the documentary God Loves Uganda would be featured at the Sundance Film Festival.  I have been deeply saddened by the violence surrounding issued of sexuality in Uganda, and was startled to hear Roger Ross Williams, the director of this new documentary, reveal that his research into the forces energizing this violence can be tracked back to American evangelicals.  Watch this short clip of Williams introducing the film...Ever curious, I was eager to know who what part(s) of American evangelicalism were being identified as fomenting t … [Read more...]


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