Pope Francis issues a call for Slow Church!

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In a speech last week to the Bishops of Brazil, Pope Francis spoke eloquently about the timely need for Slow Church...Here's a compelling excerpt from the speech:[ HT to Tim Ross for pointing my attention to this speech... ] "We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and … [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...]

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...]


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