Celebrate Interdependence Day 2014!

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7 Essential Books for Understanding Interdependence as Christians  I've recently read Fred Lehr's book on Clergy Burnout.  What's striking about this book is that he describes burnout not simply as function of unhealthy clergy, but as a codependent relationship between pastor(s) and laity. Congregations that expect their pastors to over-perform are often enabled to do less work than we have been called to do as members of Christ’s Body. Lehr also suggests that the journey from unhealthy congregations to healthy ones is marked by a shift in the clergy/laity relationship from co … [Read more...]

Watershed Discipleship [Earth Day 2014]

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 Since today is Earth Day and since I reflected yesterday on some of the ecological themes in in the NOAH movie, I thought it fitting to share an idea that I have recently been introduced to that might help us what church communities might look like that are attentive to their places and creatures, land and ecology of their places.Ched Myers, whom some of you may know from his important commentary on the book of Mark, Binding the Strong Man, or on his work on Sabbath Economics, has recently been exploring the idea of Watershed Discipleship. What is Watershed Discipleship? (via … [Read more...]

There’s Always an Ark! [Thoughts on the NOAH film]

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Last night, I finally got around to seeing the Noah movie.  Darren Aronofsky is probably my favorite movie director (I even wrote about his movie PI in the Slow Church book), and NOAH was one of my most anticipated films of 2014.  And, it did not disappoint.  NOAH is a story in the tradition of the biblical prophets, with striking relevance for our own times.*** WARNING: There may be some tiny spoilers here, if you haven't seen the film (Although I don't think reading these spoilers now would ruin the experience of seeing the film).Last week, I read an article in the New York Times ab … [Read more...]

Uniting Ecology and Economy – A Response to Wendell Berry

In this month's issue of The Progressive magazine, there is a wonderful article by Wendell Berry, entitled "The Commerce of Violence" (which can be read online here...), which begins: On the day of the bombing in Boston, The New York Times printed an op-ed piece by a human being who has been imprisoned at Guantánamo for more than eleven years, uncharged and, of course, untried. The occurrence of these two events on the same day was a coincidence, but that does not mean that they are unrelated.What connects them is our devaluation, and when convenient our disvaluation, of human life as … [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...]

Help The Englewood Neighborhood win $25,000 to finish our Outdoor Nature Playspace!

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Starting today, the Englewood Neighborhood on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis (where I live, work and worship), is in the running for a $25,000 grant Neighborhood Assist Grant from State Farm. If we would win, the money would be used to turn our community garden and the adjacent lot into a playspace and Nature education outdoor classroom We have worked with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to develop a plan for the space, which if you are interested, you can view here... The plans include lots of trees for climbing, fruit trees, a tree house, water play area, a picnic shelter and … [Read more...]

Life On the Threshold: Reading the father of the rural life movement in the heart of the modern city

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  I have been talking about the work of Liberty Hyde Bailey a lot recently....  (See this previous post for instance)  So, I decided to republish this short essay on Bailey here.  Of all the things I've written over the years, this is one of my favorite pieces. This essay originally appeared in Catapult Magazine, March 2009.  Life on the threshold Reading the father of the rural life movement in the heart of the modern city   About a year ago, my friend Ragan Sutterfield recommended that I read Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Holy Earth.  At some earlier point in my … [Read more...]


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