Three Ways We Can Foster Gratitude in Our Churches

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Note: The last three days we've been focusing on gratitude as a communal discipline. On Thanksgiving Day, we examined our culture of dissatisfaction and the link between gratitude and justice, between ingratitude and injustice. Yesterday, we talked about how gratitude can open our eyes to the abundance all around us. Today, we conclude our series by describing three ways--three, out of many possibilities--that we can foster a gifts perspective in our churches. They are Asset Mapping, Appreciative Inquiry, and Asset-Based Community Development. Asset Mapping in CongregationsThe process o … [Read more...]

Cultivating Gratitude in Our Communities

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Note: In Slow Church, Chris and I describe gratitude as the vital bridge that connects abundance and generosity. As a spiritual discipline--one that requires time and intentionality, both on our own and in community--gratitude is how we practice recognizing the abundant gifts God has given us. It's how we praise God for those gifts. And it is the energy that compels us to want to share those gifts. This is the second of a three-part series on how gratitude can transform our communities. (Here’s a link to yesterday’s post.) How do you practice gratitude at home, at church, and in your neighb … [Read more...]

Gratitude and Justice

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Note: Researchers have found that the happiest people also tend to be the most grateful. What's interesting is that these folks aren't grateful for being happy; they're happy because they have been intentional about cultivating a life of gratitude. This is the first post in a three-part series (adapted from Slow Church) on how the practice of gratitude can similarly transform our families, churches, and neighborhoods. Tomorrow, we'll talk about how gratitude can open our eyes to the abundance all around us. And on Saturday, we'll talk about a few ways churches in particular can foster a gifts p … [Read more...]

Remembering Mr. Rogers.

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  Today marks the 11th anniversary of the death of Fred Rogers (aka, PBS's Mr. Rogers).   John and I have made no secret of the fact that we are big fans of Mr. Rogers, and even refer to him in the Slow Church book -- in reference to his ideas about the formative power of dinner table conversation.We love that his work is situated in a neighborhood, that it is fundamentally about friendship, being attentive always and welcoming everyone as a gift.  Our churches would do well to learn from his example. In memory of Fred Rogers today, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few … [Read more...]

Scarcity: What do you think?

A brief passage from the Slow Church manuscript (specifically the part on economics). I'd love your input on this... Are there enough resources to sustain creation as a whole?   And regardless, how do we know, if there are or are not? Is this a question that can only be answered theologically? Despite the opulent abundance of creation, the world’s economic systems are built upon a foundation of scarce resources.   Scarcity is explicitly or implicitly given primacy of place in many definitions of economics as a social science. For example, the “most commonly accepted current definition” is fro … [Read more...]

Eyes of the Heart: A Photographic Journey Toward Receptivity

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of Christine Valters Paintner's book EYES OF THE HEART ] [ Buy the Book ... ] One of the key facets of what John and I are calling Slow Church is the idea that creation operates as a gift economy: i.e., that all life is created and sustained by God.  Our call as humans is to live gratefully within the broader economy of creation.  Part of a life of gratitude is the living of a receptive life, in which we are wondrously attentive to the abundant gifts of God that surround us at any given moment.The challenge to living such a life, h … [Read more...]

Many thanks to our friends who voted for Englewood’s Garden Project…

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 If you hadn't heard already, Englewood did win a $25,000 grant from State Farm for our garden project!!!!   Huge thanks to everyone who voted for us, we are very grateful for your friendship.  Mike Bowling, pastor of Englewood Christian Church, wrote this little reflection for our congregation's May newsletter...----------------------------- We are a wealthy church! However, our wealth does not come through the offering plate; it is not stored away in a bank vault. Our wealth is our friends. Scripture says, “Wealth adds many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend.” … [Read more...]


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