Not Just for the Young and Hip…

Slow Church

We were thrilled with the RNS article on Slow Church that ran in The Washington Post (and at least a dozen other news outlets) over the weekend.  Great as the article was, there was one perplexing section, the interview with sociologist of religion Scott Thumma, who opined that Slow Church would appeal primarily to the young and hip demographic.  Our friend Brent Bill, who by his own admission, is neither young nor hip, has penned a response, which we are honored to share here... "We believe Slow Food and the other Slow movements hold important lessons for the American churches. They c … [Read more...]

“A Great Day For the Children of Indiana”


We were honored to host a momentous occasion here at Englewood Christian Church today. Because of Daystar Childcare, our widely-recognized daycare, we were selected as the site where Gov. Mike Pence would sign into law, a new bill that provides state funding for Pre-Kindergarten.  As noted by Nicole Baker-Fulgham in her talk at the 2014 Justice Conference last month, Indiana was one of the last remaining states that did not provide any state funding for Pre-K. We were delighted to be the place where the journey began toward better care for the children of Indiana, and especially children of … [Read more...]

JPUSA: A Tragic History of Sexual Abuse


Although I heard awhile back that that this documentary on the sexual abuse of minors at the Jesus People USA (JPUSA) Community in Chicago was in the works, I happened to see this article on the Christianity Today website this afternoon and saw that it was released today.  I knew that it would be one that I needed to watch, so I plunked down my ten bucks and downloaded the movie.  You see, I have been acquainted with JPUSA for over 20 years; I have visited their community a couple of times and have friends who are members or former members.  There was a block of 5 or 6 years -- before my wife a … [Read more...]

Steven Furtick and the ‘Disneyfication’ of Baptism


A Story About What Slow Church is NOT... Steven Furtick offers much fodder for critique -- the multi-million dollar house, etc. -- but this new story of Elevation's practice of "Spontaneous Baptism" highlighted many of the criticisms of industrialized Christianity that we are raising in the Slow Church book.I was alerted to this story through a report on the WCNC-TV (Charlotte) website: How Elevation Church, Pastor Furtick produce 'spontaneous' baptismsThe whole article is worth reading, but here are some crucial clips:"Elevation Church keeps an exact count of its thousands of … [Read more...]

Cultivating Economic Peace in an Age of Instability


I turned on the radio this morning, and the airwaves were full of speculation about whether the U.S. economy would default, and if so, when... In sharp contrast, I am pleased to share this stunningly poignant piece that my friend Jim Aldrich recently wrote about how we have tried to cultivate a different sort of economy as a church community at Englewood Christian Church. The convictions that Jim expresses here lie at the heart of what we describe as the Slow Church economy.Twenty or so years ago we (at Englewood Christian Church) began a prolonged conversation; one that continues at … [Read more...]

Pope Francis in Conversation with Slow Food’s Carlo Petrini


We reported this summer that Pope Francis had advocated for churches to slow down.This week, Slow Food International founder, Carlo Petrini reported that he recently received a phone call from the pope.Petrini says: We also talked about the farming world. Pope Francis wanted to emphasize how precious the good practices of rural communities are to the world’s destiny. On this subject in particular, the Pope had strong words: “The work of these people is extraordinary,” he said. “Accumulating money must not be the primary goal. My grandmother used to tell me that when you die, your shrou … [Read more...]

Barbarians At The Gate?


The recent government shutdown, frustrating as it is, should not really come as all that big of a surprise. In Western culture – and particularly in the United States – we have been cultivating habits for many decades that are dissolving our capacity to talk civilly and live peaceably with our neighbors, and especially our neighbors who differ from us in prominent ways: politics, economic status, race, sexual identity, etc.  This history has been chronicled over the last thirty years by important books such as Habits of the Heart by the late Robert Bellah and others, Bowling Alone by Robert Pu … [Read more...]