Lenten Reading: Sermon on the Mount #1

As Chris mentioned in a post yesterday, a group of us are reading the Sermon on the Mount every day for Lent. (We set up a Facebook page, if you'd like to join the conversation.) Throughout the Lenten season, Chris and I will be posting occasional thoughts here about our experience with this extraordinary passage.My wife and I read Matthew 5-7 out loud to each other yesterday morning (Ash Wednesday), and I ended up thinking about it all day. In particular, I remembered some of my early experiences with the Sermon on the Mount. When I was a teenager, I was taught--for the life of me, I c … [Read more...]

Lent: 40 Days of the Sermon on the Mount

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John had the great idea recently to read the Sermon on the Mount every day for Lent...Here's his thoughts: Gandhi read the Sermon on the Mount every day for decades. He said that when he first read it, it went straight to his heart. He believed it encapsulated the message of Jesus and he was inspired by its message of nonviolence. It endeared Jesus to him, and he once said, "Christ’s Sermon on the Mount fills me with bliss even today. Its sweet verses have even today the power to quench my agony of soul." For Lent this year, some friends and I are taking some inspiration from Gandhi a … [Read more...]

Tina Fey… and Improv as a metaphor for the biblical drama.

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I'm working today on revising the theological overview chapter for the Slow Church book. One of the key ideas that I borrow from pastor and theologian Sam Wells is that:“Improvisation in the theatre is a practice through which actors develop trust in themselves and one another in order that they may conduct unscripted dramas without fear.”I've been encouraged recently by some early readers of this chapter to make the improv metaphor robust...This morning as I was getting ready to work on this chapter, I stumbled upon a great blog post by my friend Jen Michel, in which she reflects o … [Read more...]

Congregational Lectio Divina as a Slow Church practice.

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At the Ekklesia Project gathering later this week, I will be leading lectio divina sessions on John 15:4-17.Doing lectio in a congregational (or small group) setting is a fruitful practice that will lead churches deeper into the life that John and I are calling Slow Church.Mark Lau Branson, who led the lectio divina sessions at last summer's EP Gathering, pointed us to the following thoughts on congregational lectio divina: Argentinean/Chicagoan Nancy Bedford, after expositing an ecclesial missiology grounded in the Trinity and the incarnation, focuses on discernment with attention to … [Read more...]

Slow Formation [An Ekklesia Project Guest Post by Ted Lewis]

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[ On July 5-7, The Ekklesia Project will hold its annual gathering in Chicago, which will be on the theme of Slow Church.  Between now and July, we will be running a series of lguest reflections here by folks connected with the E.P. We've asked guest posters to reflect on the meaning of Slow Church from their own local contexts. More info on the E.P. gathering.  ] Today’s reflection, the fifth in the series, is by Ted Lewis.Read the previous post in the series by Susan Adams.Over the past two years I’ve been part of a small men’s group in my church, and one thin … [Read more...]

Relevant Irrelevance [An Ekklesia Project Guest Post by Edwin Searcy]

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[ On July 5-7, The Ekklesia Project will hold its annual gathering in Chicago, which will be on the theme of Slow Church.  Between now and July, we will be running a series of lguest reflections here by folks connected with the E.P. We've asked guest posters to reflect on the meaning of Slow Church from their own local contexts. More info on the E.P. gathering.  ] Today’s reflection, the third in the series, is by Edwin Searcy. Read the previous post by Jason Fisher.I am learning to pastor a slow church. I am cultivating habits of patience and trust that God is f … [Read more...]

“The Kingdom Will Prevail” A Slow Church-related Sermon on Mark 4:24-34

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This is the sermon that Mike Bowling preached last Sunday (26 Feb 2012) here at Englewood Christian Church. It is one of the most hopeful and energizing sermons I have heard in a long time.  It is also a superb reading of Mark 4:24-34 that is in line with what we are calling Slow Church.I've never quite known what to make of v. 24-25:24And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken aw … [Read more...]


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