Lenten Reading: Sermon on the Mount #2

This morning I read just past the end of the Sermon on the Mount, where it says that the crowds were amazed at Jesus's teaching because, unlike the scribes, Jesus taught as one who had authority. I almost took that as an invitation to go back and re-read the sermon...this time with feeling!One thing I struggle against is that the Sermon on the Mount is so familiar, and it's full of so many well-worn phrases -- light of the world, turn the other cheek, go the second mile, lilies and sparrows, pearls before swine, do unto others, the house built on the rock -- that they have become … [Read more...]

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]

SnailNandi

[ 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...]


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