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...]

The Virtue of Dialogue – Workshop Slides

Today I led a workshop for The Center for Congregations on the practice of conversation, based on Englewood's experience with conversation, and my book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press 2012).  The slides from that presentation are included below....I did make a rough audio recording of the workshop, so if that turns out to be listenable, I might also share it here.I've given a similar presentation to a number of churches and groups of churches. Contact me if your church would be interested in hosting such a conversation...  Download the Slides Here … [Read more...]

Bangladesh – Reviving the Call for Slow Fashion.

The recent fire in a Bangladeshi garment factory that claimed well over 1000 lives was a powerful reminder of how costly "cheap" fashion can be...Extensive coverage of the the fire and its aftermath from CNN.Last year, Amy Peterson reviewed Elizabeth Cline's book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion for The Englewood Review of Books.  As part of that review, she offered a wonderful list of suggestions for how churches could promote alternative ways of thinking about clothes, a slow fashion of sorts that is rooted in our faith communities.We are delighted … [Read more...]

Storytelling for the health of the church


[Adapted from a script I wrote for a video that IVP made for the Inhabit conference.  My segment didn't get used in the IVP video, but these thoughts are worth sharing here on the blog] My friends at the Parish Collective often speak of the importance of parishes being rooted and linked. These two virtues show us two different ways that storytelling works in our local churches.Storytelling is absolutely essential to the health and flourishing of local parishes. As we seek to be rooted, stories serve to shape our identity—they remind us who we are and how God is at work tr … [Read more...]

Be Strong in the Lord’s Power


Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice” today.  This is the sixth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: “God Tabernacling in Our Weakness"  Continuing the theme of our last post in this series (linked above), Marva Dawn in her important book Powers, Weakness and the Tabernacling of God, begins her exploration of the Ephesians 6 text by noting that because God tabernacles in our weakness, we can be strong in the Lord's power.  The we here is important, Dawn emphasizes, for it is the the whole Body of Christ -- and not the individua … [Read more...]

“I know something worse than hate…”


Continuing the series on “Slow Church and the Urgency of Justice" today.  This is the fifth post. (Link goes to the initial post in the series).  Previous post: Engaged with our Neighbors’ Struggles Against Injustice.In our last post in this series, I emphasized that working toward justice begins in our local neighborhoods.  There is a great danger in trying to address injustices in the abstract. Our efforts to address injustice in the abstract often (unintentionally) results in great damage in real situations.This truth is one that Mexican poet Javier Sicilia knows all too well.   In 2011, … [Read more...]

Lent 2013 – Two Slow Church-related Articles


Fasting toward the Common Good Chris recently wrote an article for The Good Men Project, which begins:Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent for Christians around the globe. Based on the example of Jesus, who fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is the season leading up to Easter that has traditionally been understood as a time of fasting. Today, many Christians have reduced the practice of fasting during Lent to giving up some luxury — chocolate, alcohol, coffee, or television — for the duration of the season. Although such sacrifices are fasts of sorts, it is par … [Read more...]