A Conversational Way Forward: Responding to the Exodus of Millennials from our Churches

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Rachel Held Evans has written a wonderful piece for the CNN Belief blog on why Millennials are leaving our churches.It has been in heavy rotation on the social media circuits the last couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it yet, do stop and read it now.From my experience talking to millennials in churches and colleges, I think Rachel has hit the nail on the head.  However, I am a few years older than Rachel (squarely in the middle of Generation X), and I remember very similar pieces being written about why Gen-Xers were leaving churches in the early to mid-1990s. So, maybe … [Read more...]

Work, Generosity and the Schooling of Desire

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Mike Bowling, pastor here at Englewood Christian Church, has been preaching through the 10 commandments this year, spending 3 weeks on each commandment, one looking at the Old Testament context, one looking at what Jesus said, and one looking at that commandment in the New Testament and beyond...This past Sunday was the third week of the series on "You shall not steal," and the text was Eph. 4:28: He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. There are a bunch of … [Read more...]

Slow Church and the Recovery of Culture.

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John pointed out to me recently that Greg Wolfe, editor of IMAGE, gave a passing tip o' the hat to Slow Church in his latest editorial for the journal: [When] you edit a literary quarterly you often encounter people who advise you to give up on such an outmoded and burdensome enterprise: why publish long stories and essays and poems that no one will read in the age of Twitter and blockbuster movies? There are even those far less jaded and more gracious souls who applaud me for publishing such a “scholarly” journal.Whether cynical or sweet, the implication is that what you will find in the … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Animate.Faith: A New Kind of Christian Education

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[ This post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of animate.faith ]I recently had the opportunity to review the new animate.faith curriculum from Sparkhouse, which is a groundbreaking effort to create a new kind of Christian education resource for emerging/progressive church communities.  The curriculum consists of a DVD with seven segments by respected teachers (and bonus segments consisting of interviews with the seven speakers), a facilitator's guide and a participant's journal.  While the DVD and facilitator's guide are essential to the curriculum, I tend to agree with Adam W … [Read more...]


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