Supporting Each Other in Sickness and in Health

hospital

After recently re-reading Wendell Berry's essay "Health is Membership" and being struck by its pertinency today, I asked a few friends to read the essay and write a Slow Church-related reflection on the essay.  The is the first of these reflections by my friend Brent Bill.     ~ChrisAlmost twenty years ago Wendell Berry gave an address titled “Health is Membership.”  Berry, the agrarian poet/novelist/theologian, presented a pretty scathing indictment of the then “modern” health system in the US and our complicity in its failings.  Among his criticisms, which are many, was that our under … [Read more...]

Missional Without The Church?

New_York_City_-_Trinity_Church

 Tony Jones recently posted some harsh critiques of homeschooling (“Death to Homeschooling!” and “Why Homeschoolers Don’t Understand Missional”) that have been generating quite a bit of backlash and conversation. Jamie Arpin-Ricci, for instance, has offers some great thoughts in response: "Missional Implications of Education."I agree with Tony that there some screwed up thoughts driving the way that some folks do homeschooling, but as a number of people have noted (including Mark Van Steenwyk) there are a wide range of ideologies that compel people to homeschool, and in that sense … [Read more...]

The Roadblocks to Sustainability and How we Begin to Tackle Them

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David Owen has long been one of our favorite thinkers here at Englewood; his book Green Metropolis was selected by The Englewood Review of Books as one of the Best Books of 2009.  [ Read our review // Watch a video of a lecture related to the book ]I was recently alerted to the fact that he published a new book earlier this year (that somehow slipped under our radar), entitled: The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse Paperback: Riverhead Books, 2012. Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]I was blown … [Read more...]

False Economies and False Gods

Bull

This morning I was re-reading my favorite Wendell Berry essay, "Discipline and Hope," which has become an essential text for me in trying to understand the meaning and implications of Slow Church. I was struck today by a short passage on the ways we have come to idolize the present economy. Berry writes:   "If the Golden Rule were generally observed among us, the economy would not last a week. We have made our false economy a false god, and it has made blasphemy of the truth. So I have met the economy in the road, and am expected to yield it right of way. But I will not get over. My reason is … [Read more...]

Jean Vanier: From Brokenness to Community

Jean-Vanier

Let me pick up on where Chris left off and post something here to mark the birthday of Jean Vanier. My first book was called Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture. The subtitle of Besides the Bible doesn't really reflect the goal of the book, which was simply to recommend 100 books my co-authors and I thought every Christian should read. One of the essays I wrote for Besides the Bible was about Vanier's masterpiece, From Brokenness to Community, a book that has profoundly influenced the way I think about community and communion. Here is what I … [Read more...]

Jean Vanier Interview.

Today is the birthday of Jean Vanier, the founder of the L'Arche communities.If there is anyone who could be called a prophet of Slow Church, it is Vanier...Here is an excellent seven-part interview with Vanier (the quality of what Vanier says is excellent, the quality of the video and audio, less so...  Sometimes you may need to turn up the volume to catch what the soft-spoken Vanier is saying...)I recommend starting with this video (Part 7):[ Part 1 - Can Aristotle be a Guide for Life? ]  [ Part 2 - The Heart and the Mind ][ Part 3 - Celebrating Life ]  [ Part 4 … [Read more...]

What is Sustainability?

Seedling

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to go an hour or so up the road from here to talk with some students at my alma mater, Taylor University.The primary question that we will tackle will be what is sustainability?  And how do we pursue it?I'm sure we'll have some good conversation along the way.  I will argue that our best hope of a sustainable way of life is in the revival of parish life, (a term I'm borrowing from the good folks at the Parish Collective), by which I mean a rich and distinctive local culture that is catalyzed (but not controlled) by the churches in a particular place. … [Read more...]


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