Slow Church and the Mainline Churches.

Mainline

Had a fabulous time over the last few days at the Academy of Parish Clergy annual gathering in Dayton, Ohio.  I found the diverse group of mostly mainline pastors to be extraordinarily hospitable, specifically in inviting me to represent The Englewood Review of Books there (Thanks, Bob Cornwall for the invitation!) and in allowing me to share bits of our story here at Englewood Christian Church (briefly recounted in my recent ebook, The Virtue of Dialogue).  Also, it was wonderful to meet Carol Howard Merritt, who was the main conference speaker, and chat with her about some of the challenges f … [Read more...]

There Are No Unsacred Places

My pastor, Bob Henry, read this wonderful blog post this morning at Silverton Friends Church. The post is called "The Hill" and it was written by Mike Huber, pastor of West Hills Friends, a Quaker meeting in Portland. The blog post reminds me of something Wendell Berry wrote in a poem called "How To Be a Poet (to remind myself)":There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.The apostle Paul says followers of Jesus are ambassadors of reconciliation. That reconciliation work extends to - and is perhaps even rooted in - our particular places. Thus, … [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...]

Technology, Community and Discernment.

Wberry-2

John's post on Saturday on the Moral Importance of the iPhone reminded me of one of my favorite courses in college, an honors seminar on technology and community.  This class was my first deep immersion into the works of Wendell Berry, and it was also where I first encountered the work of the Amish writer David Kline. A major thrust of the course was reflecting on the ways in which our choices about technology impact the shape of our communities (as families, as churches and as neighborhoods.  One of the pieces we read for the class was Wendell Berry's little essay "Why I am NOT going to buy a … [Read more...]

The Taste of the Place

The Pines Vineyard

One of the keys to understanding Slow Church is captured in the seventeenth-century French phrase le goût de terroir, which can be translated “the taste of the place.”Carlo Petrini, co-founder of the Slow Food movement, writes often about terroir as “the combination of natural factors (soil, water, slope, height above sea level, vegetation, microclimate) and human ones (tradition and practice and cultivation) that gives a unique character to each small agricultural locality and the food grown, raised, made, and cooked there.” Thus, a Pinot noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley takes on the t … [Read more...]

The Moral Importance of the iPhone

iPhone

In a 2007 interview with Arthur Boers, the philosopher Albert Borgmann makes the case that television is of moral importance. Borgmann says: "When I teach my ethics course I tell these relatively young people that the most important decision that they'll make about their household is first whether they're going to get a television and then second where they're going to put it."I think for my generation and for the generation coming after mine, the questions could probably be amended to (a) "Are you going to get a smartphone?" and (b) "If so, what limits are you going to place on its … [Read more...]

Brief Remarks at a Tree Dedication

Osakazuki

The arts and craft college where I work sits on an 11-acre wooded campus in Portland’s west hills. It’s a beautiful campus, built on the site of an old filbert orchard, and it bewitches almost everyone who visits.  A few years ago, the college put in two new beautiful, architecturally-significant buildings. Both buildings have been submitted for Silver LEED Certification. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the old filbert orchard was destroyed during construction. (This was not part of the master plan.) Many faculty, staff, students, and alumni were understandably devastated at the loss … [Read more...]


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