Three Ways We Can Foster Gratitude in Our Churches

Note: The last three days we've been focusing on gratitude as a communal discipline. On Thanksgiving Day, we examined our culture of dissatisfaction and the link between gratitude and justice, between ingratitude and injustice. Yesterday, we talked about how gratitude can open our eyes to the abundance all around us. Today, we conclude our series by describing three ways--three, out of many possibilities--that we can foster a gifts perspective in our churches. They are Asset Mapping, Appreciative Inquiry, and Asset-Based Community Development. Asset Mapping in CongregationsThe process o … [Read more...]

Cultivating Gratitude in Our Communities

Note: In Slow Church, Chris and I describe gratitude as the vital bridge that connects abundance and generosity. As a spiritual discipline--one that requires time and intentionality, both on our own and in community--gratitude is how we practice recognizing the abundant gifts God has given us. It's how we praise God for those gifts. And it is the energy that compels us to want to share those gifts. This is the second of a three-part series on how gratitude can transform our communities. (Here’s a link to yesterday’s post.) How do you practice gratitude at home, at church, and in your neighb … [Read more...]

Gratitude and Justice

Note: Researchers have found that the happiest people also tend to be the most grateful. What's interesting is that these folks aren't grateful for being happy; they're happy because they have been intentional about cultivating a life of gratitude. This is the first post in a three-part series (adapted from Slow Church) on how the practice of gratitude can similarly transform our families, churches, and neighborhoods. Tomorrow, we'll talk about how gratitude can open our eyes to the abundance all around us. And on Saturday, we'll talk about a few ways churches in particular can foster a gifts p … [Read more...]

Ferguson and Our Broken Justice System

I'm deeply saddened, but not really surprised by the grand jury's decision tonight in Ferguson.The fundamental disconnect is that Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch could stand there and say that there was no question that Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown (who --although this was never explicitly offered in the statement -- was UNARMED), and yet there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trial.  This is the broken system in which we live, a society so enamored with guns and violence that it is permissible to shoot and kill an unarmed person and not even face a trial … [Read more...]

Justice that Leavens the World.

While in the DC area this week speaking and promoting Slow Church, I had the opportunity this morning to visit a friend of mine who works at International Justice Mission (IJM).  I had the privilege of sitting in on IJM's daily prayer service today, where they shared various facets of their work and offered thanksgiving and requests in prayer.  IJM is doing powerful work around the globe, diligently working for the justice of women, fighting the sex trade, working to end the violence that lies at the root of much poverty and injustice in the world.At the same time, I am reading Scot M … [Read more...]

Slow Church Book Tour – Mid-Atlantic States – Nov. 2014

Well, I (Chris) am excited to be doing a bunch of Slow Church events in the Mid-Atlantic states next month... I'm looking forward to going back to the area in which I grew up, to meeting new folks and to igniting some conversations about Slow church!If you live near one of these events, I hope you can be there and bring a friend or two.If you don't live close enough, maybe you have friends -- particularly in the DC or Lancaster/York, PA areas -- that might enjoy participating in a conversation about Slow Church.  Please help me spread the word! (I have provided Facebook invites with … [Read more...]

Slow Church Shares the Stage with Slow Food & Slow Money

Friends of Slow Church,The last four months have been almost magical. Since Slow Church officially released on June 3, we’ve been surprised, delighted, and truly humbled by people’s responses to the book. Those responses have been overwhelmingly positive, and even the occasional pushback we’ve received has helped move the Slow Church conversation forward. We’re grateful for all of it. Thank you.I have two goals for this post. First, I want to give you the briefest update on what’s been happening with the book. Second, we want to make an exciting announcement about how Slow Church has be … [Read more...]