Relationally-Based Community Development [Economics of Church and Seminary #3]

Shake_hands

We’re delighted to have a guest post today (the third in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler’s article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt.  *** You can find the previous posts in this series here… ***Relationally-Based Community Development and Social Enterprise Justin BarringerA while back I sat down with several of my homeless and formerly homeless neighbors to talk about our community. We talked about many things, about who was providing helpful goods and services, which churches were welcoming, the strengths of our neighb … [Read more...]

A Community of Simple Living [Economics of Church and Seminary #2]

RecreationMonksCellMuseumSGJalpan

 We’re delighted to have a guest post today (the second in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler’s article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt.  *** You can find the previous posts in this series here… ***  As the church has been caught up in this nightmare, we have, perhaps oddly, insisted that clergy are somehow supposed to be uniquely able and expected to avoid the snares of upward mobility. As folks were suggesting in the comments on the Atlantic article, clergy are not supposed to be in it for the money. In fact, it was … [Read more...]

On Making Tents [Economics of Church and Seminary #1]

Photo Credit: David Wheeler. Used with permission

We're delighted to have a guest post today (the first in a series of three) by Justin Barringer, who was featured in David Wheeler's article in The Atlantic about the effects of seminary debt. *** You can find this series's introductory post by Chris Smith here... ***  On Making Tents – My story Justin Barringer They say “Don’t read the comments.” In fact, my wife especially warned me not to read the comments after the article featuring me in The Atlantic was published. She was right. But, the rebel I am decided to read them anyway. Generally the comments broke down into four ty … [Read more...]

Reimagining the Economics of Church and Seminary

Church-Image-BW

Several weeks ago, The Atlantic ran a much-discussed article on the high cost of seminary, amidst the struggling economy of churches.  The article reminded us of a question that John and I have been getting often as we are out on the road talking about Slow Church:How can our church afford to be guided by a Slow, "Small is beautiful" philosophy when the economic pressure -- either from denominations or from the personal load of debt that our pastors bear -- is driving us to take the tempting shortcuts of "fast church"?Let me begin by saying that we don't have any easy solutions to … [Read more...]

Imagining Flourishing Communities.

Oxford Place_Page_1

Here at Englewood Christian Church, we are in the process of discussing details of a proposal for a Senior Housing Development in our neighborhood.  There is a basic vision for the project, and an architect has sketched initial plans: As the first phase of development on the former Crown Laundry site, the Oxford Street Senior Apartments will feature 30-senior units to be housed in a three story building with a modern architectural style. Masonry and cement board construction with flat roofs lend to the classic style desired for the site. The latest in green building techniques will be … [Read more...]

Churches Living in God’s Abundance

OnFaith

Last week, I wrote an article for OnFaith about God's abundant economy and how we live into that as churches.If this article captures your imagination, you can read the full chapter on Abundance from the Slow Church book online as part of the free Slow Church sampler.  (Download/read now)How Churches Are Finding Abundance in Hard Economic TimesFacing declining tithes and offerings, some churches are discovering the power of their theological imagination.by C. Christopher SmithRecent years have been hard economically for churches, especially small ones. Many churches … [Read more...]

Cultivating Economic Peace in an Age of Instability

CommonWealth

I turned on the radio this morning, and the airwaves were full of speculation about whether the U.S. economy would default, and if so, when... In sharp contrast, I am pleased to share this stunningly poignant piece that my friend Jim Aldrich recently wrote about how we have tried to cultivate a different sort of economy as a church community at Englewood Christian Church. The convictions that Jim expresses here lie at the heart of what we describe as the Slow Church economy.Twenty or so years ago we (at Englewood Christian Church) began a prolonged conversation; one that continues at … [Read more...]


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