Minnesota Beer

So, I made an off-handed remark last week about Minnesota having the best microbrew community in the country, and I got all sorts of push-back from people touting Colorado, Oregon, even Indiana (cough, cough). Puh-leeze.

While I should not have to explain myself, I nevertheless will, by overwhelming you with links. Read a few of these and tell me why you’re not packing a UHaul and moving here.

Because Surly Furious is ranked the #1 IPA in the world by RateBeer, the Rotten Tomatoes of beer (which means it’s a rating of all reviews)

Because Surly is building a $20 million destination brewpub

Because James Fallows tries a Surly and admits he was wrong about canned beer

Because a Minneapolis brewer uses yeast he imported in vials from Belgium, and his Chinese father-in-law, to make Boom Island

Because I will be refilling my growler of another IPA this weekend: Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine

Because all these brewers started in their garages.

Because the Four Firkins is an amazing beer store.

And I could go on…

Go ahead, Indianans, have at it!

What’s After Postmodernism?

Geoff Holsclaw attempt an answer:

If you missed it, postmodernism died on September 24th, 2011.  Yup.  At least if you take the word of Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which opened its “Postmodernism—Style and Subversion 1970-1990″ on that day…

But if postmodernism is dead, is over, is done with, what comes after?

Isn’t this the question we always want to ask, that we have to ask?  If postmodernism indicated that which follows modernism, which being integrally an extension of it (i.e. modern is still with the very name), don’t we have to ask what is after it?  Which is really not a postmodern question, but a modern one, for modernity trained us to expected the new, the next, the upgraded against the old, traditional, normal.

READ THE REST After Postmodernism? “True, but still…” : the church and postmodern culture.

Finding Hope in Prayer #WhyPray

See below for a story about this photograph

So, I think I’m turning the corner. I think I’m finding a reason to pray.

Often what I do is write my way through problems, both spiritual and theological. That’s what I did in my very first book, and about half my books since have been in that same vein.

This book, Why Pray?, however, is the first that is attempting to solve what has become a vexing problem for me both spiritually and theologically. I have been struggling to find a reason to pray. And, thus, have been struggling to pray.

Every time I write about this, several will comment that prayer doesn’t need a reason. In fact, some commenters will imply that questions of this sort are unfaithful. Prayer is meant to be mysterious, they argue, and analysis of prayer ruins it.

I get it. They have a point. But I don’t think that looking for a rationale for prayer is unfaithful. I think it is faithfulness, at least for me. And I think that people like me — people with questions about the efficacy of prayer — deserve answers.

And, at least for me, I think I’m coming closer to an answer that will lead me back into prayer.

[Read more...]

National Episcopal Preaching Conference

Next month, I’ll be at the beautiful Kanuga Conference Center for the first time, along with Shane Hipps, Lauren Winner, and others. Join us there for a great week about new forms of preaching:


APRIL 23, 2012 – APRIL 26, 2012

How is a sermon heard in our day? How might our sermons receive a better hearing?

What is the place of social media, technology and innovation in the contemporary proclamation as we tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love?

Co-sponsored with the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, the third annual National Episcopal Preaching Conference will inspire clergy and seminarians to improve their preaching by exploring emerging patterns of proclamation.

All participants will share in a mix of worship, lecture and discussion. Workshops will be offered on technology, social media, collaborative preaching and improvisation.

An emphasis also will be put on small preaching groups, led by faculty of the Foundation’s annual Preaching Excellence Program, where sermons will be reviewed and critiqued.

“Everyone will bring a sermon to preach in their small group of 10 or so preachers,” said the Rev. Dr. William Brosend, conference coordinator. “The feedback will help their future preaching, as will the chance to hear our keynote speakers and other colleagues.”

Conference speakers will share what drives their preaching and how they stay inspired to make their messages reach a constantly evolving audience.

More info and registration here: Kanuga Conferences.