What If the Cross Set God Free?

I’m away from the blog this week, and I’ve asked my friends to fill in. This is a poem by my dear friend, Michael Toy.

wonderful plans

god loves you and
has a wonderful plan
for your life
it is helpful, when
saying that
to be illuminated
from above
or have just finished
transmuting wine

otherwise it just
sounds stupid
when one looks
at the many things
which are not wonderful

[Read more…]

When Youth Ministry Fails

My dear friend, Michael Toy, has a heart-rending post about his son’s experience at church. If you’re in youth ministry, please read it. Hell, if you’re in ministry, please read it:

The Day They Kicked my Son out of Sunday School

Michael Toy

Once upon a time there was church somewhere in America.  It wasn’t better or worse than any other church in America.  It was as full of the same kind of hopeful foolish beauty, and tragic inevitable disaster as any another other place where people put money in the offering plate and sing songs.

Now in this church there was a family.  A quirky non-conformist family, square pegs, no … hexagonal pegs, no … 5 dimensional pegs.  The church loves this family and the family loves being part of the church.  They don’t quite fit it, because of those pesky extra dimensions, but everyone gets along ok.

Then three things happen.

  • There is some upheaval and the youth program which used to be run by a full time staff member is now being run by a part time volunteer.
  • There is some upheaval, and the quirky family is not working very well.  They are having to work hard just to keep loving each other, they kind of lose energy for extra stuff, like looking all shiny and nice on Sunday mornings.
  • The son in this family, partially because life is not perfect at home, and partially because he is five dimensional, is now, by his presence in the room, keeping the youth program from running smoothly when he is involved.  He isn’t knocking down walls or hurting people.  He refuses to sit in the circle and play the games and doesn’t have the same happy opinion about the world that everyone else does.

One day, Youth Director comes to the Father of the Quirky family and says. “Your son is messing up Sunday School for all the normal children.  Something has to be done.”  On the day of the pronouncement, the Father of the Quirky Family was trying to figure out how to not to run screaming in fear from all the broken-ness in himself and the rest of the Quirky Family.  The last thing he needed was a new problem that needed to be monitored and managed.

Read what happened next: The Lingering Lemon of Death: The Day They Kicked my Son out of Sunday School.