October 10, 2012

UPDATE 10.11.12: Here is a very thoughtful response from David Hansen as he offers a caution about the letter itself. Thanks David for the graceful push-back and call for even more nuance, Get Out of the Garage. Dear Pastors, Apologies if this post seems less than fully baked, but what I am about to try and talk to you about has been noodling around my head for a while and I just haven’t been able to muster the courage to write…. Read more

October 9, 2012

First off, before the strident atheists out there start lifting this post up as a “See, even, so and so, says Christians are a bunch of hypocrites!” let me be the first to stipulate that all people of faith are, at some level, hypocrites. Because we understand that we are not perfect, there will always be inconsistency. Of course, depending on one’s context, some Christians are more hypocritical than others, but in the end, very few people actually do walk the talk in totality. This reality… Read more

October 5, 2012

A few weeks ago, Kent Shaffer’s Church Relevance Blog posted a list of Top 200 Church Blogs. And while I am honored to have cracked the charts at #90 the list, like many others, on first glance, I felt as though the list lacked diversity in many areas: gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Of course, I did not walk through each and every blog to record and analyze demographic identifiers and I don’t think the make-up of the list would change that much if… Read more

October 4, 2012

Every once in a while during some online interaction, I find myself pounding my head on my keyboard in frustration and asking myself, “Why bother?” The frustration is usually born out of a conversation about a political or theological tweet or update, when it becomes clear to me that some folks are more interested in winning battles than building community. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for vigorous and passionate debate, and I am often complicit in exacerbating unhealthy dialogue, but too often it… Read more

September 27, 2012

One of the groups that I am part of is the Public Religion Research Institute, an organization that conducts surveys about religion in the United States. I have been a board member – though admittedly, not a very good board member- for a few years and I have been deeply impressed by the work that this organization does. In the past we have published such studies as Beyond Guns and God: Understanding the Complexities of the White Working Class in America, A Generation in… Read more

September 26, 2012

UPDATED 10.04.12: People have offered some great additional questions which I have added below in BOLD ITALICIZED TEAL. Of course there is something to be said about challenging the very notion of being “the” pastor of any congregation, but there are many who find great meaning and a deep calling to serve in the capacity as Pastor. Some folks are paid and others are not, but what is pretty consistent is that some group of people often chooses him or her. In my… Read more

September 25, 2012

It seems as if many people in the United States have fallen in love with Darwin and his “survival of the fittest” evolutionary discoveries. Now I am not talking about the debates between creationism and evolution – I am one of those who believes that the two are not mutually exclusive – but how this idea seems to have infiltrated American politics and culture when it comes to how we treat the poor and struggling in our society. For some reason, extreme… Read more

September 21, 2012

 BOOKS // If you are like me, you are reading more than one book at any given time. Some are for work, others for edification and still others, what I call “brain candy,” for the pure joy of reading.  Here are three books that are are being lugged around in my bag and/or on my kindle these days. If you liked the non-fiction gem, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America then I guarantee that… Read more

September 19, 2012

As many of you know the past year has had me exploring many options for ministry. One of those things was to begin thinking about the formation of a Presbyterian church that meets online. It is hard to believe that we floated this idea about six months ago. My how times flies.  This project has spurred some good conversations about church, social media and community. Like any group of folks with many projects on their plates, the leadership team has been going through the ebbs and flows… Read more

September 19, 2012

This morning I received a note announcing the release of a new FREE eBook from Luther Seminary and their Lilly Foundation funded Vibrant Congregations Project. I have not read it yet, but just by walking through the list of contributors, my guess is that everyone should be able to find SOMETHING useful. While this combination of names may not always be seen in the same group, our common connection is that we are still part of the under-50 crowd and we see some… Read more

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