Friday, May 12, 2017

bread, stones and parents


picture of jesus praying in the garden. he prays, "Heavenly Father, I  know that St. Matthew and St. Luke will both be quoting what I said about fathers not giving stones to children who ask for bread... but will that be enough?  I fear that some who claim to follow you will in fact give stones and snakes to their very own children, all the while claiming to stand for righteousness and believing they are remaining faithful to the gospel while in fact missing me entirely." cartoon by rob goetze




Which daughters and sons are being given stones and serpents?

Which daughters and sons are being stoned 
instead of fed and nourished?



Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Luke 11:11 (NIV)
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?




Wednesday, May 03, 2017

pinned: links to 'uncertain and declared spaces' resources


Read the full article on uncertain spaces and declared spaces, with additional examples and stories.

Watch the introductory video on uncertain spaces and declared spaces.

Read my article on exploring uncertainty and embrace at your church.

Check out all "uncertain spaces and declared spaces" posts on this blog.

[why i left, why i stayed: book]


cover of book "Why I Left, Why I Stayed" by Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo.
In Why I Left, Why I Stayed, Tony, a renowned Christian teacher and apologist, and Bart, a humanist chaplain at the University of Southern California, seek to provide a safe space for anyone wrestling with their own—or a loved one’s—decision to stay in or leave the church, providing compelling arguments in both directions and modeling for everyone how to strongly but lovingly disagree about the things that matter most.

For anyone who has questions about the viability and truth of the Christian life or wonders what life looks like after Christianity, this book promises to be challenging, inspiring, and highly informative. Read a sneak peek excerpt here.
(Source: Red Letter Christians email)

I haven't read this book, but it looks like a great example of how people with very different views can get along and, in fact, like and love each other as people.


Click here to watch on YouTube.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

disco spirit

jesus prays about the holy spirit. cartoon by rob goetze. image of jesus praying, with text: "Father, I have seen the future and that itty bitty red light the Anglican churches have to symbolize the presence of your Spirit. It just seems so insignificant compared to the Spirit! I'm wondering if you could lead them to use disco balls instead, to symbolize the way our Spirit is everywhere and always moving and active... and besides, I hear it might help those followers of mine from Elgibeeteacue feel more at home..."


Oh look! Jesus' prayer has come true at St. Mark's in the Bowery (NYC):

picture of disco ball above parishioners at St. Mark's in the Bowery (NYC). Photo from their FB page?
image source

Try suggesting this to your church council...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

[happy easter!]





Friday, March 17, 2017

[heathens and the church]






Really love the song Heathens by twenty one pilots, and then found that Richard Beck, one of my favourite bloggers and authors, has just written about them in his blog. Here's a snippet of what he says:
"Heathens" makes many of the points I try to make in Unclean. The speaker and audience of "Heathens" is unclear, but I'd like to read the song as Jesus speaking to the church, as TØP preaching to their fellow Christians. Read this way "Heathens" is both a prophetic rebuke to the church as well as an invitation into Jesus' lifestyle of radical hospitality.

Read the entire post:
Lovin' On the Freakshow Sitting Next to You: The Church According to Twenty One Pilots


If you haven't heard the song, you can hear it in this video. Note that as the song was used for a movie soundtrack, the images in this video are not related to what Richard Beck is speaking about!


Watch on YouTube.

Lyrics:

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

All my friends are heathens. Take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

[evergreen presbyterian declares itself]


storefront windows of evergreen presbyterian church, memphis. photo from their FB page. Written on windows is "Refugees welcome", "Black Lives Matter", "Protect the sacred", "Love is Love", "Water is Life"


I came across this image in an article by Mary Button, Mission Developer at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, in Memphis. The article itself is worth reading, as it talks about how she and the church respond in open ways to what is happening around them.
Give it a read: Art as Resistance in Uncertain Times.

Love the way the church windows, being located in a store front, are right at the street level. No fences and manicured lawns between passersby and this building. There are the windows, and on them this church has declared what they are about.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

in the chapel at holy trinity

painting of jesus on the cross, in the chapel of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton. Photo by rob goetze

In the chapel at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton.
Artist?

Friday, January 20, 2017

[fishing tips, from rev. dr. john pentland]


Cover of "Fishing Tips: How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith", by Rev. Dr. John Pentland. Has image of question mark made of up fish flies."Fishing Tips is an open invitation to be curious. Using an ancient story as inspiration, John Pentland reflects on how Hillhurst United said "Yes" to throwing the nets on the other side of convention. The result was innovative, invigorating and transformative."

In the 1980s, Hillhurst United opposed the ordination of gay and lesbian people. Today, they are an affirming congregation. This book is by the minister who played a key role in this transformation.

Of particular interest to the topic of uncertain spaces and declared spaces is Fishing Tip Eight: Say Who You Are. This chapter has two parts: Naming Ourselves, and How a Name Leads to Action & Grows Your Church

For more on the book, click here: http://www.hillhurstunited.com/fishing-tips

Check out an article that discusses if a church can be biblical, evangelical and progressive.
ADD LINK HERE

Thursday, January 12, 2017

[PIE: public, intentional, explicit]

As I continue to think about uncertain spaces and declared spaces, I came across this important concept from the Affirm United website. It presents three key aspects of being a declared space in a crisp, clear way:

Most congregations do their best to be welcoming, but being affirming goes deeper and is public, intentional, and explicit, in their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Think “PIE”: Public, Intentional, and Explicit.

Public: An Affirming Ministry uses symbols and signs which are echoed outside and inside the church building, in worship, and in all other facets of church life. The broader community should also know what it stands for; a witness to the wider community that God’s love extends to everyone equally and without reserve. This is still a radical message!

Intentional: An Affirming Ministry is deliberate in their process of study, education and dialogue with members of their faith community (both during the Affirming process and as a piece of their ongoing work), to ensure that the history of oppression and discrimination by the Church is both understood and acknowledged, and that continued growth, education, and celebration are part of its ministry.

Explicit: Affirming Ministries should explicitly indicate in their Mission and Vision statement – and everywhere else! – that the LGBTQ+ community is a part of and embraced in all facets of church life. And as part of the Affirming process, their faith community will explore and explain how to live out that commitment.

Read more about this at
http://affirmunited.ause.ca/frequently-asked-questions-about-affirm-united-saffirmer-ensemble/

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

[can a church be biblical, evangelical and progressive?]


Here's an article about a Calgary church that believes in Jesus and loves and embraces people -- in reality, not just abstractly.
Can a church be both open and inclusive on social questions and at the same time evangelical in outreach and committed to scripture and doctrine? Wouldn’t you want to be part of a church like that?

It is not hard to find theologically open churches that aren’t engaged with scripture and doctrine. And it is easy to find churches committed to scripture and doctrine that make the lines of belonging impossibly narrow. Could a church offer the best of both worlds?

John Pentland, minister at Hillhurst United Church in Calgary, Alberta, thinks so, and his church seems poised to reach a generation of Canadians who are skeptical of religion in general and Christianity in particular. He admits that this is surprising—those looking for innovative congregations and dramatic church growth are not likely to look at the United Church of Canada.

"Biblical, evangelical—and progressive" by Jason Byassee
Oct 28, 2016
Hillhurst United Church (Calgary) logo. Snipped from their website.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

p.s. this post is tagged with "uncertain spaces" because Hillhurst is the opposite of an uncertain space — it is a great example of a declared space.