Monday, December 22, 2008

August Rush - August's Rhapsody ( SoundTrack )

"The music is all around us > all you have to do is listen." - August Rush

The incarnation of the, carrying the very Spirit of the living God. Do you hear it? see it? taste it? feel it? I do. And amazingly it is taking me to places not everybody understands.

Merry Christmas to you all. I love you all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ikon advent event

I'm waiting around to participate in the first ever international ikon online blogging event outside of Belfast, Ireland. Their "Ikon Advent" event currently has 51 people signed on through facebook from all over the world to participate. You can click the above link to check out the entire event's conversation if you missed. I am waiting, just waiting...anticipation is key really...whenever!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Part 4-Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence Christianity

4 of 4: "Radical is Root"

Peter Rollins: "This is a message to the whole church, not to a certain segment of the church."

Part 3-Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence Christianity

This 3rd of 4 videos looks at "What's Happening Outside the US?"

Part 2-Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence Christianity

This 2nd of 4 videos explores the notion that "God Can't Be Defined." Peter Rollins shares some insights about the "traumatic event in Scripture." He wonders about how we can make sense of juxtaposed descriptions of God that are placed side by side within Scripture?

Peter Rollins: "Truth is in the rupture."

Peter Rollins: "We've reduced God to an idea, to something we can speak about rather than this traumatic event which transforms and changes us."

Peter Rollins: "We're the object and God's the absolute subject."

Part 1-Phyllis Tickle and Peter Rollins discuss Emergence Christianity

I just found out about these great youtube videos that were put together by Paraclete Press, the publisher for Peter Rollins' books. This is the 1st of 4.

This first conversation wonders around what Emergence Christianity is and the operative values within it. The two values Pete speaks about here: 1. "Suspended Space", 2. "Doughnut Structure".

Monday, December 15, 2008

thinking outside the cookie cutter

tonight was the night. the cookie dough had been cooled for the three required hours and we were ready. we took out the dough, argued over who was going to roll it out, argued over who was going to sprinkle the flour, argued over who got which cookie cutter to use. it was great! LOVE IT!

ok, aside from the usual grief that comes with a 7 and 6 year old, brother and sister respectively, it was a great night. we laughed, listened to christmas music and found joy in just being with each other. after a couple cookie cutter cuts, i took out a knife and began to carve my own figure. the kids observed intently and guessed inquisitively. "it's a cross" grace said. "no, it's an airplane!" derek yelled. "yep, said dad, that's it. you got it D".

"so who wants to use your brain to cut cookies instead of cookie cutters?" i asked. "your brain or cookie cutters?" i asked emphatically again. grace shouted out, "my brain!" i gave each of them a knife (hope you're not listening kc) and watched as they began to imagine, engaging with creative thoughts bubbling up from within. what a sight to see. they had become co-creators! how fun and frustrating at the same time, but wondrously free to be.

there was a snag however and it was this: all their brainy creativity was taking FOREVER. i said "alright now, let's just go back to the cookie cutters and stop using our brains." they argued again and demanded not to go back. i agreed after the usual ping pong match of words. in that moment i thought it kind of interesting how impatient we can be...i could be.

isn't this how life is sometimes? we get excited about trying new things, using our brains for a change, getting creative, and yet for some reason it never gets along as fast as we would like or hope. but maybe that's the point. isn't it about the creative process and not merely the "getting-it-all-over-and-done-with"? isn't it about the gift of wondering, and together, what could be? what we also learned was that if it failed, we balled up the sugar cookies and started again. ahhhh, fresh starts, who doesn't like those?

and so i celebrate tonight, that for a moment, for a short break in time, we were able to stand in opposition to the constraints unassumingly and unconsciously imposed on us...and for that time, we were able to think outside the cookie cutter!

taking a leap

well, i have done it. i have discerned, for better or for worse, for what i hear God calling me to do. i have been serving as an interim/transitional pastor simultaneous to beginning the flagstaff abbey an emerging expression of church. last week i notified the bishop, council, call committee, all to their surprise, that i will not be submitting my name as an interviewing candidate for the traditional parish. that means i'll only be serving for a few more months as an interim in this setting. i am discerning what to do, but very much feel called to put old wine in new wineskins, not for the sake of an ecclesiastical beauty contest, but for being true to the kind of leader i hear God calling out in me.

i feel too schizophrenic to be living in two completely different cultural realities. the best example, although i know they all break down, is this. i feel i'm not the leader to restore a 1964 vintage mustang, but do feel called to work on hybrids and push even further into the future with the very way we build and use transportation. this is the best expression for helping to share the divergent and vexed reality i have continually found myself occupying.

i've got to say at another level but very much related, i'm also concerned about the professional aspect of church leadership, lay and clergy alike. i don't know how it will all work out, but i just know that the perception from those supposedly outside the church, don't really give a flying shit that there is a professional and many won't actually and financially support such an effort. what this doesn't mean however is that they aren't concerned about generously contributing to good causes for the sake of serving the common good. but the church is loosing its ground on how to sustain itself. which in and of itself is a telling reality. i realize this is a huge generalization toward mainlines and that they will vary, but when i think about 20-30 somethings here in my southwest context, i am not seeing an interest and enthusiasm in financially supporting and sustaining such communities with full time paid church staff. this doesn't mean that there won't continue to be churches who have people willing to pay their pastors, but i believe there is a decline happening, with attached suspicion toward this whole venture.