Category Archives: Faith & Culture

The Most Important Word in the Bible

Sara Miles
Sara Miles (Photo credit: MarkPritchard)

Sara Miles, author of “Take This Bread” and “Jesus Freak” writes a compelling article for Daily Episcopalian, part of Episcopal Cafe.

Following on the heels of the Gospel appointed for July 21 – the “Mary / Martha” story, in which many believe it is a comparison to the contemplative vs. active life, Sara discusses the place of mission trips in her ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa’s feeding program in San Francisco. Continue reading

From Limit to Grace

backpackAnyone who has participated in any of Eric Law’s workshops or trainings or read some of his books, know that he is a gifted writer, musician and poet. His work on diversity and inclusion is well known throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond.

Eric weekly blogs on The Sustainist, offering reflections of the events occurring in our world as well as questions for pondering the Sunday lectionary readings. This week he shares a reflection on how we react when things happen in our society and what it means to live fully alive in a culture of fear.

From Limit to Grace

I carry a backpack containing my computer and the things I need for my meetings, workshops, travels and conferences all the time. I switched to a backpack a couple of years ago after carrying a heavy shoulder bag on one shoulder making my posture unbalanced for years. So, when in the midst of the frantic media reactions to the bombing at the Boston Marathon, someone suggested that we should ban all backpacks from public events, I was a little upset.  I was upset because this reaction to this tragedy was to set more limits, which is one of the typical responses to fear.  Here is the logic: since the last tragedy involved two people who carried backpacks with explosives, we should limit the use of backpacks to increase safety.  Using the same logic, why don’t we also ban baseball caps and immigrants from public events?

He suggests that we should be sustainists rather than setting even more limits that narrow our thinking. How are we living out Jesus’ command to “love one another”?

Read more of From Limit to Grace, including a link to listen to a song he wrote following the shootings in Sandy Hook in December entitled, “Sustain the Weary.”

Responding to Boston

candle people_huggingAgain, churches, schools and families are looking for resources to respond to another senseless act of violence. I have shared many on this site as well as Building Faith before.

The National Association of Episcopal Schools has just released this composite of resources again that is worth bookmarking: Responding to the Boston Bombing: Resources for Schools.

Links to a few of my previous postings:

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

candlelightA blog post from “I said I don’t know” that points to how the church is failing young adults . . .

I’m writing this because I’m worried about the safety of the Church. The Church keeps scratching its head, wondering why 70% of 23-30 year-olds who were brought up in church leave. I’m going to offer a pretty candid answer, and it’s going to make some people upset, but I care about the Church too much to be quiet. We’re scared of change. We always have been. When scientists proposed that the Earth could be moving through space, church bishops condemned the teaching, citing Psalm 104:5 to say that God “set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” But the scientific theory continued, and the Church still exists. I’m saying this: we cannot keep pitting the church against humanity, or progress. DON’T hear me saying that we can’t fight culture on anything. Lots of things in culture are absolutely contradictory to love and equality, and we should be battling those things. The way culture treats women, or pornography? Get AT that, church. I’ll be right there with you. But my generation, the generation that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away, will not stick around to see the church fight gay marriage against our better judgment. It’s my generation who is overwhelmingly supporting marriage equality, and Church, as a young person and as a theologian, it is not in your best interest to give them that ultimatum.

Read the whole post, which includes a video that gets to the heart of what this young adult is calling the church to pay attention to.

via An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation | “I Said I Dont Know.”–and Other Answers to Hard Questions.

17 Things Technology Has Replaced in Children’s Ministry

I remember borrowing movies from the public library to show children during our annual meeting. I’d pick up the CAN of film and set up the projector, making sure I thread all the film correctly through the machine and then cross my fingers that it did not break during the viewing.

I remember showing filmstrips of the “Holy Land” in class.

I remember teaching with flannelboard – which is still a great thing to use for a visual storytelling experience.

I remember the smell of mimeograph paper, with the purple ink. And typing on a stencil to run the Sunday bulletin off the Gestener machine. What a mess that could be.

But I guess I am really showing my age.

Even in the past five years, how we engage children and youth in our Christian education programs has changed. Toss out those old VHS tapes and even CDs.

What else makes you feel old? What makes you excited about the future? Can you related to any of the following in the article linked below?

17 Things Technology Has Replaced in Children’s Ministry ~ RELEVANT CHILDREN’S MINISTRY.