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Recently, folks across the region of the denomination that I will be ordained into in a couple of months were asked the question:  “What do you understand your parish’s  goals/priorities to be at this time?”

If you scan their responses (I’ve pasted them to the end of this post), you’ll notice that almost all of the answers are about 1) buildings 2) fiscal debt or 3) scarcity of people.

At a recent gathering of the same denomination, the numbers person reported on the numerical health of those same parishes.  I can summarize her report by two words: decline and deficit  (you can watch the report here starting at about the 4 hour 26 minute mark until 4: 32 if you don’t believe me).

On the surface, this is not good news. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m always on the search for interesting worship music.
Recently, I stumbled on some songs from Church of The Beloved, a Lutheran Church plant across the pond in Edmonds, Washington. Beloved is on my bucket list of nearby Churches to visit in the next couple years. (Beloved is also sister parish to Church of the Apostles – also on the list – and, at least from what I’ve heard, the two represent some of the more interesting younger church plants in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions – and both compose a lot of their own worship music – but I digress.)
One of the songs from Beloved that I downloaded to my iPod a while back is based on the words of Martin Luther and is called “Come Holy Ghost”.
One day, it randomly started to play while the kids and I were driving in the car.  The words, backed by a haunting tune went like this:

Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze have written a compelling book about what they call “Walk Outs Who Walk On”. Here is how they define these so-called “Walk Outs”:

Walk Outs are people who bravely choose to leave behind a world of unsolvable problems, scarce resources, limiting beliefs and destructive individualism. They walk on to the ideas, beliefs and practices that enable them to give birth to new systems that serve community. This is the story of an emerging movement of pioneering leaders and communities around the world who are self-organizing to create healthy and resilient communities.

Does that speak to and challenge the church today, or what?

Read the rest of this entry »

Not to be outdone by Christmas consumerism, The Anglican Diocese of Exeter in the U.K. has created what is reportedly the largest Christmas ad ever.

In contrast to the somewhat cliched “Jesus is the reason for the season” or “keep Christ in Christmas” phrases that we often hear talk of, this ad campaign gets at the same kind of message, though through three evocative graphic depictions of the nativity, with accompanying messaging and a companion website allowing you to vote for your favorite of the the ‘tryptich’.

Read the rest of this entry »

I waited patiently for the Lord. - Psalm 40

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