You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘consumerism’ category.

… I guess when it rains it pours (at least here in Victoria).  Here’s another one I wrote for the Spiritually Speaking Blog. The more I wrote on this one, I realized I have about three of four postings along this line – so stay tuned for more ‘localism’ posts!  r


“In whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.”   —Abba Anthony, 3rd century AD

* * *

We live in an age characterized by increased mobility.  It is more and more common for us North Americans to live in many places, have several careers, and to travel often.  With this backdrop to our lives, the idea to settle down into a single place for the long haul… well, that seems kind of quaint, doesn’t it?

In spite of the odds, the notion of ‘rooting in place’ is becoming increasingly popular with some folks.  Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Someone recently commented to me that transgressing into the 7-deadly sins or violating the 10 Commandments might have been cause for serious shame in an earlier era.  They went on to note that they felt that the only real contemporary equivalent to induce that kind of shame for most of us is the ‘sin’ of having economic debt.

A lot of us have a lot of debt.

In light of that -and in light of household consumer debt being more and more on the rise – I stumbled across this interesting and exciting notion of a ‘rolling jubilee’ – where ordinary folks are fundraising to buy up reduced-rate bad debt (a common practice amongst folks who then try and get it back through coercion) and simply forgiving it!

Sound impossible? – check out more about it here (Democracy Now interview) or at  It sounds like CBC even has a piece on it here – though I haven’t had a chance to listen yet.

I’m sure the idea has some limitations (some are addressed in the Democracy Now interview) – but it’s nevertheless great to see people coming up with creative action very much in the spirit of the ancient Biblical Jubilee!

Forgive us, as we forgive… Amen.

This upcoming Sunday marks the Feast of Christ the King.  Here’s a little reflection on that notion.

Many years ago now, I heard NDP MP and Christian Minister Bill Blakie speaking at a conference on ‘Christ and Empire’.  There, Bill posited that Christians need to hold up Jesus as eternal sovereign against empire – to proclaim Jesus as the “King of kings” (over all other kings).  Though I can’t remember his exact words, he proclaimed that reclaiming this “King of kings” notion might be the only way that Christianity might actually be able to re-establish some of its ancient prophetic voice – a voice which in ancient times challenged and shook empire down to its very roots.  After the talk – I approached Bill and asked him to expand on this. In the conversation Bill admitted to me that without a  high view of Christ (or a high Christology, as the theologians like to say) – without the ability to see Christ as King – we Christians really have few resources to challenge the notion of earthly ’empires’ of oppression, violence and injustice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Somehow, I found myself shopping at Walmart the other day.  I can’t say I’m particularly proud of the fact that I was shopping there. The reason why I was there (as well as my resistance to being there!) is a long story and is outside of the scope of this post.

The ethics and ideals of shopping aside, there I was, pushing my 2-year old son in an oversized shopping buggy when, seemingly out of nowhere, he  started shouting a song at the top of his lungs.

Yes, right there in the middle of the produce section – somewhere between the genetically modified peppers and the biotech plums he started shouting this:

 Holy Holy Holy Lord! God of Power and Might!
Heaven and Earth of Your Glory are filled!
Hosanna in the Highest!

Read the rest of this entry »

I waited patiently for the Lord. - Psalm 40

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.