Monday, August 10, 2009

Generate Magazine: A New Magazine for a New World

Generate Magazine is now available! This exciting new magazine exists to facilitate the "growing, generative conversation that some have called the emergent church conversation." It's part of the conversation and movement that seeks to reform the Church in our time - and for our time. Generate will help us explore alternative, postmodern, and organic ways of following Jesus through spiritual poetry, relevant articles, artistic photography, postmodern liturgies, thoughtful music reviews, etc. And these resources are all organic. They are not canned articles from stale theologians, pop-theology authors, and ecclesial authorities. All of material in Generate is written by grassroots folks and for grassroots folks. Plus, it's a collaborative effort from many different perspectives. We're promoting this project because we believe the ethos is faithful to Jesus and the reformations are needed in the Church. If you're tired of Christianity Today or The Christian Century, then give Generate Magazine a try. Generate is smart, fresh, and relevant.

Generate is a new magazine for a new world. Walter Brueggemann said: “The world for which you have been so carefully prepared has been taken away from you, by the grace of God.” We need to prepare for our emerging world - and emerging Church. Generate Magazine is one way to prepare ourselves for the adventure of exploring our new world and Church.

We think Generate is worth supporting. But let's be honest. It's not a good economy for publishers. The odds may seem against this project. But at this moment in history, we need resources such as Generate to help us explore faith, spirituality, and church in a postmodern matrix.

Click here to read more. Click here to subscribe. Click here to read our contribution to the first magazine.

Enjoy the adventure!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pilgrims to a New World: Music for the Soul

Spiritual. Biblical. Progressive. Process. Diverse. These are some of the words we'd use to describe the new CD from The River's Voice. This ain't your average "Christian CD." It has deeper theology, larger metaphors, and more complex music. It's a thing of beauty. But we are biased. The River's Voice is comprised of Iowa natives, Trish and Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan. We like having homegrown, spiritual music in our backyard! Plus, we have seen them in concert at Eden Seminary, sang their songs at Camp EWALU, organized a weekend event with Richard at an Illinois congregation, etc. Needless to say, we've become familiar with them. And don't just take our word for it. The popular theologian-author Leonard Sweet has called their new CD a "playlist for writing." Sojourner's magazine said their music does a good job at "bridging the Church music gap...between organ lofts and praise bands." The bonus is that each of their albums is very different. And this new CD is particularly different - and good. They take their music, theology, and spirituality even deeper this time. The music ranges from rock-pop to meditative. The themes explore pilgrimage as a metaphor for spiritual awakening. The spiritual nature of the CD awakens the deep human longing for connection. Our words don't really do it justice. It's something you have to hear to appreciate. Click here to listen online (for free). And if you like it, well, you know what to do! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Phyllis Tickle on the Hyphenated Church

In an interview with ThinkFwd, Phyllis Tickle said "by 2050, emergence Christianity will be the largest group among church cultures." And, for her, this is a good thing. In the video she talks about how the Hyphenated, Emergent, and Organic Church is her hope and vision for the future of the Church. Check out the video to hear more:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Men's Ministry Resources

Why aren't men in church? Where are the books about men's ministry? How do we facilitate men's spirituality? What would healthy masculinity look like? These are a few of the related questions we've heard over the past few months. They are all good questions. Everyone may have different answers. And hopefully you will share your ideas with us. We need to share our wisdom with each other. That's the best way to explore complex stuff. While there might not be a magical panacea, there are plenty of good ideas to be shared, explored, and tried. Plus there are some helpful books that may help us to navigate the world of manhood. Here are a few examples:

The Care of Men edited by Christie Neuger and James Poling

"The Care of Men features thoughtful and thought-provoking essays that explore the multifaceted understandings of what it means to be a man in contemporary U.S. society. Its gift is that it invites the church to provide faith-filled prophetic and pastoral care to, for, and with men that recognizes that there is no one definitive position that is male-but a range of possibilities. These possibilities pave the way for a 'personhood' that is rooted in a vital spirituality and a wholeness." - Emilie Townes

The Hidden Spirituality of Men by Matthew Fox

“Every man on this planet should read this book - not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know. If you want to understand what is out of whack in our culture - from politics to personal life - and how to heal and transform it, you’ll rejoice in this book that combines the wisdom of the ages with the most forward-looking combination of feminist spirituality and contemporary psychological and philosophical reflections!” - Michael Lerner

Coming of Age by Roland Martinson, David Anderson, and Paul Hill

"Coming of Age provides much needed information for the church regarding men and especially young men who are much less present in the pew than was the case just twenty years ago. We have in this book, reflective research identifying common themes based on the interviews of 88 young men from very different walks of life with suggestions as to how we can provide opportunities for young men to see God at work in the world and in the church." - Leonard Bolick

Holy Adventure by Bruce Epperly

"A book that challenges Christians to take bold moves in connecting with God and to move beyond trendy Christianity to a meaningful relationship. Through forty-one days of spiritual practice, Bruce Epperly guides the reader by using both traditional and creative, adventurous experiences. Theological reflections, spiritual affirmations, imaginative prayers, and adventurous actions are all part of this day-by-day guide to spiritual adventure." - Product Description

Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

"Palmer understands that learning to let his life speak means 'living the life that wants to live in me.' It involves creating the kind of quiet, trusting conditions that allow a soul to speak its truth. It also means tuning out the noisy preconceived ideas about what a vocation should and shouldn't be so that we can better hear the call of our wild souls. There are no how-to formulas in this extremely unpretentious and well-written book, just fireside wisdom from an elder who is willing to share his mistakes and stories as he learned to live a life worth speaking about." - Gail Hudson

Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson

"In much the same way that Reviving Ophelia offered new models for raising girls, therapists Kindlon and Thompson argue that boys desperately need a new standard of "emotional literacy," showing how our culture's dominant masculine stereotypes shortchange boys and lead them toward emotional isolation. The authors turn a spotlight on the inner lives of boys, debunking preconceptions about gender, explaining the importance of nurturing communication skills and empathy in boys as well as girls, and steering boys toward a manhood of emotional attachment, not stoicism and solitude." - Gail Ross

Real Boys by William Pollack

"In a lucidly written primer for parents, Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Pollack dismantles what he terms "the Boy Code" - society's image of boys as tough, cool, rambunctious and obsessed with sports, cars and sex. These stereotypes, he argues, thwart creativity and originality in boys. Linking clinical insights to practical suggestions, Pollack advises caregivers how to help boys repair their fragile self-esteem, develop empathy and explore their sensitive sides." - Publishers Weekly

Journeymen by Kent Groff

"Groff offers a wonderful road map for paths men may take toward healing and wholeness. A valuable resource for personal and group growth." - Stephen Boyd

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sabbath with Ana Popović

We take Sabbath seriously. For us, it's a time to revive and energize our spirits, away from the busyness of the normal day. And sometimes that just means going outside on a beautiful night to enjoy one of God's greatest gifts: live music. So, last night we went to the Prairie Dog Blues Festival in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. We had never heard of any of the blues bands that played. We just went to enjoy the music - whoever it was. Thankfully it was all pretty good. But we were totally blown away by the last act of the night. Ana Popovic played some serious blues guitar that wowed the entire crowd. She ripped and shredded through two hours of rockin', Yugoslavian blues. Her band put on a great live show, too. Each member was a master of their instrument and they (thankfully) weren't afraid to let you know that through their show. It was a thing of beauty. If you get a chance, go check them out. Just be prepared to see some real blues-rock. Here is a taste: