Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Story of Holy Week

Here's a video we made that tells the story of Holy Week. It's told from the perspective of Jesus. The song is by William Elliott Whitmore and the art is by He Qi.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jesus Wore A Hoodie, Too

Jesus was a suspicious-looking, hoodie-wearing troublemaker!

Eating to Improve Your Life

Dr. Terry Wahls has given one of the most important TED Talks I have heard. Her presentation, "Minding Your Mitochondria", is about the healing power of food. It's not a new diet fad. It's a way of eating that provides your brain and body with dramatically more nutrients and minerals. This way of eating relieved her symptoms of MS - and has been shown to have these same results in clinical trials at the University of Iowa. The foods that she suggests will provide you with more energy, health, and vitality. Please take a moment to watch this powerful video. Then go eat some kale and blueberries!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prayer Vigil for Trayvon Martin

For more info, click here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Meaning-Making and the Future of the Church

Doug Pagitt has recently commented on how to be the modern Church. His ideas are nothing new, but they are a good reminder. Check it out:

People aren't busier than they were in the 1930's. This is a common myth. There's just more competition for their time. The reality is that what churches are doing is less interesting than other things. So we need to ask: How can the church become a meaning-making system, not just a volunteer-organizing system? People don't care about the old categories of paying dues and volunteering, or the distinction between clergy and laity. What people want is to live their life in a way that makes meaning in the world. Things within a church are only meaningful to the church itself. The church is functioning as a solution to a past period and answering none of the problems for our current time. In a traditional church system, all of the important stuff is reserved for clergy. All people should be doing it! The entire community should have to do what the pastor is doing. Most pastors stay pastors because they get to do the good stuff.

There is another systemic problem in mainline churches—infatuation with crisis management. There is so much time is spent putting in place rules and responses to crises that people get addicted to crises, and you are constantly managing people. From a family systems perspective, every Sunday many churches are reinforcing a bad system on one another. At Solomon's Porch, we decided that fighting and being angry is not something we're going to do anymore and that people were not going to be rewarded in that system.

Ultimately, people aren't afraid of change. They are afraid of loss. The church must deal with things as a loss issue rather than a change issue.
For some of our thoughts on the future of the Church, check out Extreme Makeover UCC Edition and the Organic Church Manifesto.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

To Make Gentle, A Bruised World

Peggy Way, the author of Created By God, wrote this excellent prayerful poem about spiritual leadership:

Our God,
We are simply asked,
As if it were easy,
To make gentle a whole bruised world,
To tame its savageness;
And how can we tame savageness
Without stepping into the den of the lion?

To be compassionate of all,
Even those people who do not collapse
Into what we want them to be,
To be compassionate of all,
Including ourselves
And, even sometimes, God, our families.

And then in the time left over
From this tremendous calling,
At the junctures of history,
Bringing words of grace and dignity
And hope
And holding on to the vision
In the midst of history;

To repeat the ancient tale
Rooted in it
As the source that defines us
As a people
In our places
With the perspective
To repeat that ancient tale

And go the way of God's foolish ones,
Your foolish ones,
Fools for Christ
And not just damned fools,
Fools with a message
To offer to the people
Who come by seeking after us.

Speak to them of truth,
Speak to them of justice,
Speak to them of care,
Speak to them of meaning in history
And not only to speak to them in words
But to touch them and show them the way.