Archive for 2006

What do you want for Christmas?

December 15th, 2006 1 comment

Ya gotta love this time of year – when family members you only talk to at the holidays begin calling and asking what you want for Christmas, or more likely, telling you what they want. At least that is how it has been at our house. So what do you tell them? Have you thought about asking for a cow? Or better yet, asking to be an international financier? Check out these alternative gift ideas…

  • Oxfam America Unwrapped – Great website where you can buy gifts for other areas of the world such as a cow to provide milk for a village ($75), or a buy an emergency toilet for distaster areas ($50). Of course if you are a bit more conservative, you can buy a heigne kit ($22).
  • Heifer International – Perhaps the best know of organizations like the one above. Here you can buy any of a variety of animals (or other gifts) to help families in need. Families in need can use a sheep way more than you can use that cashmere sweater.
  • – Loans that save lives. Perhaps you are familiar with Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, who just won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in micro-financing. This is the same idea, but on a small scale. You can loan money to deserving people world wide so they can establish what they need to sustain themselves.

It is easy to complain about the capitalistic, materialistic atmosphere of Christmas, but here is something you can do to actually make a difference.

What if we celebrated the birth of a King by fulfilling the Kingdom?

U2charist Wrap Up

December 13th, 2006 2 comments

u2 posterThe Kingdom of God is at Hand – but God has called his church to bring about its fulfillment.

This was seen in an incredible way last Sunday at the u2charist service held at Christ Episcopal church. Here are some of the reactions from people involved:

Jim Quigley:

I’m sitting here at my desk at work after a day off yesterday. I’m also sitting in a puddle of my own tears. Images of starving children bullet across my consciousness – the Eight video won’t stop playing. ONE! TWO! THREE! Gary and Marcus’ voice keep calling – to you to you to you…may we be one – Sunday Bloody Sunday. There are lives at stake there are lives at stake therearelivesatstaketherearelivesatstaketherearelivesatstakemillionsandmillionsofthemeven ourlivesareatstake. Jesus, I pray it’s all too much. Church may never be the same for me. In fact nothing may be. I’m no stranger to art and performance or the powerful evocative or the mysterious sacred and yet our service is still playing itself out in my mind – most of all in the form of a starving naked boy. My God what have we done? And I mean, my God, what have we done? What have we humans done to the earth and to one another? That white bird covered in oil…

We are sending a check the THE HUNGER PROJECT for more than $7,000. Six million nine-hundred and ninety-three thousand to go. I think that’s a reasonable goal. Another even 7. A biblical number. C’mon.

Thank you all for all of this. You know, I think I have had Christmas now, a little early. In the church we call this incarnation, and for me incarnation is a marriage of pain and love – my image of GOD in Christ – that’s Jesus for me. You all have helped me recognize Christ again – thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.

Gary Hook:

I am kind of late in my response to the beautiful event that we all help create this past weekend. All I would like to say to everyone involved is thank you all for what each person has done…………that night i truly felt something……..something I rarely feel.

I have enjoyed getting to know each one of you during this process. Once I know you I love you. Thank You for being who you are you are all great.

Somebody call Bono and tell him to get down to Bowling Green. We are doing BIG things.

Ron Morehead:

I can really say that this has been one of the highlights of the past year for me. To be able to meet such amazing people as Ben and Gary and Paul and Bonnie and Lauren and Sharon and everyone else over the past few weeks has been great! To work with some of the kids and feel their energy and passion has been uplifting. To have the leadership of Steve and Jim and Ben and others to guide us down this path is inspirational.

Tonight was perfect, in every way! I was sweating bullets hoping that the tech side would come off great (you never know when computers will act up!) Every person involved committed themselves to this project and all the little puzzle pieces of each person’s contribution fit perfectly into a grand picture and message that everyone loved. Everyone I looked at in the crowd was riveted to every word, every picture, every rhythm, every note and everything that we put together. How amazing!

I want to thank everyone for a truly inspiring message for myself and for others. We talked about the service all during dinner with some friends that we invited and because of that, I know that such collaborations between groups such as Christ Episcopal, Broadway, and Kaleidoscope should and hopefully will continue in the future.

Anyone thinking of BG ONE 2007???? I’m up for it!

This is the revolution – We are the revolutionaries – Don’t Close Your Eyes!

Global Rich List

November 16th, 2006 No comments

In our last gathering, we spent quite a while talking about communal living and how we can made a practical and tangible impact in our situation. I have been very intentional about making sure I don’t understand my world to be the world! One of the most humbling ways to acheive this is to place ourselves in the global context. Go check out the Global Rich List website to find out how you rank in world-wide wealth. I independently sit in the top 8% richest people in the world – however, if you combine my income with my wife’s, we find ourselves sitting pretty amongst the top 0.92% of the worldwide population. [note: Global Rich List does not take into account Purchasing Power Parity, and therefore will yeild more extreme numbers.]

Did you know that the overall average income worldwide is around $6,000 to $8,000? And that is even after being adjusted for purchasing power. Here in the US, our per capita income is around $43,000.

When we understand where American Christianity stands in the global community, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to maintain business as usual.

So where does the emerging church and communal living come into the picture? I am convinced we will only find the courage to be the Kingdom of God if we band together and are willing to embody Kingdom ideals together. That is what the Acts 2 church was about – not being radical for radical’s sake, but rather being loving and embodying the Word regardless of what it takes. Holistic salvation isn’t just cared with redemption from personal sin, it is concerned with redemption of a people, and redemption of the World!!

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Real Impact

November 2nd, 2006 No comments

I opened up my email today and found the weekly newsletter from Emergent Village to be particularly relevant to where we are as a gathering in our formative stages.

People are drowning in the world—they are rethinking Jesus and church and Christianity and ministry, and they think they are all alone. People are ready to give up on faith and ministry and church. Then, one day, they find a blog or read a book or show up at an event, and they say, “Omigosh! I thought I was all alone. I thought I was the only one feeling these things, and now I find there’s a whole host of people asking the same questions as I am!”

I can’t help but wonder how many more people are out there, about to give up on ministry or even on faith…? Or how many people will never give Jesus a chance because they’re convinced that Christ-followers are a bunch of closed-minded ideologues…?

Those questions reconfirm to me the importance of the Emergent Village friendship, and the necessity of keeping that friendship open into the future—really, into God’s future.

I keep hearing similar sentiments from those of us already engaging this conversation.  We have been burned by what church has become and hoping there is something more.  This is why I am convinced of the importance of getting several of us together to continue discussion.

Categories: Faith Tags:

Describing the Emerging Church

November 1st, 2006 No comments

Have you ever tried to explain the emerging church to someone who has had no exposure to it what so ever? I found myself in that situation not to long ago and I kept stumbling over how to describe this “conversation.” In one of Emergent Village’s podcast (I think it was from the 2004 Theological Convention), one of the participants jokingly referred to the emerging church as having connections to gnosticism because it was one of those things that you can’t describe it until you are a part of it.

Well anyway, I have found the best way to discuss the emerging church is by walking through a few descriptive terms and what they mean for this conversation. Here is a list I have compiled. Feel free to add your own words or comments:

  • Postmodern
  • Narrative driven
  • Communal
  • Holistic
  • Experiential
  • Ecumenical
  • Engages culture
  • Artistic
  • Dynamic
  • Missional
  • Messy
  • Conversational
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October 27th, 2006 No comments

Several area groups have combined and are working together to create an impact on global extreme poverty.  Youth from across the area will be working on projects consisting of Spoken Word, Music (Hip Hop, Live Band), Visual Arts, and Digital Arts.  This will be showcased during a service of sacred communion at Christ Episcopal Church here in Bowling Green on December 10th.  It will use songs from U2 (hence the name) to raise awareness and action toward the Millennium Development Goals and the One Campaign.  Let me know if you would be interested in helping with this.