Showing posts from March, 2009

Vintage POC: My journey (so far) - Part 3

Shortly after I started this blog, I briefly chronicled my faith journey in a series of entries entitled "My journey (so far)." Part 3 mainly deals with a period of my life in college when my faith was undergoing a series of major challenges and retooling, and which I frequently point to as one of the darkest periods of that journey. Today is the anniversary of the climactic moment contained in this entry, and so I felt like presenting it in full.

1997-2001: The college years. I entered Heidelberg College already determined to major in Religion. It was my life's call and I would keep my eyes on the goal (my primary regret since graduation has always been not double majoring in either Literature or Theatre, but that's for another time). I was signed up for Old Testament my first semester and was on my way. In addition to my classwork, I connected with three Christian organizations on campus: B.U.C.C. ('Berg UCC, a UCC group), Campus Fellowship (a more evangelical…

Pop Culture Roundup

I finally finished Process Theology. I don't feel like writing a whole lot about it right now. Suffice it to say, I was struck in later chapters with process theology's emphasis on the interrelatedness of creation, and how the destruction of one part affects others. The chapter on Jesus was also very good, as Cobb talks about how he revolutionizes the concept of diety if we truly allow him...Cobb talks about how convoluted the doctrine of the Trinity is, especially if we make God the Father/Creator more God-ish than Jesus even as we insist that they're all equal. If we believe that we see God in Jesus, Cobb says, then we must consider what it means for our concept of God as we watch Jesus suffer, sacrifice, show weakness. If we simply argue that that was only Jesus' human side doing or experiencing those things, then we miss something about what God is revealing to us. That concept seems especially timely a little over a week away from Holy Week.

Twilight came out…

Standoff at the UCC's National Office

Okay, a quick polity lesson: at the national setting, the United Church of Christ has four governing boards that deal with different areas of our denominational life: Office of General Ministries, Wider Church Ministries, Local Church Ministries, and Justice & Witness Ministries. They largely act autonomously and hold one another accountable, as well as serve as resources for other settings of the church. It was set up this way in the spirit of congregationalism; the resistance to having one person or board at the top making decisions for everyone else.

That was, of course, until they decided that they wanted one board at the top making decisions for everyone else.

Over the past several years, a proposal has been making its rounds through the national setting to restructure the various boards into one big 86-member board, mainly in the name of expediency and budget cuts. A counter-petition has also been circulating detailing the reasons against such a restructure, among them: it …

Pop Culture Roundup

Last night, I watched Michigan make its first NCAA tournament appearance in 11 years and win. Actually, to be more accurate, I watched the first 10 minutes or so and then the last 13 seconds. The middle was filled with the Akron/Gonzaga game. Don't get me wrong, I was rooting for Akron...but that's not who I'd settled in to watch. Anyway, that's what the graphic is for. Go Blue!

Click here for MGoBlog's postgame analysis.

I'm still reading Process Theology.  I've been distracted a lot this month, so I haven't carved out much time to continue reading.

We went to see Watchmen the weekend that it came out, and I think they did a great job adapting it to screen.  Naturally, they needed to make some choices as to what to include, and I think they were able to capture the main thread well. The way they shot it was very well-done, although some scenes got pretty gratuitous. There's one scene that amounts to softcore porn, and I didn't need to see a…

That Guy

Here's a great send-up of That Guy who does youth ministry:

Ignatius from travis hawkins on Vimeo.

HT to Monday Morning Insight.


This is my 1000th post. In celebration, I asked readers to submit 10 questions for me to answer. And here they are:

1. If I was to say to you: Shout the gospel with your life. What comes to mind? What would your life look like? I find it important to start by saying that I believe that the gospel, or good news, is "the kingdom of God has come near" (Mark 1:14-15). That being said, it would naturally follow that the best way to live that gospel is to live a life that reflects the values of God's kingdom: love of God and neighbor, forgiveness, unconditional acts of compassion and justice, regard for the poor and suffering, working against inequality and bigotry of all kinds. If to some that sounds too liberal or too unAmerican, I reply that when Jesus first preached and exhibited these things in his day, they sounded and looked too liberal or too unRoman. This is typically not the stuff of the dominant culture.

I confess that my own life could stand to look a little di…

Mid-Lent Meme

I'm back...sort of. I thought that this would be a good post to help get back into things, although I still have the weekend to get through. Anyway, enjoy this, and my 1000th post appears on Monday.  This meme comes courtesy of the RevGals.

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year? This was a hard thing to come up with this year, for reasons I can't really articulate. I wasn't feeling especially focused heading into this season this year...March has been and will continue to be a month chock full of activity. So that made me think that I should take on a prayer discipline. While I haven't been able to keep it every day, I have most days with some positive results. I've also given up fast food, but for me the "giving up" exercise is played out, at least for now. Maybe in a few years it'll take on meaning for me again.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way? That's quit…

Back in a while

Give me a week and a half or so.

In the meantime, I still need a few more questions.

Miscellaneous Lenten Thoughts

My thoughts and plans for Lent, even on this first Monday of the season, are not fully formed. I have a few things in place, but I don't feel like I have a clear handle on what I'm doing for my own discipline yet.

We'll start with the church stuff, because that's easy. Ash Wednesday, as best as I could tell, was a very meaningful time for those who attended. The video meditation seemed to resonate with a lot of people, and overall attendance seemed to take a slight bump up. We imposed ashes, I briefly talked about why we're invited to take on any sort of discipline during this time (to remind ourselves how much we get in the way of our own listening for how the Spirit is guiding). The whole thing couldn't have gone much better.

Coming up is our series of programs on Wednesday evenings, and I'll be facilitating discussions around some of Rob Bell's NOOMA videos. For the crowd that usually turns out for this, I'm guessing that these will provide s…

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