“[A]n art work has value as a creation because man is made in the image of God, and therefore man not only can love and think and feel emotion, but also has the capacity to create. Being in the image of the Creator, we are called upon to have creativity.… We never find men anywhere in the world or in any culture in the world who do not produce art. Creativity is a part of the distinction between man and non-man. All people are to some degree creative. Creativity is intrinsic to our mannishness.” — Francis Schaeffer
Yesterday I gave an hour-and-a-half design breakout session for participants at the 2009 Baptist Media Forum at Camp Buckner, up near Inks Lake. The seminar was entitled Between Heaven & Helvetica: How Good Design Can Energize Your Existing Communications. I hadn't delivered a talk that long before, so I was a little nervous to say the least. I figured I'd leave a half-hour for Q&A and prepared what I thought was an hour's worth of content.
My stated purpose was to "embark upon an interactive, multi-sensory conversation among designers, self-proclaimed non-creatives, quasi-creatives, and people who have to work with creatives in order to sketch at the intersection(s) of good design, good theology, and our role as culture creators." True to form, it was meandering and quirky — a soupçon of history, theology of the Imago Dei, a little design philosophy and advice, and visual inspiration/stimulation (I hope).
About 15 minutes into it, I realized I had too much content, but pressed forward, and we ended up getting through most of it without much compromise. Before I went on, my friend Marcus Goodyear gave a great presentation on online community building; I knew he was going to skew his content heavily (actually completely) online, so I weighted my presentation toward traditional media and channel-neutral branding design.
The preso was a mashup featuring three youth media case studies tied to some theological points I made at the presentation's "history unlesson" ... as well as a gallery of twenty logos I had designed, which I will glom together and present to you below. I also re-fashioned and re-presented my "six design nuggets for non-creatives" talk as a 10-minute overview. I was really pleased with the mix of people — I asked the group of media professionals (I assumed I'd be getting mostly PR folks, writers and editors) to classify themselves (how modern of me): almost a third of the room comprised designers and creatives. Another third considered themselves quasi-creative, and only one guy thought he was a non-creative.
My friend Tim Snyder made the trip out to the hill country with his visiting friend (my new friend) Josh. They audited the whole session and Josh participated in the interactive [Playdoh sculpting!] portion of the talk as well. With them and Marcus and my friend Brad Russell from TheBaptist Standard there in the room, I was more at ease than I would've been.
After the presentation, Tim and Josh and I spent the rest of the day together. On the drive back to San Antonio, we stopped in the Blue Bonnet Café in Marble Falls, TX. That's Josh and his chocolate meringue pie. After that we crashed at my house for a bit ( I really needed a nap) before heading to Alamo Drafthouse Theater to see Slumdog Millionaire.
It was a nice break in the middle of the week.
I leave you with an excerpt from an essay by Leland Ryken that I published in Communiqué back in the day, and dredged up for the conversation yesterday (but didn't have time to share with the group):
"What does the image of God in people say about the arts? It affirms human creativity as something good in principle, since it is an imitation of one of God's own acts and perfections. Someone once wrote, "As image-bearer of God, [people possess] the possibility both to create something beautiful, and to delight in it (Kuyper 142). Christian poet Chad Walsh once wrote that the artist "can honestly see himself as a kind of earthly assistant to God..., carrying on the delegated work of creation, making the fullness of creation fuller" (308). This applies equally to those who are not themselves creative artists but who delight to enter into the creativity of others. And it stands as a rebuke to those who disparage God's gift of creativity in people."
Here's a handful of the logos I've designed* — I used these in the presentation:
*the All Saints logo was a collaboration between myself and Von Glitschka, whose work also made it into the presentation.
-- note -- sorry about abandoning the live blogging last night. it was engaging, to be sure, but just not conducive to blogging.
5:52 pm - I'm here at St. Mark's, San Antonio, in the historic heart of downtown. The room is abuzz, and for a so-called emergent topic, the place is brimming with folks over 50. At 39, I'm clearly the youngest person here. Mary Ellen is here from ¡Viva! — and we were able to talk a bit about the upcoming Open House. Phyllis Tickle's flight was delayed, and she just showed up.
It came in today! My advance copy of Jesus for President, the new Shane Claiborne + Chris Haw book for which I contributed 40 or so watercolor illustrations; designed by my friends Holly and Ryan over at SharpSeven. I'm really geeking out over how cool it turned out, thumbing through it like a little kid. It's cool to finally see the other contributors' work (several artists, photographers) and see how the whole thing comes together.
Please consider buying a copy.
It's four-color throughout, but somehow the price is less than $12 over at the big box place. I'm sure VivaBooks will sell it as well.
Here's an illustration I did, which you can see closer when you buy the book:
file under: filet'o'fish'o'war
Here's designer Ryan hard at work with his other love. This is fresh footage BTW:
Interesting. Hm. I just went back and found these handouts I created way back in 2004 ... they provide a tabular [ironically modern] outline explaining the postmodern paradigm in light of the last 2000 years to an audience of evangelical types. the material borrows heavily from Webber and McLaren, and would be good for evangelical or post-evangelical audiences. Maybe one or two of my readers can benefit from me making this available again on the blog. who knows. posted here as a free resource [caveat: it's 3 years old] for you the soupablog reader.
Friday i worked from home on client work until mid-afternoon, then started out on a trip up to austin where i met bob carlton for dinner prior to the Austin Emergence 2007 panel discussion thingy.
Intuiting, perhaps, that i was born just miles from leon springs, texas, bob suggested we meet at Rudy's BBQ on 183. Over brisket and sausage and Rudy's now-famous BBQ "Sause" [sic], we shared in some good conversation and learned about the "hand-spa", then headed a couple miles away to this well-groomed, mall-like mega-church campus (ewww; i was half-expecting the perfect landscaping to have piped-in music from those injection-molded theme-park rocks. instead i quickly found the money-changers — err, sponsors — in the campus café).
so not a very likely setting for an emerging church confab; in fact, it had all the trappings of the contemporary-pop-culture-church-as-performance i've been running away from the last ten years: professional lighting rigging, three massive projection screens, tech geeks in back in a mixing board booth worthy of a concert hall, elevated-stage-instead-of-altar, auditorium, overstuffed chairs for the speakers, lapel mics, slick, auditorium seating for the rest of us and pre-produced video loops with schmutzy typefaces and royalty-free video loops. nothing to situate itself in time and place. OK: i'm not being very gracious. and i know this. and i will stop. now.
what came next is articulated well by bob here and here.
In the end I was impressed by most of the speakers and by the moderator, Scot McKnight, who I already had been tracking via books and weblog posts (and my bro-in-law syler's coffeeklatches with the prof) ...
The evening session (atonement theories!) finished. then comes the obligatory "we're in Austin, who's up for Magnolia Café or Kirbey Lane?"
My late-night dining partners were my buddies from Netzer Co-op. The entire current incarnation of the co-op was present, I believe: Lay-abbot Tim, Abbess/Painter Brianna, Contemplative Michael, Worship-Artist Ryan, and Novice Jonathan. I was honored to play the role of, as my friend Mark Menjivar would say, holy listener. They were/are at a turning point in their fledgling community all-too-similar to where Trinity House was at a year or so ago. Then I gave them some imperfect sage-green advice to go with Bri's green-green enchiladas. Usually-silent Michael suggested that after an evening of talking about theology, that they ditch the next morning's event and go buy sandwich fixings and spend the morning handing out food to the poor in Austin instead of listening to talking heads at the conference. Which is exactly what needed to be said. And done. I could've hugged him, the suggestion was so spontaneous and on-point. We stayed out too late and dragged ourselves to my gracious in-laws' where beds and sofas were awaiting my friends and me.
Next morning, thanks to Google Maps and the iPhone, we discovered Pacha, a cool little fair-trade coffee joint in Austin. Must return to soak in more. Planning to go to just the first session and then go with Netzer, I was drawn into the conversation in a deeper way than the day prior. I also got to meet Danielle Shroyer, the pastor of a fellowship in the DFW area that a few of my friends frequent. I like her: she's got a great perspective on many things.
And I love the theological underpinnings of Josh Carney's mind. Resolved: after his commendation (being the third or fourth this year, I will next read Jürgen Moltmann).
I felt pangs of guilt for Tim and I never joining up with the rest of Netzer on their outing. The praxis engagement and resultant reflection would've been better for me. I rationalized it away several times: I was Tim's ride so I needed to stay; I'm too old and just got in the way of their youthful missional expression; I knew I needed to get back on the road at about 2pm; I really wanted to talk to several of the folks afterwards, including Glenn and David (right). Kept thinking about the distribution of the food going on while I was wrapping up my stay at the conference. But I never went. Tim and I left and grabbed lunch and sat down to record a podcast interview for his blog at Jo's and then I hit the road for SA.
Came home, and prepped for this morning: I facilitated a discussion in our 'mystics/cynics/pilgrims' class at church (sort of the sunday school dropouts) about the way of the pilgrim, and led hymns, a taizé chant, worship songs, and an original composition in front of the congregation. the song that I wrote I dedicated today to my grandmother who turns 90 years old this week.
That's where I was this evening: at Lorraine Pearman's 90th birthday party.
Read a little Alan Roxburgh this evening, blogged this, and will be going to sleep.
Sorry not much critical reflection of the conference.
To the twelve readers of Soupablog dispersed abroad; greetings. :)
I was able to get a much earlier flight to DFW today and I've been waiting here at the airport: standing by for one of two potential “earlier flights” back to SA-town. They're oversold, however.
I'm back in TX following a week long gathering of friends old and new in the hills of New Mexico, just outside of Santa Fe. Meanwhile, Amy's flying to Chicago to see Syler run the marathon (we’re proud of you, Syler), and Jordan leaves for a campout while I watch the three girls. And I guess I will now wax sentimental, even though I know that tendency bugs a few of you... too bad:
Word and table. I learned something about both this week. I also learned a bit more about myself. And I tasted pumpkin waffles at Harry's Roadhouse Café thanks to a kitchen-staff request from Doug P. Later, I fell in love with a painting and a retablo of San Antonio de Padua on Canyon Road.
I laughed until I cried on Wednesday night — and last night, walking back to my room in the rain, I cried. And cried. I think I was lamenting something I lost.
But, then, I also found much. Common ground with other parents, Christ-followers, authors, artists, photographers and musicians — and we examined differences as well. We sat and participated in respectful (dare I say generative) conversations about parenting, dockside conversations about art, and others. What else. I listened to and gave input on several friends' book manuscripts and/or fledgling book ideas — and encouraged a fourth to restart her blogging and manuscript; I showed my book idea to several friends, and my sketchbooks to others. A handful of us sat on a back porch and dreamed about launching a new periodical.
I received Holy Eucharist and holy listening as a gift from one friend. This morning over breakfast I received a much needed story about failed intentional communities — and the perseverance to keep trying — from another. Over a cigar we discussed being kind to our detractors on the same porch where two years earlier I had assembled pizzas with a tall skinny Kiwi. The one action in 2005 [pizza making] being an action of hospitality, and the other action a study for my own part in inhospitality (not only because poor Saranell kept avoiding our smoke, but also because I unthinkingly brought my smoky self and clothes into the apartment where my friends were sleeping. And because smoking is banned at Baptist encampments). I discussed Schrute Bucks with Laci, hyped up Robot Chicken Star Wars for Damien and Lisa, and was called “Kern” repeatedly by Becky. We lived, slept, and ate in community. Everyone missed Amy and the kids, as well as others who didn't make it this year. We met new children who had been born into this community since our last gathering; we welcomed newcomers who had found their way into the conversation. I shared an apartment with two other graphic designers by complete coincidence.
We had a nice meal paid for unexpectedly by a new friend: perhaps buzzed by the serendipity of it all, we immediately conspired to obscenely over-tip our server. Fives, tens and twenties were passed around the table: I handed the speechless guy about a hundred bucks over-and-above the auto-assessed gratuity our culture’s dining establishments reserve for large parties. We laughed like crazy on the ride home. I'm reminded I'm blessed to have such friends. We shared our wounds, our dreams, our fears and questions. I was reminded of faith-things to which I want to cling more tightly, and other faith-things I might need to shed. I was reminded to stop apologizing so often. In any case my heart is full.
These people are my tribe.
p.s. I did get on the second “early” flight home — Chris A. picked me up at about 11:pm. Meredith was home watching the kids. Community is a good thing. (Thanks Alvarez fam)
I imagined tonight a labyrinth course that one could journey upon with eleven stations and six elements (each would be visited/considered twice). My theology herein may not be perfect (as if) and it's still a seed-idea, but maybe:
1. Mirror After praying silently for a few minutes, you are ready to begin. As you embark on your journey, pick up the mirror placed near the entrance. Study your face. Thank God for your life, for your very breath. Exhale onto the mirror and watch the vapor condense onto the glass. God is present with you on your pilgrimage; as close as your breath. Now set aside the mirror: on this journey you must decrease; God must increase. Continue in silence.
2. Word A little further along, you see a bound copy of Holy Scripture. Open to the bookmarked passage from Mark's Gospel; ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. You do not seek to master the text, but rather seek to be changed by the text, as you meditate over the passage several times. Pray that God would open your eyes as you continue the journey in silence.
3. Choir On your journey inward to God's Table, you stop in front of an audio player. There are two chants on the playlist. Listen to the first chant marked "Veni Sancte Spiritus" — participate by quietly singing along with the choir if you are comfortable doing so. The Latin words are an invocation or sorts, asking the Holy Spirit to come and fill us. You may find it easier to sit down while the selection plays.
4. Light When you arrive at the next station, there will be a small table full of votive candles. As you continue in prayer, take and light a candle for your journey, representing the light of Christ, the Word of God. Worship blends Word and Table. Continue your journey towards the center holding the lit candle.
5. Confessional In this, the last station before you reach the Table, you have an opportunity to be completely honest with God, about your iniquities, your sin-nature, your fears, your failings. Take the paintbrush and create an image representing the thing or things serving as a barrier between you and God. His forgiveness is at hand.
6. Table/Eucharist [the communion elements are made available here at the middle of the labyrinth: the actual feast should be tailored to the eucharistic tradition of the facilitating group.] Individuals should take as much time as they want in adoration/contemplation, for here, Christ is present.
7. Artifact Return to the painting you made earlier. Since encountering Christ, has your perspective of the painting — of your burden — changed? Why or why not? Ask yourself whether you're being called to repent of an earlier sin, or to lay down a burden that you no longer need to carry. Continue along your outward journey a little lighter.
8. Light As you return to the table, place your candle in the votive holder — let the light from your journey blend with the other candles already there. Spend a moment contemplating the community of faith surrounding you, where you live and worship. Continue in your journey out into the daily rhythms of life knowing you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
9. Choir. On your journey outward from God's Table, you again stop in front of the audio
player. Listen to the second chant
marked "Alleluia" — participate by singing along with the
choir if you are comfortable doing so. Consider the words ("God be praised"). Afterwards, continue your journey prayerfully.
10. Word Here again is the bound copy of the Bible. Open to the bookmarked passage from
Mark's Gospel; ask the Holy Spirit's continued guideance as you read. You do not
seek to master the text, but rather seek to be changed by the text. As
you meditate over the passage several times, thank God for the change that's already happened in your life today; and ask for God's strength to continue to change, to proclaim the gospel, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world.
11. Mirror As you trade this journey for the next one, look into the mirror you earlier placed on the
ground. Study your face. Thank God for Creation, for this journey, this pilgrimage-in-miniature. God
is present with you on your outward journey as well: as close as your breath. Be on your way.
Just returned from helping facilitate the second Franciscan spirituality retreat out at Covenant. I was blessed to part of the first one back in March, and it was good to return to the rhythms of fixed-hour prayer with others, good to contemplate a rule of life. Tim Heavin is really doing the organizing, with several members leading vespers,compline,lauds and terce; I'm left to plan some of the canticles and other music.
i went ahead and also added a makeshift prayer station, sort of inspired by something lily lewin would do. it had a good set of headphones playing chants and choral settings appropriate to the canonical hour. i also found use for the century-old, rusty, square nails i had pulled from boards recovered from Sue and Tom's house in Galveston: we set up a little silver dish offering the nails that folks could take as a memento/artifact from the retreat (jokes about stigmata ensued).
Our family's spiritual journey has led us to the community here at Covenant — a simple community; cross-generational, ecumenical (generously incorporating practices and cues from everything from Baptist to Wesleyan/Holiness to Anglo/Catholic), self-described as "a place where the less than perfect are more than welcome", and one with a growing contemplative culture. Here Amy feels loved, valued, and welcome; and the kids are loved, and engaged with friends. I'm healing and re-engaging and worshiping God here. We joined the congregation as members today.
'becoming who you are' by james martin was commended to me by cliff knighten, a friend, mentor, and until very recently, the pastor of our little community we've been calling trinity house. i read the book in one sitting (okay, i was supine) tonight. the first book i've read in three or four months. the read reminded me of my own hopes to expose to light my true self, reminded me of all i do that props up my false self, and succinctly offered 'elevator-length' definintions for both. anyway, a good, quick read.
i'll post more about our community soon, and will try to hyperlink to any of cliff's future posts about his continuing journey of faith — becoming who he is.
This evening I once again picked up The Book That Will Not End, that is: Gustavo Gutierrez’ A Theology of Liberation, which I’ve been “reading” since winter. “I don’t know why I don’t just finish the thing,” I said to myself. It’s easy to talk to oneself when one’s wife and kids are out of town. So I read. In bed. From 4 to 6. Then I drove to Orderup and ate and read from 6:30 to 9. Then I came home, hopped into bed to finish The Book That Will Not End and was momentarily startled out of my skull by the cannonade volleys following the nearby performance of the 1812 Overture at Ft. Sam Houston’s Memorial Day shindig. I swear, for a millisecond I believed San Antonio was under some sort of attack. Boom! (I wish I could have heard the orchestral part) Boom! (but I could only hear the interstitial…) BOOM! (and then three more, and then more) Boom! BOOM! boom! and then the Blat-a-Blattatt of Fireworks followed.
Ah, but what did I do earlier in the day? If I told you I worshiped in church, you might think I was talking about Trinity House. That wouldn’t be wrong, but not what I meant:
You see, I had been wanting to return to the McNay Art Museum in order to see Villa America: American Moderns, 1900-1950. My temporary bachelor status afforded me the luxury this afternoon. And like Beuller's Cameron in front of Seurat, in my book art gallery = sanctuary. I went and I took my time, lingering over brushstrokes, contemplating compositional choices, even noticing the frames of the pieces for a change, and then lazily basking in the beauty of Marion Koogler McNay’s 23-acre treasure, the centerpiece of which is a Spanish Colonial Revival mansion realized by “fabled” architects Robert and Atlee Ayers — all this, mere blocks from my home. And I rarely take time to go.
How appropriate that an exhibit of Modernism starting more-or-less from the fruits of the Armory show would come to rest for a while in McNay’s home, for the Armory show was said to have certainly influenced Marion’s personal artistic path.
Villa America. Great show. Demuth, O'Keeffe, Philip Evergood, Grant Wood, Walt Kuhn, Wyeth. Get thee…
If you go, consider checking out my faves: here are ten paintings from Villa America that either captured my imagination, provoked me, or left me with more questions than answers, which is a good, good thing:
Walt Kuhn Roberto, 1946 oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches
Ben Shahn Death of a Miner, 1949 tempera on paper 14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches (poorly hung with bad lighting, you might have to search for this one; it’s stuck in a corner)
Theodore J. Roszak Man at Machine, 1937 oil on canvas 24 x 40 1/8 inches
Theodore J. Roszak Rectilinear Study, c. 1934-5 painted wood and metal 7 x 8 5/8 x 3 7/8
Gerald Murphy Doves, 1925 oil on canvas 48 5/8 x 36 inches
Naum Gabo Constructed Head No. 2, 1916 galvanized steel 17 1/2 x 17 x 17 inches
Robert Henri Edna Smith, 1915 oil on canvas 41 x 33 inches (was a scandal in 1915)
Jared French Evasion, 1947 egg tempera on gesso panel 21 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (to me speaks of institutional church and power and shame? who knows)
Max Weber Two Seated Figures, 1910 oil on board 47 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches
Grant Wood Return from Bohemia, 1935 crayon, gouache, pencil on paper 23 1/2 x 20 inches
Ah, but what did I do even earlier in the day? Ate lunch at Karam’s on Zarzamora with my church family. What did Cliff call the Trinity House twentysomethings this morning? The Youth Invasion. :) I’ve come to really love this congregation. One of our couples is getting married on Saturday. Weddings. Beautiful. Sacramental. (see, I have been reading Gutierrez.) Speaking of Beauty, I’ve also been reading Elements of Design: Rowina Reed Kostellow and The Structure of Visual Relationships. Which also deals with Beauty in a more spiritual way than Reed’s contemporaries realize. Or at least let on.
Ah, but what did I do even earlier in the day? Helped facilitate worship at Trinity House. Where we talked about mission. And our commitment to the Kingdom work outside the walls of the church. Here’s where the Gutierrez text comes in handy. I agree with much but not all of his points. You know, that’ll need to be another blog post for another day.
I sent an email to a bunch of Austinites this evening, folks who might be interested in an Austin Emergent Cohort. There seems to be one starting here. But I know I've missed a few people. If you've recently told, emailed, called, commented, or tracked back about Austin Cohorts and you want me to email you what I sent to them, drop me a note. ................ Tuesday night Jordan and I hosted this father-son group with which we're involved twice-monthly. It's a fairly ecumenical group (a mix of mainline, roman catholic, evangelical, and non-denominational). It was our turn to have the group meet at our house, and thus my turn to come up with content. i decided to have the kids and the dads write their own psalms. we talked about the range of emotions found in the 'real' psalms, and how it was okay to express anger, fear, questioning, and how we're called to 'sing a new song' -- and that everyone could contribute. you should have seen what they came up with. amazing. this is nine-year-old guys expressing some beautiful phrases; i only wish i had kept them to publish here. their dads came up with good ones too, but the kids' were great. that was a good evening: no doctrinal baggage, no propositions, just these kids giving God their shout-outs. ................ On Monday night I was able to be a fly on the wall at a conference call for the Relational Tithe (RT). Folks from all around the country [new friends like Greg Willis in Austin and Ryan and Holly Sharp on the road in Ohio, and acquaintances like Damian O'Farrell in CA, and Chris Haw (he made Trinity House's pottery) in Camden, NJ, and Shane Claiborne from the simple way] and they had dialed in mainly to hear stories, to hear how their money was used around the world. Think of it as narrative tithing, with way fewer than six degrees of separation.In fact, only one degree of separation. This far-flung group is living out a new model for pooling Kingdom funds and getting it to people in need: people these folks have met, invited into their homes, shared meals with. I hope to learn more about the RT and maybe our community can incorporate lessons learned into our daily, weekly, monthly rhythms of giving. ................ Kate, age 4 and a half, had a big lunch date with me today. (Emma was there too, but Kate was the excited one). We got to go to EZs and share a big cheese pizza, and then come down to the studio and hang out there for an hour before mama came and picked her up! She felt very grown-up. ................ Jordan and I played HORSE the other night with his Nerf basketball. For me, this was a Sporting Moment With My Son. So much so that I'm blogging about it. I'm not a sports guy. So I'm counting on some of you friends of mine who enjoy sports, enjoy sweating, to help me out in exposing Jordan to more than the occasional game of Nerf HORSE. Please, help a kid. Donate today. Operators are standing by.
Last night I introduced you to Pam Neumann, a missional thinker committing several years of her life to a traditional overseas missions model.
Tonight I'd like to introduce you to Troy Bronsink, someone I think of as a kindred soul: He is an artist, poet, musician, singer-songwriter, he's being ordained as a Presbyterian pastor - PC(USA) and he has a heart for marginalized people in the 'abandon spaces'; and he articulates the missional facets of the intersection of art and man and God with beauty and a wisdom beyond his years. He is doing something about the post-colonial shift from word-based culture to image-based culture, as companies are "moving from organization-centered to creativity-centered approaches" -- he understands that artists and their resultant artifacts are living gospels capable of "bear[ing] witness to God's kingdom within the symbols of culture" -- essentially the missional task.
When I met him back in April at WALP, he and I had some great conversations over food with Tim Samoff and Mike Crawford and Will Samson. I was really pleased he made it out to the Gathering.
His community's rule is metaphorically artistic, and i love it.-- a community commited to (a) Being God's Artwork (b) Being God's Artists, and (c) Being Curators of God's Artwork. This is explicated at his church as art website and you kinda need to go read it yourself (here). I wish I could get Troy to come talk to our missional community, because he puts into words that which I'm unable to, about the intersections of art and prophetic calling and lament and hospitality and monastic presence and music and ... argh. I come up short. But he's truly gifted. I think he'd do our community much more good than would a guest theologian.
Not that Troy's thoughts are not deeply theological. But they are deeply artistic, natively post-modern (in the best sense of the word), If you visit his website, be sure to read his "Case for a Church in Southwest Atlanta" -- you have to read a few grafs down to get to the really prime stuff.
pamela neumann has become a friend over the past few months. She's an emergent cohort friend, an articulate writer, an optimist, a chorister, and above all, has a passion about being caught up in the mission of God. so much so that under the auspices of Food for the Hungry, she will be fulfilling a vocational calling as she goes to live in Nicaragua and support the work of the Nehemiah
Center for Transformational Development located in Managua, the capital
city. Food for the Hungry helps the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest of the poor. [Note: find out how to support her here]
She came and spoke at Trinity House this Sunday about her forthcoming adventures (i suppose she was our first guest speaker ever. hey, someone should write that down); We're going to be able to support her a little bit, a relational tithe of sorts -- one "degree of separation" -- which is so much better than writing some check off to some missions board somewhere.. anyway, I'll let her tell you about the experience in her own well-crafted words (via)
Have you ever been in the presence of people who made you feel warm inside and deeply loved, simply by being among them? I had that kind of experience this past Sunday when I spent about 30 minutes with some friends who are starting a missional community known as Trinity House. I was there to share a
little bit about the journey that had led me to commit 3 years of my life to living and serving among the poor of Nicaragua. Their community meets in an inviting, colorful space on the inner west side of San
Antonio. Couches and large easy chairs form a semi circle around a coffee table adorned with a simple embroidered runner, tea light candles, and the sacramental elements of communion. As the community
gathers that morning, children are playing, women are sharing stories of joy and meaning from their lives, men are playing guitar and preparing for the time of worship and learning. Truly, the presence of
God is in this place. The gathering begins with a short reading for reflection and then I am invited to share. As my words tumble out, I glance around the room, seeking connection with my brothers and
sisters, hoping they can see my heart. I am humbled by their nods of understanding, their affirming looks of encouragement, and their heartfelt prayers. Truly, the Trinity abides with us. Finally, I bid my
friends a temporary farewell, but I know we are united in spirit, for all of our hearts are set on pilgrimage…sojourning with these kindred spirits over the last several months through common reading and discussions about faith and practice has drawn me deeper into the mystery of knowing Jesus and following Him in the world…I can think of no better fruit for a community to bear.
that's my post for tonight. tomorrow i'll tell you more about the House Concert on the 28th.
Virusdoc wanted a layman's synopsis of Beyond Foundationalism. --Erik, you said you had "long been committed to the defunct-ness of foundationalist epistemologies," but couldn't determine "what to put in their place that allows any semblance of civil discourse between competing worldviews." I'm gonna try and formulate some thoughts over the next coupla days....
Benedict XVI's "surprising question and answer session with the priests of Aosta." via Chiesa.
Il sorprendente botta e risposta di Benedetto XVI con i preti di Aosta. (English version and versione Italiana online)
+On the many vocations to the priesthood in Africa…:
+On the [African] expansion of Christianity but also of Islam and the sects:
+On the "dying" Churches of the Western world:
+On how to react to the blurring of the Christian faith in the West:
+On how to revive vocations to the priesthood in the West:
+On the many people who distance themselves from the Church:
+On how to bring those who are far away back to the Church:
+On the proposal that nonbelievers should live "as if God exists":
+On the parishes without priests in Germany and France +On the risks of "Protestantization":
+On the importance of going to Sunday Mass, even if it is many miles away:
+On Catholic schooling and the catechism:
+On communion for members of the faithful who have divorced and remarried:
+On permission to divorce in the Orthodox Churches:
+And again on the Compendium of the Catechism…