Encounters with the Unexpected

From August through October I’ve been away from writing. A brief sabbatical.  In September Jane and I journeyed for the month around the UK and Ireland then I travelled to Korea. Jane and I ambled about London returned to old haunts (a favourite book store, the best cider bar, a speciality store for a new diary and journal), saw a play and connected with friends. In Belfast we enjoyed the hospitality of Heather Morris’s home. Heather provides strong leadership to the Methodist church in Ireland. We drove up to the Giant’s Causeway beguiled by the Irish story about giants who […] Read More

The Battle for Paradise

I’ve just finished reading a little book on the situation in Puerto Rico by Naomi Klein (No Logo, Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No is Not Enough). The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists (2018) tells the story of what has happened to Puerto Rico after the dual blows of the 2008 financial meltdown and, last year, the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The book shares stories about the amazing ways ordinary people, with little political power inside systems making decisions, are fighting for its future. Klein describes the battle in terms of two utopian stories in contention for the […] Read More

Places of Hope in an Age of Anxiety

Euro-tribal Christians are adopting another focus of energy in their unravelling. They’ve moved past church health, New Church Development, discipleship and missional church; today the focus is some combination of church planting and being in the neighbourhood. It doesn’t take much prescience to see that lots of conferences will crop up with groovy techniques for how your church can go local. The chances of objectifying our neighbourhoods are high. Issue 10 of the Journal of Missional Practice (journalofmissionalpractice.com/category/issue-10/) shared stories of Christians who are discovering the importance of place, of encountering God in their local, everyday experiences. It’s worth listening in […] Read More

What’s in the notion that religion doesn’t matter anymore?

Within Canada, like so many other Western nations, are stark differences and variants of religious expression. The challenge in discussing the state of religion within Canada lies in the question: Which Canada? Is there a normative “Canadian” religious scene or religious context? These questions struck me reading an interview with Canadian religious and social commentator, John Stackhouse (www.contextwithlornadueck.com/2018/06/22/dangerous-dreaming).  John is Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He’s been on ABC, NBC, CBC, CTV, and Global TV as well as on CBC Radio. He’s written in numerous newspapers and magazines […] Read More

Refounding Communities of God’s People

Refounding Communities of God’s People[1]  What’s Involved in Leading?  The “Camino” Journey – Part 1 This is the first of several posts proposing some of the actions that are needed for the refounding of the Euro-tribal churches in North America. Introduction – Call to Refounding: Since about the 70s of the 20th century there has been an almost continuous series of attempts to address the decline that has continued across practically all the Euro-tribal churches. In my book Joining God I proposed several reasons why these attempts have, and will continue, to fail. Overall, these initiatives are funded by an admixture […] Read More

“there aren’t enough hours in the day”

There aren’t enough hours in the day! Who hasn’t expressed these exasperated words?  We feel shackled to the taskmaster of time with continual demands from every direction.There’s got to be another way of living!  We know the time-management programs, no matter how well intentioned, don’t get at the underlying problems. On Thursday, June 7th join a conversation offering a perspective on living into a different sense of God among us in the local – webinar. St. Augustine said that God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are always too full to receive them. Rather than […] Read More

Longing for a movement of God?

    New York Times Magazine, 5.20.18, Final Words, Beverly Gage, Cause and Effect, 9-11 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/magazine/when-does-a-moment-turn-into-a-movement.html Our is a time filled up with a longing for change – justice, reconciliation and the redemption of our lives as citizens of an order that is unravelling. We have witnessed an expanding assortment of movements pressing for these transformations. Social media announces and shouts out the dawning of movements that will make the difference. And yet, most of us, most of the time, know they won’t even while we wish they would. The Yale historian, Beverly Gage, address this issue in her article, […] Read More

Can a Congregation Transition (to the local)?

A lot of leaders ask me about the possibility or even viability of a congregation becoming local and dwelling among its neighbours. Chris Smith from the Englewood church responds to this in an interview I did with him for the Journal of Missional Practice. One of our Editorial Team, Mary Publicover summarizes the interview here, I encourage you to check out the link to the video. A Church in Englewood and Place in our Culture (https://youtu.be/1gucswK8qUk) Chris Smith is co-author of Slow Church and editor of the Englewood Review of Books. Here in conversation with Alan Roxburgh he describes how his […] Read More

Practices for the Refounding of God’s People – Finally Here!

Practices for the Refounding of God’s People written by Martin Robinson and I arrived at my yesterday.  Its a fun moment when the work of several years appears in front of you as a book. A big thanks to our editors at Church Publishing, Milton Brasher-Cunningham and Ryan Masteller for their patience and great work. The book addresses the nature of a missiological engagement with a modern West whose basic narratives are unravelling along with the churches birthed out of the European reformations. We’re addressing what it means to be God’s people in this place arguing that the modern West has been […] Read More