When the Church Stops Working: Embracing Humility

When the Church Stops Working: Embracing Humility “When the church stops working” was the theme of the webinar we held last month with Andrew Root as a guest. We followed this up with a second webinar “Forming communities of Hope” where we examined some of the practical ways of addressing this unraveling of church life. A critical challenge confronting Euro-tribal churches in the UK and North America is that our churches have stopped working. We’re all trying to figure out what to do. Too often that question of what to do about is a question of technique and tactics – […] Read More

Forming Communities of Hope?

When church stops working Dear Friends: I want to invite you to a Webinar around this question of what do we do when the church stops working. This is not an ideas-based conversation but engaging with practical, concreate ways of engaging this quesiton in our local contexts. For too many of us, church has stopped working. I recently interviewed Hannah Vaughan-Spruce, National Coordinator of Divine Renovation UK, on our Leaving Egypt Podcast. She observed that many priests know the church they have inherited has stopped working. They have no desire to fix this church that has shaped them over the […] Read More

Thanksgiving 2023

Monday, October 9th Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. In the US, Thanksgiving is near the end of November, an illustration of two profoundly different histories and, therefore, imaginations about who we are as peoples. As we have always done, passed down from our now gone parents, the family gathers this afternoon – all 17 of us – around a long table for Turkey and the joy of family. I’m grateful for my family, all of us, all over the place. We are blessed. Two moments fill me with thanksgiving in these days of war, horror and the coming of dark […] Read More


I’m thrilled by the responses to launch of our Podcast Leaving Egypt. Jenny Sinclair and I are hosting a series of conversations with a variety of guests exploring the vocation of the church in a context of cultural unravelling. Leaving Egypt seeks to make sense of this moment for communities of Christians in North America and the UK. In dialogue with guests we read the signs of the times and share stories of how local expressions of God’s people are contributing to the reweaving of hope in our common life In our first Podcast, Jenny and I introduced ourselves as two […] Read More

Starting a New Page

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. These have been busy times with so much happening on so many fronts. I’ve wanted to update you on what’s been developing but recognized that a firehose of information all at once, while my normal response, is not the best way to communicate. Over the next few posts I’ll share with you a number of developing initiatives I’ve started within a the larger conversation with many others around how we form communities of hope when, increasingly, we find ourselves in a place we’ve never been before. Three of these initiatives are: The Commons: […] Read More

The Spirit’s Ferment in the Unraveling

We’re formed by rhythms of life. The seasons, the Christian year, holidays and festivals, regular practices. We attend to these rhythms as they’re present in our bodies, families, churches and communities. They guide us in how we live. Over the past several years the overarching rhythm shaping us is that of crises. We’re living in the experience of perpetual emergency (https://unherd.com/thepost/matthew-b-crawford-the-ongoing-state-of-emergency/). Every time we turn around a new crisis is added to the expanding list that the media loves to truck out for us everyday (pandemic, climate, politics, race, war, economics and on it goes). We’re caught in a perpetual […] Read More

Christmas in a Darkening Time

Advent doesn’t begin until November 27th but already, for the past several weeks, lights are being hung across houses and Christmas trees are appearing in living rooms. At a friend’s apartment on the weekend I looked across the evening darkness to the other high rises. It was startling to see how many homes were already filled with the lights and Christmas trees. Amidst a time of anxiety we’re more eager than ever to grab hold of something that doesn’t change, that’s solid, a tradition that gives us intimations of stability in disruption. Advent/Christmas (the latter is familiar to most people; […] Read More

Where are we going? What’s Next?

God’s People in a New Era What “future” is before the churches? We are already prognosticating. We’re taking out the crystal balls, listening to the trend oracles and looking into the tea leaves to predict what’s next for the church. Already, conferences are planned (on line of course) around such compelling themes as “future church” where thought leaders are going to tell us what’s ahead and, therefore, how to plan. Some are telling us that the digital church is here to stay. It’s now the new customer base for anyone who wants to be “future-proof”. I’m not making this up. […] Read More

I’m not harming anyone

Several incidents have occupied Canadian media over this holiday season. We’ve all been continually told to limit our worlds to our households and not travel unless essential. Several (the ones we know about) of our politicians – the people making these rules and urging us to follow them – got on planes for vacations in sunny parts of the world. It seems that they are special, different from the rest of us. Their mantra seems to be that they’re working hard so deserve to live outside these expectations, besides, flying away isn’t hurting anyone, so what’s the problem? Well, actually, […] Read More

A Time to Mourn

These are hard days. I’m not alone in this. I know that my experience is pale and muted compared to so many of my black, hispanic and Asian friends right now. I don’t get many of these days of numbness or discouragement, the sense of precariousness. I listen to conversations, take the questions I’m hearing and try to connect people to a larger frame. Age (advanced), experience, reading and many, many mistakes helps you see how to fit the pieces of the puzzle into a larger picture. But answers, as sensible as they might sound, are not were we are […] Read More