The Emmaus Road

The Emmaus Road Across social media, lots of us are trying to give some frame to this unexpected, out of our world experience of massive isolation brought on by the seriousness of this pandemic. We are all searching out images, metaphors, and narratives that will help us make sense not just of what is happening but where this is all going. Many are experiencing  fear and anxiety around their ability to survive economically. Others are wrestling with being isolated, grieving the loss of a way of life that has been shaped by lively connections and interactions with friends and neighbours. […] Read More

What kind of character do we need as God’s people?

Jesus describes the character of a community of God’s people as a city on a hill; their vocation is as a beacon light seen shining in darkness. This description is not primarily about some conviction that Christians can or ought to be “useful” but that God is out ahead of us already remaking the world in the very places where we live. It is also an extraordinary invitation to communities of God’s people that gives us a clear sense of our identity. To be a light on a hill is to embrace a profoundly disorienting way of being in the […] Read More

Our collective handwringing

The handwringing over the state of the Euro-tribal churches on this side of the Atlantic seems to have gone-up several octaves in recent days. A bishop, just returning from a set of house of Bishops meetings could only exclaim in response to a question about how the meetings had gone: “Its dark, very dark indeed”. His statement seems to express anxieties of the moment over the state of these churches across North America. One has to provide a caveat here, however, an important rider that affects the picture. We are actually talking about a small ((and getting smaller) portion of […] Read More

James Baldwin and the unraveling of our time

The 1961 Interview In 1961 Baldwin was interviewed by another American icon, “Studs” Terkel (1912-1987) a broadcaster and oral historian of 20th century. Terkel asked him about his self-understanding as an American playwright living in Paris. Baldwin described Paris as a refuge from all he’d experienced as a “Negro” in America. The advantage of another country and a different people was that he could watch what was happening to African Americans back home. He talked about how he’d brought to Paris the habits of being a “Negro” in Harlem only to realize he didn’t need them there. Though living in […] Read More

Greta Thunberg & James Baldwin

We are all so aware of the heartfelt, courageous leadership Greta Thunberg has given in pressing for action from world leaders around climate change. That her actions and person have created pushback from adults raises massive questions about why late modern societies have created their own infantile anxieties around loss of power. I was reflecting on this recently while in St John’s, Newfoundland participating for a few days with the Anglican Diocese of East Newfoundland and Labrador. It was my first time to this wonderful city and its people’s hospitality. Walking around the sea front and downtown I came across […] Read More

Summer 2019 – biking, again!

I’m on my bike again riding along the seawall, going to the gym. It’s an amazing experience because I haven’t been able to ride in months. Indeed, I haven’t been able to do much of anything. I couldn’t walk, write or, to be honest, think clearly. January was my last blog post. There’s a reason for that. I developed a cough in the winter and didn’t think much of it because everyone around me had the same thing. It was a particularly pernicious flu season. But the coughing wouldn’t go away. By March/April my friends were better but I was […] Read More

Seeing Hope

2019 is the year of a general election in Canada. Political parties are starting to field candidates to run in what is always “the most important election we’ve faced in a generation”. This Saturday I went off with others in the household to spend the afternoon listening in on the three candidates running for the local party we support. The presentations and debates were mostly about climate change and the dire situation of both the planet and human life. It seemed that the basic message was leaning into the apocalyptic. We are heading to hell in a hand basket and […] Read More

What’s Driving this French Revolution?

I was talking with friends in the UK this morning sharing stories about some of the creative edges where the Spirit is gestating forms of Christian life that are so encouraging and, potentially, transformative. These stories are about people operating outside the usual boxes of what it means to be church. They’ve formed table churches in their neighborhood, a hairdresser, without planning to do so, has formed a community of people in the shop who are talking about life with and without God. And on it goes – the bubbling of the Spirit in the ordinary. I long for existing […] Read More

Why Not a Christian counter movement to neo-liberalism?

Recently I was sitting with friends on the back deck when the topic of neo-liberalism came up.  Somehow, each had heard the same podcast about neo-liberalism and were pondering its implications. These friends are not academics who read economists or social theorists but ordinary people who, looking at what is happening in their worlds and to their children, are getting scared. They sense that they’ll, probably be alright but their children and grandchildren? This fear now runs deep. My friends are also Christians who, in the privacy of the deck, expressed their frustrations about the churches they attend. They see […] Read More