Prayer of Adoration for September 27, 2009

Eternal paradox of possibility, God of justice and mercy, We come to worship you.   Invisible yet Incarnate, Three yet One, We come to seek your face.   God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God of time and eternity, We come to praise your name.   With honesty and humility, With reverence and repentance, We come to pray to you - Offering our prayers of confession . . . (transition to congregational prayers of confession) Read More …

Review of Promise and Peril

Brubaker, David.  Promise and Peril: Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations.  The Alban Institute, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-56699-382-1. Meet the Author Since 2004, David Brubaker has served as Associate Professor of Organizational Studies at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University.  Brubaker is a member of the Alban Institute and has 20 years of experience in workplace mediation, training and organizational and congregational consulting.  Read More …

Review of Just Hospitality

Russell, Letty M.  Just Hospitality: God's Welcome in a World of Difference.  Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-66423315-0. (Note: Clarkson, J. Shannon and Ott, Kate M. are editors.) Meet the Author and Editors Letty Russell was an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor, one of the world's foremost feminist theologians and a longtime member of the Yale Divinity School faculty.  She was among the first women ordained by the then United Presbyterian Church and was committed to Read More …

Review of GloboChrist

Raschke, Carl.  GloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern Turn.  Baker Academic, 2008.  ISBN: 9780801032615. Meet the Author Carl Raschke is professor and chair of the department of religious studies at the University of Denver and an adjunct faculty member at Mars Hill Graduate School.  He is an expert on postmodernism and Christianity,  the author of over twenty books, and a regular contributor to Church and Pomo and Rhizone .  Learn more about him by visiting his faculty Read More …

Review of Christianity and the Postmodern Turn

Penner, Myron B., ed.  Christianity and the Postmodern Turn.  Brazos Press, 2005.  ISBN: 1-58743-108-4. Meet the Editor and Chapter Authors Myron Penner, editor, is a professor of philosophy and theology at Prairie College and Graduate School. R. Douglas Geivett is a professor of philosophy at Biola University. R. Scott Smith is an associate professor of ethics at Biola University. Kevin J. Vanhoozer is a research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Read More …

A Survey of Christian Teens

Rick Lawrence's Scratching Where Kids Itch ( Group, September-October 2009) reveals the results of Group's annual survey of Christian teenagers.  26,000 students participated in the survey as a part of their Group Workcamps mission experience.   This article reveals the first half of the data.  The second half will be published in the November-December issue.  Among the findings: Sometimes I really wish I had another adult in my life, besides my parents, who could help me grow in my Read More …

The Future Church – Less Formal

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 9.    Less Formal Formal Informal Dress up in Sunday best to attend Come as you are (wear what you normally do) Formal titles used when known, especially for clergy and church leaders (i.e. The Rev. Dr.) Names not titles are normative Extensive worship guides/bulletins Limited or no print materials used in worship Positional leadership Functional leadership Join the club Participate in Read More …

Review of Bright-Sided

Release Date: October 2009. Ehrenreich, Barbara.  Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. Metropolitan Books, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8749-4. Meet the Author Barbara Ehrenreich earned a Ph.D. in cell biology then decided to pursue a career of activism and writing.  She has written articles for many respected publications including Time,  New York Times, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly.  Additionally, she has written 17 books including Read More …

Go Swimming (and Get Wet in the Process)

Tom Bandy, a church development guru and ecumenical pastor tells a story that is relevant to all believers: The retreat was being held in a lodge beside a lake. During the break, we all gathered on the beach to watch the kids play. One child was dressed in swimsuit, bathing hat, plastic flotation "duck", and snorkel. She kept running down to the edge of the water, dipping her feet into the lake, yelping, and running back to her towel. All the observers laughed heartily. Later during dinner at Read More …

The Future Church – Less Real Estate

Looking into the Future: The Top 10 Changes for the American Church 10.    Less Real Estate Over the past fifty years, churches have sought to acquire more land and build more buildings as a growth strategy.  For the average church, excepting office space and school space, most of the square feet within their campuses are used only a few hours a week.  The cost to maintain these large campuses is significant.  Any honest consideration of human resource (custodial and administrative), Read More …