Easum/Bandy

As I wander around the web, I”m sampling things from a whole bunch of places. When I was starting out in congregational ministry, I read some of the works of Tom Bandy and Bill Easum. And I disagreed with them. In lots of places, I still disagree with them. But I”d like to suggest checking out some of the learnings that you can find on the Easum/Bandy website.

Continue Reading

My Head is Spinning!

My head is spinning!
We had a “congregational information session” following worship this morning. The Council Executive wanted to share a blueprint for dealing with the current operating fund deficit. The process looks solid, the numbers look scary… and people seem to be ready to do something.
One of the questions that came up – as it seems to do on a perennial basis – was, “Well, what about all those young families that have been having their children baptized…” I expected the phrase to continue with, “why don”t they come to church and give more?”
I was totally blown away when the speaker said, “… what are we doing to help them feel like this is a place that they can connect with God?”
*37 pairs of eyes turn and look at me*

Seemed like a good time to explore the support I”d get in helping a “community of the Now” grow. It was wonderful! The people present were extremely supportive – even when they recognized that we might not see any of these faces out on Sunday morning. One twenty-something couple asked if they could be part of the planning team.
Spirit dancing!

Continue Reading

my head is spinning!

We had a “congregational information session” following worship this morning. The Council Executive wanted to share a blueprint for dealing with the current operating fund deficit. The process looks solid, the numbers look scary… and people seem to be ready to do something.

One of the questions that came up – as it seems to do on a perennial basis – was, “Well, what about all those young families that have been having their children baptized…” I expected the phrase to continue with, “why don”t they come to church and give more?”

I was totally blown away when the speaker said, “… what are we doing to help them feel like this is a place that they can connect with God?”

*37 pairs of eyes turn and look at me*

Seemed like a good time to explore the support I’d get in helping a “community of the Now” grow. It was wonderful! The people present were extremely supportive – even when they recognized that we might not see any of these faces out on Sunday morning. One twenty-something couple asked if they could be part of the planning team.

Spirit dancing!

Continue Reading

ok, ok, ok… so i”m doctrinially different!
I’ve been wandering the various spaces and places out here – in print, on-line, in the air… and i’m finding out that most of the emerging churches have grown out of a theology that is much more… mmm… “conservative” (and i use that word advisedly)… than my own.
are the “centrestream” and “liberal” trads so far behind?
and are we going to stay there?

Continue Reading

ok, ok, ok… so i”m doctrinially different!

I’ve been wandering the various spaces and places out here – in print, on-line, in the air… and i’m finding out that most of the emerging churches have grown out of a theology that is much more… mmm… “conservative” (and i use that word advisedly)… than my own are the “centrestream” and “liberal” trads so far behind?

and are we going to stay there?

Continue Reading

Shared some of the excitement and ideas coming out of the Breakthrough event with my colleagues. They wonder how the more traditional folks in the congregation will react to “non-linear” styles of worship… worship without liturgical form. I wonder though. Doesn”t liturgy have something to do with the people? Isn”t the task of ministry to do what we can to help people connect with the Divine in ways that they can hear what”s being said? (In a Christian context… shouldn”t we translate the “Gosple” into the language of the day?) If that language is one of movement, video, and music… isn”t that where we should be?
Then its the people”s job to decide if the content makes any sense to them.
Just one site-note tonight – I decided to add an e-mail link on the bottom of the page… and throw my resume up as a link.

Continue Reading

Interesting day… kind of getting pulled all over the place. One of the people connected with the congregation is a professional choreographer. We sat on her front lawn this afternoon talking about ”life, the universe, and everything”. I asked her what she thought of the musical meditation on Sunday morning and her excitement went into overdrive. She told me that she had thought of five people who would come to a ”workshop” to explore the idea of god (or God) in their lives… especially if we could listen to Nellie Furtado. We just had to make sure we didn”t call it church. *chuckle*
She wants us to get together with the five people she was thinking of, and ”see what grows”.
Spirit moving!

Continue Reading

I”m home again. (happy dance!) Spent the last hour figuring out how to put a second blog on this page, so that I could add a daily evening prayer. (hmmm… how”s that for an oxymoron?) Soooo… if you look to the left, in that big blue space, you should see an evening prayer time. I usually take time for evening prayer around 11 p.m. (eastern time). If you”d like to join me, please feel free!

Continue Reading

What a day!
It was a wee bit rough on my first day back after study leave and holiday time. A meeting with the pastoral care team, two funerals and a trustees meeting tonight. It has not left much time for responding to the calls that have come in over the past three weeks!
A wonderful chance meeting happened, though. The covenor of the Church Council was walking down the street and bumped into me. He wanted to tell me how excited he was about the meditation at Sunday worship. He thought a number of people picked up on how the way messages get shared have changed. He wants to work on some ideas for new worship gatherings. YES!!

Continue Reading

What a day!
It was a wee bit rough on my first day back after study leave and holiday time. A meeting with the pastoral care team, two funerals and a trustees meeting tonight. It has not left much time for responding to the calls that have come in over the past three weeks!
A wonderful chance meeting happened, though. The covenor of the Church Council was walking down the street and bumped into me. He wanted to tell me how excited he was about the meditation at Sunday worship.
He thought a number of people picked up on how the way messages get shared have changed. He wants to work on some ideas for new worship gatherings. YES!!

Continue Reading

Well… I”ve spent a day trying to figure out how to share with the Sunday morning congregation that the world has moved on. The way the good news has been shared in the past just isn”t going to work anymore. It”s not that the message has changed – but the various media have. It”s not the message that has changed – but the focus that people have on the way they see the world has.

Something’s coming to mind, but I haven’t been able to give it any substance yet. … maybe later.

Continue Reading

Home from Sunday morning… and I think I was able to get my point across. For the morning meditation, I decided to ask people to share some of the changes that people have seen in the past year, five years, ten years, etc. etc. etc. Then I hooked up a cd player to the sound system, and played five pieces. As the artist was performing, I explained who it was, and asked people to raise their hand if: a) they usually listen to this kind of music; b) they enjoy this kind of music; c) they ever expected to hear this kind of music in church.
The pieces were – 1 – Prelude from the “Sonate En Ut Mineur” by J.S. Bach – 2 – “Psalm 23” performed by Charlotte Church – 3 – “Something Here In My Heart” by The Paper Dolls – 4 – “Ordinary Day” by Great Big Sea – 5 – “I”m Like a Bird” by Nellie Furtado; and – 6 – “What if God was One of Us” by Joan Osborne.

It was wild to see who put up their hands with each different piece.
Maybe people will begin to see that we need to do something differently if their children, their grandchildren and on down are going to want to do some searching about God… especially in a community of faith.

So… what”s next?

Continue Reading

Just Got Back

from “breakthrough: a renovations event” – a United Church of Canada conference challenging us to look at new ways of living ministry. I learned alot. I realized more than I expected to. Actually, I think my mind decided to take a loooong walk. One of the theme speakers – karen ward – really spoke to where I’m at… and where I want to be. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to implement *anything* that I’m bringing back with the congregation here in St. Marys. Oh, well… God only knows! ‘

Continue Reading