to God calling

In a world full of noise, distraction and overload, we are called to listen to God’s world, to God’s Word, to God’s people.

Deep listening comes first -- so that action is grounded, intentional and transformative.

Discerning Mission

Trauma and anxiety

Pat Keifert has a powerful reflection on his recent experiences with leaders across various church systems in the most recent Church Innovations newsletter. He writes about leaders who are struggling to cope with the changes they are facing, and uses the language of trauma response to name the kind of anxiety they are enduring. He also suggests some useful ways to reframe the realities we all must engage: 

In the Christian tradition we have very practical, time-tested, and powerful ways to respond

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Encountering our book of faith

The ELCA has an enormous number of resources -- a list which is growing every day -- by which congregations and persons individually can approach the Bible through the Book of Faith Project. Thanks to the thoughtful folk at the Eastern North Dakota Synod, here's a handout that lists most of the resources all in one place (including a number of the newly created Bible studies).

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Secularism and pluralism

Once again MIchael Jinkins, the president of Louisville Seminary, offers a pointed reflection on the challenges of living in the global and diverse world we inhabit. Read his whole essay, but here's a taste to whet your interest:

If we construe our differences as merely matters of individual taste and preference, we trivialize the religious and moral questions that unite and separate us. We also cut ourselves off from the basic social unit of understanding and persuasion, which is not the individual

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Issuing a challenge to missional leaders

Ok all you missional church leaders! Here's a challenge: what would you offer as an alternative to this young man and his passionate critique of religion? How might you invite him (and others like him) into communal mission in the Word?

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5 trends in social media and religion

Elizabeth Drescher, author of Tweet if You [heart] Jesus, and a plenary speaker at next year's missional church consultation, has a lovely short piece up at Religion Dispatches which explores five trends in social media that are intersecting with pastoral ministry. What do you think of her list?

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