December 26, 2006
What will be your spiritual and wellness disciplines?
Where will you seek wisdom and creativity?
How will you strive for justice and peace?
How will you be hospitable and big hearted?
What will be your ministries in the world this year?
December 21, 2006
So I’ve heard two requests for things from the Transmission community. First, I heard a request to dig deeper into all this Christianity stuff. We claim that we are a community for people who are not being fed by traditional church and yet we haven’t yet really delved into what it is about modernism and traditional church that leaves us so unfulfilled. It’s high time to start wrestling with some of our major presuppositions and other religious baggage.
Second, I heard a request for more contemplative, emotional worship. We definitely tend to stay inside our heads and it would be really nice to leave some space for prayer, song, and communion with God.
These two needs seem to be somewhat at odds with each other and yet, ironically, I find myself agreeing with both of them. Here’s what I suggest for January:
January 3: The idea of personal diety is central to western and near-eastern religions, and it’s also the idea that is most frequently challenged and attacked. What better time to unpack this than on the tenth day of Christmas? The idea of Christmas, the idea of incarnation, suggests that God is both transcendent and immanent, both redeptive and incarnate, both like us and very unlike us. Is it reasonable to think of God in human terms? Does ascribing thoughts, feelings, and will to God make any sense? Are we making God into our image instead of the other way around? I feel the need for a little Depeche Mode…
January 17: The next Transmission after that is in the season of Epiphany, the season when wise men saw a star in the heavens so arresting that they left their homes to follow it. Epiphany is all about kneeling in awe and worship at the foot of a manger. Let’s use this day to get away from theology and just spend some time worshiping together. We can bust out “Brightest and Best” and “We Three Kings.” We could dig up some praise and worship music or we could dig up some old-fashioned monastic mysticism.
What do you think?
December 19, 2006
I have a “rock n’ roll” version of this Vineyard praise song that just came up on my iTunes. It reminded me of Him and just how much I miss His presence in my life. Too buried in finals and my thesis project, I forget that’s He’s just one word (or in this case one song) away and all I have to do is call out and He’s with me. I miss Him and thank Him for always being there even when I am not paying attention.
“More love, more power
More of You in my life
More love, more power
More of You in my life.
I will worship You with all of my heart
And I will worship You with all of my mind
And I will worship You with all of my strength
For you are my Lord
You are my Lord.
December 18, 2006
by Bowie Snodgrass
these short days are pregnant with expectation
of what is real, unrealized, and unrealistic
John proclaimed bold and true
the coming of the kingdom
- and ended up beheaded
the dangerous call of the gospel
- is unsettling
enough of settling down
I am poised for adventure
and like a lion – persistent in its pursuit
we are called – to roam and roar
he walks with a limp -
his eyes sparkle with insight -
she plays Bach with her feet -
hands strained behind her back
in New York City
we carry our worlds
in pockets and bags
enough of being earnest
it’s time to entertain
when it’s GAME OVER
agree to PLAY AGAIN
I am throwing down
- I am standing up!
preach in broad strokes
and live in the nuance
traditions are meant to be kept
stories are meant to be meant
something new is about to begin
now is a time to dance and sing
note: written after David Fleenor’s ordination; Bp. Packard preaching
December 15, 2006
“When two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the cream of the cookie…‚Äù
Yup, you heard right, dawgs. Come ready to bake your butts off for Jesus.
We‚Äôd like to learn some Christmas songs too and do a little caroling around my building. Strong singers are most welcome! You might even end up with a solo ;-)
The fun begins at 7pm.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can prepare accordingly‚Ä¶
“Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
December 13, 2006
ChurchMarketingSucks.com is one of my favorite websites
And, on a related note: Presbyterian Polis has been doing a series on Innovative Business Ideas for Churches (thank you Bob C. for the fyi)
Here are three pieces I especially liked from this series ‚Äì
#6 – Communication, Marketing and Social Networking
byte: Even before I went to seminary (1978-81), I felt that relationships were central to life. But I never found much affirmation for that idea until the last few years as those who see themselves as either ‚Äòpost-modern‚Äô or ‚Äòemerging‚Äô are emphasizing the social relationship aspect of the church.
# 3 – The Cluetrain Manifesto
byte: If you read The Cluetrain Manifesto, and I hope you will, you will not agree or understand everything in it. I didn’t. But you will be challenged to make our life in the church more human, and less organizationally artificial.
#5 – Mavericks at Work
byte: From my perspective, everything is a risk. You risk trying new things. You risk doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. Risk in inherent in life. From a spiritual perspective, risk forces us to deal with the question of ‚ÄòWhere is God in my risk taking?’
+ + +
so, where is God in your computer usage? your business, political, or financial savvy? your pop culture critiques? your creative endeavors? Your so-called po-mo life?
December 11, 2006
Embracing Worship 2.0 ‚Äì an Architecture of Participation
by Johnny Baker, excellent column published in Church Times
Brian McLaren shared this poem with me at the end of October, after it was shared with him on a recent trip to Mexico City. It resonated with me so strongly that I recently got permission to publish the English translation (trans. by Amy Stabeno and Elisa Padilla). Many thanks!
Do You Know Someone Like this?
A poem by Pablo Alaguibe
Could there be someone out there,
who would be interested
in participating in an experiment
of Christian community
Read the rest of this entry »
December 7, 2006
j.Snodgrass mix for Transmission apt.church 12.06.06
MILES DAVIS: SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME
LEONARD COHEN: WAITING FOR THE MIRACLE (FULL LENGTH)
THE DOORS: WAITING FOR THE SUN
ANNIE LENNOX : WAITING IN VAIN
DEPECHE MODE : WAITING FOR THE NIGHT
NINA SIMONE: LILAC WINE
LOU REED : WAITING FOR THE MAN
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN : COME ON DARKNESS
ISAAC EVERETT : EXPECTATION
DEPECHE MODE : WAITING FOR THE NIGHT (REMIX)
DISNEY SOUNDTRACK : ‚ÄúSOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME‚Äù
You can check out and download (a slightly modified version of) this iMix from iTunes:
December 4, 2006
When I was at Church of the Apostles a few weekends ago, I was impressed with something they did called “open space.” Basically, after the service broke down: Some people started group discussions, others knelt at altars, and others just sat and listened to the music. It was cool. One of the dangerous things about innovative ritual is that not everyone will want to participate and COTA made it possible for everyone to be comfortable doing whatever they felt a need to do.
I’d like to do something similar this week at Transmission – so far our rituals have been focused and participatory, but I think Advent lends itself to a plurality of activities because Advent is an extremely complex time with lots of layers of meaning. It’s a time of hope, a time of darkness, a penitential time, a time for shopping, and much more. Rather than trying to pick a theme for the service and going with it, we thought we’d go ahead and use ALL the themes, giving each theme a separate station and not trying to reconcile them with each other.
So here are some station ideas – please contribute your own as well, and we’ll try to incorporate them!
~Advent represents preparation for Christmas, and thus for Jesus.
~Advent acknowledges that the world is a dark, scary place. Frankly, we still need hope and we’re still desperately praying for deliverance. It’s not just about waiting for the birth of Christ, it’s also about waiting for the second coming of Christ.
~Advent is about tension with our own society. It is difficult to observe Advent since the secular world considers this to be “the Christmas Season.” There’s something amazing with spirituality vs materialism and jesus vs santa.
~Advent is about mulled cider and pumpkin bread.
~Advent is about supercessionism. Have you ever actually read the lyrics to O Come O Come Emmanuel? How do I sing that song with a straight face around my Jewish friends?
December 4, 2006
The wind has changed
I can smell you again
In the soft open air
Beneath the mountains of the moon
In the stillness of the night
I sense your sweet scent
we speak of matters of the soul
when we‚Äôre alone in this world.
men and women trying to figure
it out and our insides to know.
we work to know ourselves, and
thereby accept the other folks, we.
work together in the struggle for
liberation and peace in our land.
some goals for the new liturgical year‚Ä¶
be honest about your life.
cherish your inheritances and pass on to other people.
come to know yourself by taking time to think and worship god.
be creative. move ideas around. be curious.
struggle for justice.
be flexible. breathe.
be kind to living things and appreciate nature.
what else? please comment with additional goals.