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Saturday, January 14, 2006

the emergent ghetto dialect

nice to see this venue in use!

ok -- i've been holding this back... so i need to let it out in a safe place: what bothers me about way too many of the emergent church websites out there is they drop "holistic" "missional" "emergent" "genX" "genY" "Postmodern" and a bunch of other useful terms that are really just jargon --- jargon that should stay relegated to internal converations only. i guess that if you live and breathe only in the emergent ghetto, you may forget this. but try walking up to a coworker -- or person in a hardware store or gas station and asking them what "missional" or "emergent" means. riiiiiight. i mean a certain degree of church rhetoric which is universally known will be used but please ... kill the jargon!

also -- why are so many of these guys still predictably warming up with a band and then following up with a relevant sermon? has no one deconstructed / reconstructed worship yet?

liz didn't know what the emergent-church-movment was before she showed up at MH, and she didn't have to know to understand our (well, new) website.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Some pros on communal living

Could it work? Could this WORK? This is being proposed by a friend in her blog and has been proposed by a few people at Mars Hill church for a while now. Could it actually happen? So COOL!

Why I want to live in cooperative group housing that includes respectful couples:
1) I want to experience other families than the one I grew up in. Harmonious couples who aren't afraid to both get along and even not get along in the same house with other people (allowing single men and women to observe a better model of respect for one's wife and one's husband).

2) I've done it before and it was life-changing and totally a success (actually none of the horror stories I had heard about ever took place in community living in the 2 years I did it with like minded and respectful people-- which I think are 2 keys). I did it for 2 years from age 20-22 in Hawaii, Malaysia, Thailand, Colorado and then in D.C. (on Maryland Ave).

3) I love the things I read about the Camden House Community living (www.camdenhouse.org) in New Jersey. It seems to me that they really expand upon one another.

4) I want to work on a house with a group of friends. That's something greater than my own needs, my own goals, my own focus on owning something independently.

5) I want to be part of an active, dynamic, living group of people looking to enlarge their minds, hearts, hope and love.

6) I want to bless other people by cooking for them, cleaning up regularly, doing things for people other than myself all the time. You know, stuff like Brother Lawrence writes about in The Practice of the Presense of God.

7) I don't see anyone outside Mars Hill people once per week and so I feel a lack of a family life here in D.C. and I get lonely.

To temper my rabid enthusiasm, I will say that this is definately not for everyone. In fact, it might not be for anyone at Mars Hill, but I thought I would let my ideas be known and include a few posts to places where cooperative living has been a success.

Esther House -- I actually know someone who lived here a few years ago and said it was a great experience.

Camden House-- I've met Chris -- one of the guys who lives in this house. Mike and Stacy are probably familiar with him from Relational Tithe

The Simple Way

Jesus People USA-- John Bozeman has been involved with them in the past as have I.

YWAM -- this is where I was involved for 2 years.

L'Abri -- I have a friend in L'Abri outside Boston. She is a leader/facilitator there and loves it.

But why don't we consult our resident expert on communal living and cults (and how they can sometimes be or become the samething--yikes) -- John Bozeman??? He has run down the pros and cons for me in the past and I was totally enlightened. He has a lot to offer and has done a lot of research on this topic.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Is Sonja right about Walmart?

This one's for you, Sonja! Click here

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hello Hello

It's been kinda quiet over here in "Conversations." Maybe we can get people talking. I was checking out Mike Croghan's blog this morning and found this post describing his experience at Solomon's Porch, a missional church in Minneapolis. It sounded very similar to our Ephesians service. Then I went to their website ... which I have intentionally never done before. Maybe I'm just unbalanced because of my current sinus troubles, but it was shocking to read words that I've heard all of us say about us on the website of another church. Not that we necessarily own those words. What I mean to say, is that I read them with delight to find kindred spirits so far away and yet rendered so near via the internet. To know that God's spirit has been tending to others doing similar work in another place somehow confirms that we are following Him and not our own wills. So ... an interesting morning's read. But now it's time to keep the children from pestering one another so they can get their schoolwork done.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A September Idea

Okay, so we're planning to have all of our September services outside, right? Well, an idea for a location and service theme came to me in a dream last night. Here it is.

We could meet on the roof of a building. My office building downtown would work, but it's kind of a long ways away from most of us. We have chairs set up as usual. But here's where it gets interesting: we have music, only the music isn't performed by any of us. Instead, we hire Led Zeppelin to play acoustically for our service. They will play all their classics. Then, during Eucharist, they can play Good Day Sunshine by the Beatles. It'll be great. Oh, and they also have a small scrawny flute player. Don't ask me why, maybe they beat up Jethro Tull!

So, does anyone think we can set this up?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Body Life

Can I just say how much I've enjoyed "circle of life" summer here at Mars Hill Church? We've had births, we've had deaths, we've had engagements... All these things just show me that our church is in a really healthy place right now - I love seeing us rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. It also reminds me that change is an important sign of life - if things are stagnant they are probably not healthy. Which makes it easier to adjust to changes I'm not always happy about - like seeing Rosemary go.

But the really cool thing is, it doesn't seem like circle of life summer will end with the change in weather. I'm hearing rumors of more engagements and we're all actively praying for more babies. I could do without the deaths, but if it gives us opportunities to love and support one another, I'll take those too.

Friday, August 12, 2005

T.O.A. (Thoughts on Acronyms)

Sort of in response to Maggie's post below and sort of because I'm a dork and find humor in ridiculous places, I thought I'd share some thoughts I've been having about acronyms lately.

First the trivial... It struck me as I was reading Mike's weekly email this week, that I didn't know if the name of the organization we were going to be working with was FACET or FACETS. I knew I had heard FACETS but I thought maybe that was possessive or something - but I hadn't thought much more about it than that. And then when I got to the end of the paragraph in Mike's email I realized it made a difference because one the one hand the website is "FACETS Cares" -- on the other hand it's "FACET Scares". So I was really hoping it was FACETS -- and, go figure, it is.

Now my not quite so trivial, but still not quite logical, thoughts about acronyms. I got a newsletter the other day from the PATC announcing that the ATC is changing its name. The name had been the "Appalachian Trail Conference" but everyone pretty much referred to it as the ATC. So they're changing their name to the "Appalachian Trail Conservancy". I'm not even sure why they're changing it, but - here's the thing - it doesn't feel like that big a deal. I mean, the acronym is staying the same and they're not even changing all the words in the name. And then I was reading about the conference they held in July and the theme of it was "Remembering our Past, Preserving our Future".

And all of that made me think about our church name change. Would it be possible to change the name without changing the acronym? Would that help people to feel like we're not letting go of who we are? What could "MHC" be that would reflect more of our current character and the DNA of our church? How can we be sure to "remember our past" as we look towards the future?
I haven't come up with anything concrete yet, but I like the idea of building a bridge from our past to our future with our choice of name.