Articles tagged with: vocation

17 October 2012

How To Host Your Own Beer and Hymns Night

Posted in How To, Emerging, Spirituality, Church

beer-and-hymns

There is something very cool about singing Beautiful Savior, Amazing Grace, and A Mighty Fortress in a pub.

Sure, its partly the novelty of it, but it also worshipful, spiritual, intimate, fun, great outreach, and an affirmation of God's presence in our daily lives - in all the places we gather, including pubs.

I've helped to host four Beer and Hymns events. They've each been a little different but they have been great experiences. The singing is beautiful, the environment is relaxed, it takes us into the community, and it opens something up for people spiritually.

Beer and Hymns has been popularized in Lutheran circles by Nadia Bolz-Weber and House for All Sinners and Saints. Jodi Bjornstad Houge and Humble Walk Church also regularly host Beer and Hymns. Jodi writes about their experience here. I've included several links at the bottom of this post with examples of how people have done Beer and Hymns and what it means to them. 

Here's my version of how to host your own Beer and Hymns event:

24 February 2012

The Church's One Vocation

Posted in Emerging, Church

Matt Wilhelm"Let me just say, I am not an active member of my congregation. If I told you that I aspired to be an active member of my congregation at this point in my life, I would be lying."

This Sunday our church welcomed Matt Wilhelm, Chief Program Officer for Calling All Crows, and, as I like to say, a good Lutheran boy, who spoke to us about the intersection of faith, service, and vocation.

In this midst of our time together, he hit us with this line, which I found refreshing because he expressed what many people in church feel, but often feel uncomfortable saying in polite congregational company.

"Yes, I like being connected to the church, but I don't aspire to be really active, at least not right now." Matt's point, as I understood it, is that he feels called to live out his vocation on the road and in the world and not so much within a congregation, at least not at this moment.

While I found it refreshing, I was also aware that these might be a challenging words for the heavily involved church faithful gathered there to hear Matt.

16 February 2012

The Five Things I Hope For In Our Next Bishop

Posted in ELCA, Leadership, Church

crozierThis spring our synod is discerning what qualities we seek in a new bishop. From my vantage point, this has been a good and engaging process. The ideas, opinions, and insights from people in the synod have been great.

However, many of the responses (including my own) have been very general in nature. We say the bishop must be a good administrator, handle conflict well, be Biblically grounded, patient, pastoral, and visionary. You know, just slightly better than Jesus.

All these things are true. I concede all these general ideas of what a bishop should be. But this only gets us halfway to where we need to go.

The key question for me is: what particular qualities do we need in a bishop now, in this time, and over the next six years?

19 May 2011

Beyond the Printing Press: Thinking Theologically About Social Media

Posted in Social Media

printing pressAfter one of my recent workshops on social media, one of the participants confessed that she had money riding on my presentation.

She and a friend had wagered on how long it would take me, a Lutheran pastor, to mention the Printing Press.

She won. It was the third slide.

When Lutherans (and many others) talk about social media, we often take the printing press as our starting point. Its our way of describing the amazing revolution that is taking place in communications today - and our way of thinking about how we harness new forms of media to share God's grace.

However, As Elizabeth Drescher argues in Tweet If You Heart Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation, the parallels between social media and the printing press may end there.

Yes, they both represent a dramatic shift in communications. However, while the printing press marked the dawn of broadcast (or mass) media - communicating your message to many people at one time with little opportunity for comment, today's social networking actually resembles the communal reading of the medieval period, which was more interactive, social, and crowdsourced.

I wonder: how do we get beyond the printing press? How can we engage social media theologically? After all, the printing press and social media are only tools. Where can Lutherans locate social media in our theological framework?

For me, the most compelling theological category is vocation.