Born Again Again
Carol Howard Merritt on reclaiming faith
All posts licensed under Creative Commons, some rights reserved by Carol Howard Merritt.
You might want to learn the rules in order to use them, to know when they are being used on you, or to reject them. Whatever you decide, just know that around every boardroom in America, they’re playing the game. And you’ll be playing it (even when you don’t realize it) at your church.
Unco is short for Unconference. It’s specifically designed for discussions on the future of the church. It’s a percolator for new ministries and ideas, usually within mainline contexts.
Our pastor had an affair and confessed it in his sermon. He stood up in front of the church and let the gathered members know that he had succumbed to temptation, but he was ready to just "move on."
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that we talk a lot about the future of the church--how we need to move into a time of innovation as well as transformation. Dennis Sanders recently reflected on this post, and I asked him if I could put his comments here.
Do we spend more time in closed rooms--trying to articulate to other church professionals why we are right--than we spend speaking to the media and articulating to the larger world why we believe in the inclusive love of God?
What have you gained from on-line worship and community? How has it impacted your life? What are the negative aspects of it?
Why are we losing congregations? There are many factors. If I’m painting with a broad brush, I’d say that it is because we are largely rural, white and older. What can we do to ensure a vital future? Focus on urban church planting.
God is concerned with the health of women. God cares about teenagers who end up in a lifetime of poverty. Jesus healed the bleeding woman 2,000 years ago, and I think if he walked the streets today, he just might hand her a packet of pink pills.
What are we doing to combat poverty in our country and make sure that we join the voices of the prophets who speak out against injustice? Often denominational churches work hard on these issues, but we do it within our particular silos and we may not effectively communicate our work.
We hear stories of systemic discrimination on a constant basis. What are we going to do about it?
Do we play semantic games when we try to explain the words away? The mention of fear is typically wrapped up in abusive relationships, but we can also fear disappointing someone we love dearly.
So can we put Newt Gingrich's personal life and rhetoric aside and focus on how we can fix our families? Can we move the discussion of family away from demonizing same-gender relationships and taking rights away from women? Can we have an honest discussion about what we can do to help American families?