Sunday, November 28, 2010

CAPC Community Thanksgiving Meal Highlights

set the video to 480 p to get the best viewing.

Over 150 people helped us in our annual efforts to feed the hungry.
This year we served over 200 people thanks to all our partners!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blogging Towards the First Sunday of Advent
November 28, 2010

This week's passages paint huge pictures of vivid images of an idyllic future and captures the ways in which I think we live between poles of anxiety and apathy in our modern, urban, globalized life.  Isaiah 2 is one of my favorite parts of the Bible.  If I had to choose 10 chapters from the whole Bible to keep, it would be one of them.  Yet it seems too good to be true.  Swords into plowshares?  A global multicultural, multiracial, multilingual community brought together by and for God?  My heart beat has picked up as a type this.  WOW!  Wouldn't that be.....beyond belief?  And yet I think that's often how we - and maybe I mean me - see it.  Beyond belief.  A pipe dream.  In between the anxiety of trying to keep a job, stay safe, take care of those we love and the apathy of being inundated by surrounding needs,  fears, uncertainties it just seems easier to put my trust into small, realizable things rather than in massive universal-transforming visions of hope.  Maybe that what Jesus is pointing to in Matthew 26: don't give up or into anxiety and apathy.  Stay awake.  Be watchful.  Be thoughtful.  Be ready.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blogging Towards Thanksgiving
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 & John 6:24-35

Thanksgiving is a funny holiday.  Is it a religious one?, or historical?, political?, cultural? or nationalistic?  In our post-modern setting we view the original myth of the sharing between Pilgrims and Native-Americans through the lens of the hermeneutics of suspicion.  While not necessarily Christian in totality, it does harken back to the worldview that was primarily shared between those that framed and shaped what would become our national identity and metanarrative.

President George Washington made a proclamation in 1789 declaring the last Thursday of November to be a day of thanksgiving, echoed and transformed to the 4th Thursday by President Abraham Lincoln in his proclamation of 1863, the holiday has its roots in an experience and expression of gratitude.

This act of thanksgiving, recognizing that the gift of life as we have it originated outside our actions, beyond our power.  The only response to such as gift is gratitude, thanksgiving: an expression of "thank you" in our actions, relationships and being.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

trying to meet the future 
by doing what we did in the past.

I watched a video on education reform making the rounds on Facebook this afternoon while doing some household chores.  It's a 20 minute clip of Sir Ken Robinson [personal site], a speaker and writer, advisor on education.  It's clever, insightful, concise and potentially disturbing.  He basically makes the point that the world is rapidly changing.  We don't know what life will be like in 30 years (when my kids will be active adults) let alone in 5 years.  And yet we continue to educate children in the same way that we have for over 100 years.  While keep trying to address the paradigms of the 21st century, seeking to educate our children so that they have a sense of cultural identity, so that we can pass on the cultural genes of our communities while being a part of the process of globalization, with strategies and expectations of the 19th century.  We are continually trying to meet the future by doing what we did in the past.

I'm including the video below.  I found it invigorating thinking about my own children and the near-epic struggle to ensure that that get a life-feeding education.  In my own work as pastor - a teacher alongside a community of faith - I wonder if we aren't doing the same thing. Do we do church in a way that was conceived for the context of the 19th and 20th centuries dominated by the transformational experiences of what we call the Reformation and the Enlightenment?  Maybe our churches have decreasing attendance and increasingly bored members because we are talking about faith in a way that doesn't resonate with our questions of today and the ways in which we process our wonderings about the meaning of life.  Church is focused around a sermon: a passive listening to an expert talk to you about something in an abstract way.  A format that seems to be the least sought after in the ways in which people live, work and communicate today.

If you're game to respond to this post, why do you find church incoherent, out-to-lunch or less than life-giving?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, November 21

What would you do if you were king (or queen) for a day?  It's what we dream of: be in charge, have that castle, the crown that implies power, prestige and authority.  Yet what would we do with such power?  We might want to change the world, heal the wrongs, bring justice, and maybe also do a little something for ourselves.  A favorite band of the 80s - the Thompson Twins - wrote a song about this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bumper Sticker of the Week

Blogging Towards Sunday, November 14, 2010
The end of the world, or just as we've known it?

Two passages that paint wide and big visions of the world  the ways it is and the way God wants it to become.   Are they talking about the recreation of the world?  The end of the world?  Or the end of the world as we know it?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We live in a hard time economically filled with many choices.  How can we make life better for ourselves, those we love and live with and our larger community.  That desire to serve others is one of the main forces that drives some folks to try seminary, believing that a connection between faith and daily life might be a vocational call.  As with all calls it's not exactly what we expect when we undertake the journey at the beginning.  I loved seminary - all three of them that I attended.  It was a challenging time, stretching my intellect, expanding my personal faith through the adventure of the integration of head-learning and heart-convictions, theo-speak and God-experience.  And yet what would have been more helpful that another Greek class, history class, or lecture would have been a basic business class, an Adobe Software Suite course, basic accounting, a marketing seminar and a season of community organizing.

We often think - or hope - that we can change the world through our service, example and commitment.  Oftentimes it's unfortunately the world that changes us when we are confronted with the loneliness, impossible vastness and relational triangulation of clergy work.  Yet each vocation has challenges, costs and benefits.  It's easy to second-guess what we've chosen, to fall prey to the all-too-easy-trap of suspecting that the grass is greener elsewhere.  What's harder is to enjoy where we are, laughing with the good and hard, celebrating the grey.  On twitter this week I stumbled across this humorously clever and wickedly sarcastic video someone made about seminary and the earnest hope we all share (wether in seminary or elsewhere) to go out and change the world.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Blogging Towards Sunday, November 7th

This week's passage makes me think of hazing to enter a fraternity or some sort of gauntlet to run to prove one's worth.  I'm using a larger passage than that suggested by the lectionary [Luke 20:27-38] because it gives more perspective to what I think this teaching of Jesus is lifting up.  Faith isn't merely maintaining a tradition or talking about doctrine in metaphysical or philosophically abstract ways.  Jesus is saying that faith is what we believe in, where we place our hope and what shapes the way we relate to and interact with God, our neighbor and all of the universe.  It's this approach and his interpretation of who a neighbor is and his commitment to radically inclusive nonviolence that make waves for his contemporaries.