Theological Community, EcoTheology, The Church, The World, The Blogosphere

Keeping Together Spirituality, Prophetic Critique, and Nurture via @glassdimlyfaith

May 11, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS


When we look for this, we find the church weak, either nur­tur­ing per­sonal spir­i­tu­al­ity with­out a prophetic cri­tique (con­ser­v­a­tive), or focused on prophetic action with­out nur­tur­ing our spir­its (lib­eral). The church is Solomon’s baby, split in two.

In the words of my mentor-Church community,  The Church of the Saviour (now a “tradition unto itself,  having spawned numerous , active, missional communities)  :  There has to be a Journey Inward AND a Journey Outward.  Neither is subsumed or diven by the other,  and yet each nourishes the other.

The 2025 Headquarters

January 31, 2009 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

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Here is the piece of property they are selling.  It is more,  however,  thana piece of property.  It is been the “Headquarters” for the CHurch of the Saviour for 60 years.  If yolu click the right arrow on the street view a couple of times,  you see a reason why (Hilton Hotel,  and the upscale growth  of the area) this has become such prime land,  and worth a bundle.  There may well have been mission reasons that made the letting go of this piece of a people’s history too opportune,  with so many things that can be done with I couldn’t guess how much money.  Earlier this month,  the sale of this property and the retirement (from preaching every Sunday at this location of Gordon Cosby),  was a front page story in the Washington Post.

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Church of the Saviour and “Survival”

January 25, 2009 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

Kayla,  who is on staff of The Church of the Saviour, posted this comment to a post at Get

Interesting discussion. I am Gordon Cosby’s “associate” for want of a better word, and I’ll continue to serve as The Church of the Saviour’s central staff person. Just to clarify, our church (which has been composed of 9 independent faith communities for the past 15 years) is not ending…but we hope always to be “dying” to structures that don’t challenge us to make real the Real. Gordon, at 91.5 years of age, is not retiring from anything other than his weekly preaching. As long as God allows, he will be pouring himself out in various ministry efforts. And all of us will be listening for what God has in mind…as I hope all church communities are doing day by day by day. As Clarence Jordan said, following Jesus is to be continually dying and continually living.

Will Church of the Saviour survive? » GetReligion

Survival is ,  for the Church of the Saviour, not what it means in the usual world of church.  As Kayla emphasizes,  it’s more about DYING and then LIVING,  as call would have it.  I was happy to see this ,  amongst all the questions about “what will happen?” and the post itself to which Kayla is commenting ,  along with some of the other comments,  which don’t quite grasp the significance of the Church’s long time “church growth” philosophy of “DYING” to old forms,  and the dying is not called for due to any dwindling of numbers,  but as a result of call and the activity of the Spirit in their midst. 

Lack of Church Stories on the Web

July 06, 2008 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

Long ago,  I was known to post frequently on the importance of churches having blogger/historians/journalers,  who post stories and reflections on their church community’s journey along the road of becoming authentic church. (I take this name in italics from an emphasis of the past 2 or 3 years amongst the Church of the Saviour communizes,  and a booklet they have written (which you can find under my Church of the Saviour tab on this blog.  The other book available under this same tab is the fourth of a series of history books written by Elizabeth O’Connor,  which is both an update to the first three and some review of what is in those first three.


Within these writings there are stories rich with struggle and discernment on what it is that is different about the kind of people God has called apart to BE the church in a given time, a given locale,  and amongst given problems where systems of the empire that is the United States have trampled over lives and pushed people into those “forgotten places of empire” (a phrase coined by the movement of New Monasticism).   The Church of the Saviour itself has been characterized as a “monastic community” in many instances.  But in the majority of those cases,  such a characterization,  though it may well be true in many ways,  strikes me as a way for those making this characterization to distance themselves from the kind of community many of the Church of the Saviour represent,  and “admire” them as a radical departure that is ,  in the end,  “not for everybody”.  I can’t help but see this as a symptom of the tendency for “wanna be radicals” to live vicarious “monastic” lives. (And who am I to talk? I seem to have retreated into a state of despair about finding any place or any people who have any of the sensibilities for church, accountability, inward journey, mission, etc. that I have come to regard as “crucial” and “defining” for ANY church community that wants to seriously live in another culture that is defined by Kingdom values rather than American/Western cultural values.

And wherever that exists,  the stories of that people NEED TO BE TOLD.  And here is where I return to the potential role of blogs and various other Web 2.0 resources.  For someone like me,  seeking a church that gives a rip about who I am,  where I am,  and what call may be rattling around within me in need of those who would evoke my own gifts which would enable me to begin to answer that call,  I NEED TO HAVE HELP FINDING SUCH A COMMUNITY.  I often look and search on a Saturday night,  knowing that the odds are great that I will spend another Sunday morning feeling tired and worn out just from the yearning for it.  But what are the KEY keywords to use,  and will there be any content under those even if I found the most accurate combination.  What of “tags”?  We need some “Elizabeth O’Connor” type gifts in bloggers who offer this as a way to help seekers like me to find where similar/kindred concerns are being explored. 

Simply Enough by Campolo and Claiborne

January 20, 2008 By: Theoblogical Category: Theoblogical

SE_DVDCover400 This week I received my ordered copy of the DVD Simply Living: straight talk from Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne on Simple, Just Living.   I enjoyed all of the specifics of their conversations,  but I was left frustrated on one score: I continue to see a lack of emphasis on the community in which this “simple, just living” takes place.  If one were to ask Tony or Shane about this,  especially Shane,  they could certainly reassure me on that.  But I get the sense that scores of people who watch this DVD can miss the idea of the centrality of the church in all of this.  The stories told on the DVD contained information on the context of these events that indicated an “instigating” community,  but I want more of an overt message about how these things are NOT for loosely associated , “somewhat related” individuals,  but are conceived, carried out,  and infused with the activity of the Holy Spirit upon gatherings of people committed to finding their call to participate in the particular “movement” that impinges upon some structure or structures of society.

I much prefer the way The Church of the Saviour tells similar stories of ministries that arise from amongst their midst.  There is always a history of the discernment that took place amongst some particular folks that brought them together to see what God might instigate and what doors might be knocked upon to begin some challenge to some structure that oppresses.  I guess what I’m saying is that there is far too little emphasis on the inward journey element to all of this.  The DVD might well be construed as another “Ideas” book in video/audio form,  packed with “Ideas for Social Action”,  which seems to me to eschew the discernment process.  It’s like “discernment is hard,  so let’s just find a cool sounding cause, and do it”.  (I’m not real sure I’m communicating this very well at all)

Maybe it’s unfair to heap all this upon a one hour DVD.  I love these two guys,  even though I’ve never met either of them personally.  I have been listening to and reading Tony Campolo ever since I first heard him in the summer of 1980. Shane Claiborne’s Irresistible Revolution really dug deep into me.  Both of these guys love the church.  I just wish they’d bring it up to the fore and center it ; identify it as the nexus and center of all this activity.