A few things on my mind:
- I’m about to declare a war on the war on the war on Christmas. Progressive and Evangelical Christians lob attacks at each other. Ummm…guys, remember we’re supposed to be focusing on that Jesus guy?
- David Brooks, who is back to his writing gig at the New York Times after an extensive leave, writes about how politics has taken over so much of our lives at the expense of culture. I think that’s also found in the church as well. Most often I hear arguments that mirror partisan arguments, just with more Jesus-talk.
- I used to think social media like Facebook and Twitter would bring people together. It can, but more and more it has become a place where we can stay safe in our ideological silos.
- There’s an article going around where President Reagan’s spokesperson jokes with journalists about the AIDS crisis. Partisans are already showing this as proof positive of how terrible (read, evil) Reagan was. It is a reminder that the administration was rather indifferent to the problem. The thing is, I don’t know if a second term President Carter or President Mondale would have done much either. The problem is that this illness was striking populations that people didn’t much care for. Thirty years later, our society is much more accepting of gays and of people with HIV in general. The culprit is more the culture than any party. Thank God things have changed. Let’s hope such indifference never happens again, but knowing humanity, it probably will.
- I’m leading an informal group that is focused on new church and church transformation in the my Region (Christian Church in the Upper Midwest). It’s been an up and down year. On the downside, I’ve had a number of folks who at least said they were interested in starting a church, and then I never hear back from them or they decide not to. It’s been frustrating because I want to see new churches in the area, but maybe there is a reason. The upside is hearing about churches that are being transformed and changed to do mission. I’m looking forward to seeing where God is a doing a new thing in established churches and starting new ones as well.
- For those who don’t know, my position with the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area was eliminated last month due to budget issues. My last day on the job is December 10. It’s been a good six years here and I hate to leave. I won’t be out of work though, I start on December 11 at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church doing IT and electronic communication.
- Earlier this year, Presbyterian Pastor John Vest wrote a blog post in which he said that mainline churches are good at managing their decline. I agree with him on this. I think mainline churches have to see themselves as something worth saving. Sometimes I fear that we don’t think we are worth saving.
- Friendship has always been a mystery to me. Aspergers has made it hard to find ways to connect, but I also fear saying something at the wrong time. If I gush about what a great friend someone is I fear it will be taken the wrong way. But silence doesn’t help either. Maybe this is why I don’t have close friends.