A Closer Look #14 Greenhouses of Hope

A Closer Look
Today I have a review of Greenhouses of Hope: Congregations Growing Young Leaders Who Will Change the World edited by Dori Grinenko Baker, a collection of essays depicting various special – and powerful – ministries in congregations that might give one hope in up-and-coming young leadership. You can also read, rate, and comment on my review at Amazon.

Dori Grinenko Baker has cobbled together a selection of essays on Christian congregations that have freed themselves “to experiment with both newly imagined and time-honored ways of following the path of Jesus,” a phenomenon she gives the name “Greenhouses of Hope. (2) Thus, each chapter is an essay from someone in each congregation’s community who can write from such an experience and offer insight into how their context came about, what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and how others might be inspired to try something similar. In a way, it’s a collection of examples of ways to do meaningful ministry, as if each writer offers, “This worked for us and there might be inspiration here for you” and invites the reader to come and see.
The faith communities explored here are all very different than the traditional-style Christian congregations I grew up in and readers must be open to

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Follow-Up on Desmond Tutu and the Three-Mile-Per-Hour God.

2013.02.12 Follow Up on the 3MPH God
Speaking of interfaith worship, last month I wrote about Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s concept of the “Three-Mile-Per-Hour God.” I have finally re-discovered the video footage online!
The Seeds of Compassion conference has video archives but I cannot figure out how to access them. But I found it at the University of Washington’s online UW-TV website. You can both stream and download this and other videos from the conference for free. Considering how long it took me to find the footage again, I would download it if you fall in love with this image of God as much as I have. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to take out the piece in question and embed it here, so all I can do is point you in the right direction and get out of the way.
If you go to the 48-minute mark of this video, you’ll see

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Reconciliation Is the Long Game.

2013.02.12 Reconciliation Is the Long Game
LCMS President Harrison issued an apology for the way he asked Pastor Morris to apologize. You can read my thoughts on the initial apology from last week.
At this point, I’m waiting for someone to apologize and explain those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.
There are three new letters, one from District President Yeadon, one from President Harrison, and one “Statement of Reconciliation” from Yeadon, Harrison, and Pastor Rob Morris. You can read all three letters in their full context at wmltblog.org. There are some interesting pieces to President Harrison’s letter I’ve been thinking about:

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Sorry, God, That's Not Our Policy.

2013.02.07 Sorry God That's Not Our Policy
This morning I read a news story explaining that the pastor from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Newton, CT had to issue an apology to the LCMS president for participating in a prayer vigil two days after the murder of innocent adults and children because leaders of other faith traditions also participated.
Here’s a highlight from Pastor Rob’s apology letter (read the entire letter for context here):

To those who believe that I have endorsed false teaching, I assure you that was not my intent, and I give you my unreserved apologies. If any of you know church members or friends or family who are now confused because of my participation, believing that the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod fully endorses the doctrine of anyone else who was on that stage, please correct this confusion lovingly, and I will personally be happy to help in any way that I can. Feel free to pass on my apologies for having given that impression.

Here’s an excerpt from LCMS President Harrison’s open letter response (read the entire letter for context here):

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