Individual Care is Critical to Church Effectiveness (Part 1 of 2)

Millennials are the canary in the mine telling us that our impersonal reliance upon technological shortcuts, in both work and personal interactions, has its drawbacks. They long for greater connection and purpose. A fundamental aspect to the imago Dei in each person is the inter-relatedness of the Trinity. The next generation has noticed what many of us have not seen creep up all around us as technological advances have claimed more and more of our attention.

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Case Thorp
Begin at the Beginning

In our culture we are abundantly blessed with opportunities for laziness. We don’t have to walk miles for clean water or hunt for food. At the press of a button, without leaving our homes, food and things appear on our doorsteps from all over the world. We can afford to be picky, to have a brand preference, to complain about calories. Even more so, we can afford to quit when things just are not working out the way we had wanted or planned. Everything is convenient.

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Emily Matteson
The Nobility of Work (2.0)

The job shaming of actor Geoffry Owens (known primarily from The Cosby Show) last week should cause all of us to pause. In case you missed it, let me catch you up on pop news. Geoffry Owens, like many actors, is a part of an industry that is not known for steady work. Geoffry took a job at Trader Joe’s to remain flexible for auditions and still provide income to support his family.

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Crosland Stuart
Repentance Brings Renewal

I often lay in bed at night, exhausted from the day, and think, "Isn't it amazing that God made our bodies capable of recharging as we sleep so we can get up and do the same thing again tomorrow?"  We can be utterly spent in the evening and wake up refreshed in the morning.  But sometimes, it's not that simple.  Sometimes, life is overwhelming and we need more than just physical refreshment.  Sometimes, our hearts need to be revived; we need spiritual renewal.

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Shannon Basso
The Great Chinese Art Heist

Strange how it keeps happening, how the greatest works of Chinese art keep getting brazenly stolen from museums around the world. Is it a conspiracy? Vengeance for treasures plundered years ago? We sent Alex W. Palmer to investigate the trail of theft and the stunning rumor: Is the Chinese government behind one of the boldest art-crime waves in history?

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Crosland Stuart
Dancing In the Streets

My apologies all the way around for what amounted to a great big tease last week when no video was embedded in the previous blog. The problem has been sorted out but the only solution is to include the link rather than the actual video. The ideas that Dr. Amy Sherman, a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research (where she directs the Center on Faith in Communities), puts forward is worthy of our consideration as we embark on vocational guilds together.

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Crosland Stuart
The End of Patronage?

We are back and off of the July Screen Sabbatical. This week's blog post is an interview with James K.A. Smith and Roberta Ahmanson and they are discussing a fascinating topic—patronage. Most interviews that are transcribed can be a little rough and this one is no exception, but it is well worth the read.  Patronage is a lost concept in our culture today and especially with a view towards eternity. 

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Crosland Stuart
Aaahhh...Summer!

Aaahhhh! Summer is here and hopefully that means you will be taking some much-needed time off. Interestingly, Americans have become so focused on productivity that we often struggle with how to unwind, destress, and actually relax. Many of us even wrestle with whether or not we should strive to achieve these things a part from a perfect world, and sense that does not exist, then why try.

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Crosland Stuart
Stuck???

We are all familiar with the exciting and encouraging opening lines of Oh the Places You’ll Go. I read it the night before going off to college, full of confidence, ready to start my life, excited to see where my brains and my feet would take me. 

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Emily Matteson
Is It Well with My Soul?

It is hard to believe. It is has been two years since the Pulse shooting that tragically took the lives of forty-nine people. Forty-nine lives that seem to have been cut short and many, many more who will be forever impacted—families, friends, and first responders (including all those at ORMC).

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Crosland Stuart
Workmanship—A Thing of Beauty

On Case Thorp's recent trip to Scotland, he came upon this amazing stained glass window at Stirling Castle—Holy Rude Church. This window was dedicated to the Merchant Guild. By clicking on the audio bar below, hear an explanation of its origins and meaning from Brian Morrison, an elder in the Church of Scotland. Enjoy the incredible workmanship reflected in the artistry of this stained glass...what a thing of beauty!

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Case Thorp
Engaging the Beautiful: A Review of Makoto Fujimura’s Culture Care

“It’s not enough to just build tools. They need to be used for good,” said a repentant and scared Mark Zuckerberg before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. Facebook embodies today’s cultural zeitgeist, and its disregard for privacy coupled with its mammoth influence have caused our nation to question how its unhealthy practices are impacting culture. Makoto Fujimura, surely, is pleased with Zuckerberg’s comment, as he has painted a vision for such and more in Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life.

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Case Thorp
It's Here—Summer Reading!!!

Another school year is drawing to a close, vacation plans will soon be realized, and that business phenomenon that closely resembles a summer malaise is just on the horizon. Amidst all of these, for most of us, during the months of June, July, and August life moves more slowly or at least you have some extended period where this is the case. Even though it may take longer to transact business in the summer, there seem to be margins in our schedule that we do not enjoy at any other point in the calendar.  There are enough distruptors in the ebbs and flow of life that usually our lives are lived at a slightly slower pace. These different rhythms provide welcome opportunities to squeeze in more reading. 

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Crosland Stuart
Rethinking Pastoral Care Through the Lens of Whole Life Discipleship

At the corner of Liberty and Albercorn in historic Savannah, Georgia, stands a monument to the work of the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy. Serving the city since 1845, the sisters pioneered the creation of schools, orphanages, and hospitals, most of which still thrive today. Over the years the sisters served students, orphans, slave children, and more. They battled yellow fever and nursed Civil War soldiers back to health. The newly minted unweathered monument describes this work and concludes, “They made historic contributions to this city in the fields of education, medicine, and pastoral care.”

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Case Thorp
Take Your Seat at the Table

As Human Resources (HR) professionals, we’ve all heard the phrase ‘seat at the table’; this notion that we must manage our careers in such a way to be included in senior-level business decisions in order to be considered successful. Many of us are over it.

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Amy Lein
Teachers Over Tech

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle said that. Aristotle, the student of Plato, the student of Socrates, which is quite the educational lineage. But I’ll come back to that in a minute.

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Emily Matteson
Trust Without Teachers

With the month of May coming faster than any of us would care to admit, so much of our time gets consumed with all things associated with the closing out of another school year. There are certain rituals that are associated with this time of year like expressing our gratitude for those teachers that have meant so much to our kids and because of that to us. The article below appeared in Comment Magazine in February and is by Chad Wellmon. After we catch our collective breaths from reading this article, we all need to deepen your appreciation for the important role teachers have especially since, "Social media have become the new custodians of knowledge."  

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Crosland Stuart
The Faith-Work Gap for Professional Women

Katelyn Beaty, of Christianity Today, challenges all of us to a new standard in how we as women think about ourselves, how the church thinks about women (regardless of its stance on women's ordination), and how men think about women professionally and in the church. These are challenges we all need to take more seriously. Many probably think the glass ceiling has been broken and that while there is room for improvement the progress that has been made over the years is fine. Unfortunately, this is just the latest iteration of the frog-in-the-kettle mindset.  

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Crosland Stuart