Reimagining Religious Spaces

I had the privilege of facilitating a virtual convening of over 20 clergy last week on the topic of “Reimagining Religious Spaces” (RRS). The culmination of the event was to brainstorm and further elaborate potential solutions that could help churches overcome barriers to the opportunities of RRS. The focus was to identify missing tools, processes,Continue reading “Reimagining Religious Spaces”

The Power of Data to Understand Your City

It is exciting to see God moving through the Church and fanning the flames of city transformation. Historians have documented many Church movements throughout the last 2000 years, so what makes this time special? Perhaps most obvious is that WE are called to participate in THIS movement. Now is our time to answer God’s callContinue reading “The Power of Data to Understand Your City”

Gun debate lies, damned lies, and statistics

After another horrendous mass shooting I am taking time to pray and send “thoughts and prayers”. I have mourned. As a Christian, I believe in the power and necessity of these responses. However, many people are seeing through the smoke screen that politicians and others are throwing up when they project  their private “thoughts andContinue reading “Gun debate lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Portland’s Ring of Affluent Whiteness – The Stories that Data Tell

As I’ve been preparing for my workshop at the CCDA conference this October in Detroit (“How Boring Data can be Exciting, Troubling, and Action-oriented”), I’m reminded again of the importance of searching and digging for truth. Sure, I can keep my blinders on and just enjoy the trendy coffee shops, restaurants, bike share bikes, andContinue reading “Portland’s Ring of Affluent Whiteness – The Stories that Data Tell”

Sinister calls for unity?

During times of turmoil, calls for unity are predictable, laudable, and sometimes sinister. The ugly specter of white supremacy in Charlottesville, protests and counter-protests that have turned violent, violence by and against police, a bitter presidential election, an increasingly polarized nation…we all say “ENOUGH!” People of good faith are understandably yearning for peace and unity.Continue reading “Sinister calls for unity?”

What drives your opinions and views?

I’ve been grappling with what is just and right in today’s politically charged, polarizing environment. On what basis do I judge laws, policies, or political leaders? In other words, what value do I hold highest? Safety and prosperity for me, my family, my country? Tolerance and diversity? Protection of my way of life and myContinue reading “What drives your opinions and views?”

Sunset at the end of the world

Tonight I experienced the beauty of a sunset at the end of the world (well, at the end of Oregon Hwy 131 in Oceanside). It wasn’t the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen, but I was drawn to leave my comfortable room and experience it nonetheless. People from all walks of life were scurrying toContinue reading “Sunset at the end of the world”

Proud to be an American (in an age of mass migration)?

What does it mean to be an American when over one quarter of our population comprise immigrants and their U.S-born children? Is it still American to follow the Statue of Liberty’s call to provide shelter and comfort to “the homeless and tempest-tossed” in a world with record numbers of over 50 million displaced peoples? InContinue reading “Proud to be an American (in an age of mass migration)?”

A Lame Biblical Excuse to Ignore Poverty

I have heard it, and so have you. Maybe you’ve thought it or said it: “Didn’t Jesus say that the poor will always be with us? So why try so hard to fight against poverty? Isn’t it just a loosing battle?” I’ve been chewing on this for a couple of days, and just found anContinue reading “A Lame Biblical Excuse to Ignore Poverty”