Prince of Peace
Dec 24th, 2012 by Sonja

There’s an overused quote by Chesterton that goes something like, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

Let that sink in a moment.

We are in the midst of the Christmas season right now; our annual frenzy of indulgent consumption. According to both popular Christmas carols and the testimony of the Gospels, Jesus’ birth was heralded as the coming Messiah. He was to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy …

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.I)”>
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

This messiah was going to bring peace on earth and good will toward men.

What does that mean? What would peace on earth look like? Our imaginations are dull and we assume that the presence of peace is simply the absence of war or violence. So we think that “his government” is going to be a political enforcement of an absence of war. The rule of this Messiah would take away all weapons.

But that’s not what Jesus did. He came and nothing changed outwardly. The Roman Empire went on about it’s business and at what would be the end of Jesus’ 3 year ministry, crucified him. Giving rise to a secondary frenzy of indulgent consumption (but that’s another story). Jesus did manage to speak a few words that have been handed down to us in the millennia since his birth. He said things like this, “21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)

Read it carefully. Jesus was talking about more than the absence of murder, but the presence of love. We have laws which punish murderers and keep the crime rate low, but law cannot overcome the presence of hate. When we hate someone, we dismiss their humanity, we find reasons to ignore their thoughts and needs by calling them a “fool.” I am chief among sinners in this regard. But there it is. I cannot turn my face away from the idea that when I dismiss someone as a fool, I have morally killed them in my mind.

This brings me back to the Chesterton quote, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

There are many other bits that Jesus threw out in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I find in my life that I fail those far more often than I succeed. But if I put them all together in a holistic picture of how to live, I find that these bits create a vision of what peace could look like. It would be so much more than the absence of war or violence, but the presence of love. The kind of love which can cast out fear, making violence unnecessary.

Perhaps that prophecy in Isaiah meant not that God would enforce an everlasting peace through government, but that all the humans here would learn to love their enemies without fear, that we would not dismiss another’s humanity, that we would be able to live in peace and harmony with each other, not because of laws, but because our hearts have grown three sizes too large (to quote a more secular source) and we have begun to operate out of abundance, love and harmony. Maybe that is the hope we express every year … that someday soon we will all know peace.

The Resurrection and The Life
Apr 10th, 2012 by Sonja

This post is part of the April Synchroblog – What If The Resurrection Was A Hoax? Examining faith in light of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Do you ever think about life (or some part of it) without basic assumptions in place?  What would life be like if …. ?  I do that with some regularity.  It’s a long held habit.  I remember my mother saying to me, “I’m not playing the ‘What if’ game with you anymore,” in sheer frustration over the questions I was peppering her with.  So this month’s synchroblog seemed a natural for me … what if the Resurrection was a hoax?

When I was young in the faith, I heard a number of men in various formats and venues arguing the reality of the Resurrection.  They made arguments such a Chuck Colson’s; a man will not die for a lie and 12 men will not die for that lie.  He based his argument on the response of the co-conspirators in Nixon’s Watergate crisis.  It’s a valid argument and has some basis in human nature.  But I always wondered why these impassioned arguments mattered.  They were fun to listen to because I love a good, well-reasoned argument, but from my very limited perspective it always seemed that the Resurrection of Jesus was a matter of faith – “1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 11:1-2)

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.

I’ve held on to that definition for a long time.  And when I read another recent article about faith some things clicked into place.

Thomas Jefferson is held as an icon of American spirit.  He had a firm hand in writing many of our founding documents.  He was an early ambassador and third president.  He is at the front of many lists about our nation’s founding.  Among his things was eventually found a Bible with the New Testament heavily edited with a razor.  He cut out all of the stuff that did not come straight from Jesus.  A modern wordsmith, using a razor in place of our cut and paste system, he wanted to know if the teachings of Jesus could stand on their own without the miracles and other “distractions.”  His conclusion was that it could.  That Jesus’ teachings were in and of themselves a divine miracle.  And that following them would take divine inspiration for giving up the trappings of this world (power, wealth, fame) in hopes of the next.

Andrew Sullivan, writing for The Daily Beast, describes it:

Jefferson feared that the alternative to a Christianity founded on “internal persuasion” was a revival of the brutal, bloody wars of religion that America was founded to escape. And what he grasped in his sacrilegious mutilation of a sacred text was the core simplicity of Jesus’ message of renunciation. He believed that stripped of the doctrines of the Incarnation, Resurrection, and the various miracles, the message of Jesus was the deepest miracle. And that it was radically simple. It was explained in stories, parables, and metaphors—not theological doctrines of immense complexity. It was proven by his willingness to submit himself to an unjustified execution. The cross itself was not the point; nor was the intense physical suffering he endured. The point was how he conducted himself through it all—calm, loving, accepting, radically surrendering even the basic control of his own body and telling us that this was what it means to truly transcend our world and be with God. Jesus, like Francis, was a homeless person, as were his closest followers. He possessed nothing—and thereby everything.

So when I come down to the bottom of everything, I come to this.  Jesus embodied love to the point of death.  His Resurrection (and Incarnation) are necessary to the holistic theology of Jesus.  But these miracles do not inform how we should live.  They are celebrated as part and parcel of our theology, but how we live our daily lives in a reflection of the Love Divine becomes the path through which we realize God’s Kingdom come and His will be done … here on earth (as it is in heaven).

*************************************************************

This is a Synchroblog post … the following people also made outstanding contributions to thinking about Christian life without the Resurrection.

Ends & Pieces
Jul 28th, 2010 by Sonja

This was a real treat when I was a child.  Ends & Pieces.  That would be bacon I’m talking about here.  The meat packing plant would pack up all the bits that are left over when they are finished slicing up the perfect strips of bacon and they heap them onto a styrofoam tray, wrap some plastic around them and call it good.  You get some real treats in there, nice meaty pieces of bacon, but you also get some real duds; slabs of nothing but fat.  It’s cheaper than so-called regular bacon because it’s not very pretty.  But it’s very tasty.  So that’s what you’re getting today … ends and pieces.  Cheaper than the regular thing, some pieces might be really meaty, but you might find some that are pure lard.  You’ll have to decide.

About 7 months ago, LightHusband and I joined Weight Watchers.  We’ve added more than a few pounds over the years and we need to send those extra pounds packing; go find someone else to torment, thank you very much.  BlisteringSh33p and BlazingEwe had joined about 5 months before we did, so they were old hands at it.  So off we go every Monday night to face the ScaleMiser and listen to our FearlessLeader as he gives us help, tips and pointers for the week to come.  This is a long tedious process during which I am coming face to face with my very unhealthy relationship with food and how I use it to feed many things in my life besides my bodily functions.  sigh.  But that’s another story.  Last night as we sat in the meeting, I came face to face to with another gremlin in my life.  ADHD.  It’s something I’ve often wondered thought I might be dealing with or have dealt with and I laugh at myself about it a lot.  But it was not even a diagnosis when I was young, so I was certainly never given that label.  And now I’m not sure I want it.  But it would be nice to know because then I could figure out how to overcome it.  In any case, our FearlessLeader was describing the 4 main ingredients in what WW calls, Filling Foods.  These are foods that give you the most bang for the buck (the calories they contain).  Mostly they are high fiber/low calorie fruits and vegetables.  He said, “blah, blah, blah air, water, fiber, protein …. ” and I had a fully formed vision of Air, Water, Fiber and Protein as the SuperFriends from the Hall of Justice.  I could not stop giggling and leaned over to tell BlazingEwe.  She started giggling.  Then neither of us could stop.  And poor FearlessLeader had to bring the meeting to a halt because we were about on the floor!  I ‘fessed up to my vision and brought the house down.  But my point is, I’m always having visions like this and have had since I was very little.  When I was younger, I thought everyone did.  As I get older, I’m finding that no, I’m kinda weird.  Not everyone thinks like this.  In fact, it’s mostly people who have brains which can’t sit still think like this.

I know I can get medicine to help with this.  But I don’t think I want it.  I think I’m going to read up on coping and figure myself out.  I’m going to try and harness this energy for good, not evil 😉 and work with it.  This could be a good thing eventually.

The other day (maybe the same day) I had conversation with a young lady about reincarnation.  She confided in me that she believes in reincarnation and proceeded to give me some statistics that bore out this belief.  I listened politely.  Then she asked me if I believed in reincarnation.  No, I said, I do not.  I do, however, believe that our soul continues to exist past the life of our physical body, but I do not believe that it goes on to live in another body.  She wanted to know why I don’t believe that, but our conversation was cut short and I didn’t have a chance to explain myself.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then and the short answer is grace.  And, honestly, that’s the long answer too.  Oh, I used to believe in all kinds of different things, and yes, I even spent some time believing that reincarnation was a likely possibility.  But then I discovered grace and I just can’t get enough of it.  I don’t like the idea that we’re born over and over again to atone for the sins of a past life that we can’t remember.  It seems capricious and mean and points to a standard of behavior and perfection that really no one can live up to.  It reminds of the legend of Sisyphus somehow; always hungering and thirsting for something we cannot have.  But the God I found in my late 20’s and early 30’s was giving out love and mercy and grace liberally, to all who wanted it.  Believe in me, S/He said, and that’s all S/He wanted; some trust, some faith and some love in return.  I can do that.  So, no, I do not believe in reincarnation, but I believe in grace and the One who Loves endlessly.  But sometimes it’s fun to talk about past lives and imagine … I’ll grant you that 😉

It’s that time of year again … in many different places people are talking about reunions.  They are talking about class reunions, family reunions, school reunions, etc.  I had a startling revelation about the power of our minds the other day.  It was very revealing to me.  About 6 months ago, the LightChildren and I joined a couple of homeschooling groups for the purpose of socializing with other teenagers.  We get together with one group in particular about once a week and all of us have made friends … me too!  It’s been a welcome relief after the past three years in the desert.  The moms are all about my age, some a little older, some a little younger.  But they are around my age.  We all look like a peer group.  I admire these women and see them as adults in the middle of their lives.  Then one day I was thinking about a couple of my dear friends from highschool who I will be seeing when I go to Vermont next week.  It was startling to me that I do not “see” them as being the same age as the women who I am friends with now.  For some reason, my perception of my highschool friends is that they are younger than my current cohort group, when the fact is that they are likely older than the ladies here in Virginia.  Then I wonder, do my highschool friends and I behave differently when we’re together?  Do we revert and act more like our younger selves?  What forces are at play here?  Or do I behave more maturely when I am with my friends here in Virginia?  Or … am I the same and I just play cruel mind games on myself?  It’s all very mysterious and makes me realize what a powerful force our minds are when we are dealing with reality vs. perception.

Sunday night we had a huge scare.  LightGirl ended up in the emergency room after an anaphylactic reaction to ???  We don’t know what.  The best guess at the moment is that she had Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis.  This is not common, but it usually caused by a combination of food and exercise.  This does not mean that the patient is allergic to the food they have eaten, but it may mean that they are sensitive to it and the increased blood flow, etc. of exercise causes an extreme anti-histamine reaction causing anaphylactic shock.  She is going to the allergist tomorrow where we will find out more about this.  Her lungs still hurt and she is having trouble talking.  I can find out plenty about anaphylaxis on the internet, but nothing about the aftermath and recovery.  If anyone reading this has gone through it and knows what we might expect, I’d love to hear your story.  It would be a huge help to us.

In a week we go to Vermont for our annual pilgrimage.  It’s going to be a somewhat shorter trip this year.  But it will be fun nonetheless.  I’m looking forward to some porch time to say the least!

Two-Fer
Jun 18th, 2010 by Sonja

Today you get two for the price of one … because I forgot yesterday.  Or got distracted.  Or something.

Without further adieu …

What’s the one food you feel like you couldn’t live without? What’s the one food you’d rather die than put in your mouth?

I cannot live without ice cream.  Chocolate ice cream.  With nuts.  And/or brownies in it.  Ice cream is what God eats.  But it doesn’t make Him/Her gain any weight.

The food I’d rather die than put in my mouth?  Canned fish, not tuna, but things like sardines or mussels, or octopi … horrible snotty bits of oily smelly seafood that look like turds in a tin.  [shudder]  LightHusband and LightBoy love these in a very primal way.  It makes my stomach turn just to write these sentences.

If you could take a train journey through any part of the world, where would you go?

For all of our married life LightHusband has loved to tease me with the idea that he is going to take me to Kenya and we’ll live in a hut there.  Now, lest you think I’m a suburban princess who cannot get by in a hut, that is not why I find this forbidding.  It’s the heat and humidity.  Sub-saharan Africa has always looked like hell to me because I hate heat.  Cannot stand it.  I’d much rather be cold than hot and I’ve been this way since I was a very small child.

So when I daydreamed about this question I was very surprised by the pictures that came to mind.  I saw myself in a train, a very old-fashioned steam powered train (by the way), traveling slowly through sub-Saharan Africa!!  This train went through lots of small tiny places and I got off everywhere and walked deep into the bush so that I could visit the back of beyond and meet people.  It was a fabulous trip.  And I loved it.

P.S.  The train was not air-conditioned.  I just wanted all of you to know that.

Superpowers
Jun 15th, 2010 by Sonja

What’s your superpower?

Tilting at Windmills

My superpower is tilting at windmills.  From Wikipedia

Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. The word “tilt”, in this context, comes from jousting. (emphasis mine … for … well … emphasis).

I can’t decide if I should pick my battles better, or carry on knowing that I am simply planting the seeds for future winnable battles.  I’m still pondering that …

In Which I Am Sixteen
Jun 10th, 2010 by Sonja

For today’s snack, we have a walk down memory lane:

If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?

Well … now.  Things just got really heavy, didn’t they?  And sort of existential or something like it.  I’m bleary-eyed this morning because I stayed up too late watching the Chicago Blackhawks win Lord Stanley’s Cup last night.  This might be more raw than ordinary because I am less guarded than usual … so here goes.

I would tell my baby girl self (even though she would not listen) that time is a finite resource.  When you are sixteen your life stretches out before you in an almost limitless road with countless possibilities.  Choose.  Pick something, anything and do it well.

I would also tell her to enjoy herself more and be responsible less.  That it’s okay to have fun once in a while and be less serious all the time.

Last, I would tell my LightGirl self that all the world really is her oyster.  She really is that smart, that good and she really can make it.  She really is the sort of girl who can make it out in the world; there’s nothing to be afraid of.  When the time comes (and it will) she should just jump in with both feet and swim.

One Thousand
Jun 9th, 2010 by Sonja

The prompt for today –

Japanese lore suggests that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wish will come true. What would your wish be, and what would you be willing to do 1,000 times to get it?

I remember reading about this legend when I was a young girl.  I read a book about the bombing of Hiroshima.  The book focused on one girl and how the nuclear blast had affected her.  As I recall, it killed most of her family and left her very ill with radiation poisoning.  She lived out what remained of her life in a hospital folding paper cranes in a quest to get to 1,000 because she wanted to live.  She died.  It was one of the most gut-wrenching books I had read up to that point in my life.  War is a terrible waste.

So what wish do I have that is worth spending my life on to achieve the folding of 1,000 paper cranes?  If I did one every day it would take 2 years and 9 months (approximately) to attain my goal.  I guess that folding a paper crane would take about 20 minutes (averaged out over the span of 1,000) to complete.  That’s 20,000 minutes, or 333.33 hours, or 14 days – 2 weeks (round the clock) to make a wish come true.  If you divide 333.33 hours by 9 hours a day (to account for eating, sleeping, etc.) that’s 37 days – or just over a month to make a wish come true.  Five weeks (more or less).  A lot of time … time to think, meditate, and dream about a solution/resolution for my wish.

But now here I am … still pondering what I would wish for.  The possibilities are endless and huge … world peace, eradicate hunger, wipe out diseases and all of the good ideas to make life better for everyone.  Those are the huge ideas.  But I think if I’m going to make a wish upon which to spend that amount of time, I have to recognize that changing the world ultimately begins with changing myself.  So I think the question then becomes who do I want to be?  And I’m left with this … I want to be more of the me I was meant to be.  So my wish is that I would be able to embrace myself; the who I am becoming and the where I need to go.  I suppose that’s a rather small wish, but I guess it’s enough for now.

What about you?  What would you wish for if you did something 1,000 times to get there?

Choice, Inspiration and Civics Lesson
Sep 8th, 2009 by Sonja

I still remember the moment when I first realized that I had a choice about whether or not I could finish high school and get a college degree.

I was about twenty-five years old, living on my own in Washington, DC with bachelors degree in political science and international studies.  I was musing about whether or not to continue on in graduate studies of some sort and it struck me like a lightening bolt … wow.  Education was entirely my choice.  It really was a choice and it was mine to make.  That had never been part of my paradigm before.  Never.  I had always known since I was tiny that I would grow up, finish high school and go to college.  It’s just what people in my family did.  The only question to be answered was, “In what should I get my degree?”

I spent a good deal of time agonizing over that.  I was going to (at various times) study oceanography, be a nurse, be an anthropologist (find the missing link), be an international lawyer, and a variety of other things too numerous to even remember.  When I was in ninth grade my earth science teacher was an amazing fellow who LOVED rocks and was so enthusiastic about them that I still remember most of what I learned in that class.  I still remember how rivers age and what an oxbow is and where glaciers form and what the different kinds of rocks are.  We measured beach erosion by going to the ocean and measuring a beach over the course of 24 hours.  I had amazing teachers and I knew I was in that adventure for the long haul.  So were my brothers.

I can still remember the agonizing phone conversations when my youngest brother was near to graduating from community college.  My parents thought that he might not want to go on to a four year degree and did not want to pressure him into it, but they didn’t want to close that door unnecessarily either.  He, on the other hand, kind of wanted to go and didn’t want to tell them because he didn’t want to add an unnecessary financial burden to their plate.  I had to respect the confidentiality of both parties and yet get them to talk to each other honestly so that they could hear each other because I knew he’d end up where he needed to be.  And he did end up going to a great four year college and got his bachelors degree in Automotive Engineering Technology (designing cars).

My parents understood what I was just beginning to realize.  Education is a choice.  It’s an important choice, but it is a choice.   It’s one that we don’t always appreciate when we’re young.

When I was in elementary and high school the technology did not exist for the President of the US to speak all of the nation’s children at the same time.  The best he might have done would have been a radio address and that just wasn’t done unless it was for emergency purposes back in my time.  The President only addressed adults back then.  Adults talked to adults and (as my grandfather was fond of reminding me) children were seen but not heard.  So I wonder how I would have heard the message that President Obama is going to give the nation’s children in about half an hour.  I think at the time, I would have heard blah blah blah … sort of like all the adults on a Charlie Brown special.  Who wouldn’t stay in school and work hard?  Duh …

Now, though, I’ve lived a little and I know better.  There are a lot of children who live on the crisp edge of the envelope between poverty and riches.  They live teetering between hope and despair.  They live mostly without any good role models of how to do something day in and day out (like get up over and over and over again every morning to go to work).  They don’t have the privilege of living with people who will praise them their good grades or even know when they get them.  Sometimes this is because the parents are working 3 jobs, sometimes it’s because the parents are absent.  Whatever the reason, these children are desperate for a role model who will tell them to keep going.  That it’s cool to stay in school.  And these children are all over.  Yes, most of them are in the projects, but some are in the burbs.  And they all deserve to hear from the Role Model in Chief … regardless of his or her political party, telling them to stick with it.  That they’ll be okay if they just try a little bit harder every day.  This is a good thing.  And I know that the LightKids and I are going to be watching right along with everyone else.

Ball Gown Odyssey & Rant
Jan 17th, 2009 by Sonja

Note to clothing and pattern manufacturers –

Large women can, do and desire to wear tailored beautiful clothing.  Flour sacks went out with, well, I guess pig stys and muu-muus.  A large, dumpy, unfitted piece of clothing only serves to make one look larger and sort of unfinished.   But an article of clothing which fits well and is constructed for one’s body type will actually serve to make one look attractive, no matter what their weight or size.  We need to loose the notion that wearing flour sacks covers things up … it doesn’t.  It just makes you look worse.  And sloppy to boot. Hint to manufacturers … watch Tim Gunn.  He really does know what he’s talking about.

I spent Wednesday afternoon with the pattern, tracing it onto sewer paper.  Then cut it out to make a mock up.   Thursday I was overwhelmed.  Then Friday morning I decided I hated the original pattern; it looked too old and not dressy enough.  I ditched the first pattern.  Did some quick internet pattern shopping here and found two patterns I loved and could purchase at my local sewing store on the way to roller skating with the LightChildren.

Problem – even though both patterns would look stunning on the larger figure, neither was sized for anything above an 18.  Pooh!  Good thing BlazingEwe and I know how to pattern draft.  She’s a whizkid at it because of her background in architecture, I pretty much fumble around in her shadow.  But that is why we share a brain.  So we spent yesterday afternoon putting the two patterns together to make one dress and resizing it for me!  Even if we’d done nothing else, we’d have needed to add five inches to the length of the skirt because I’m taller than the average woman.

In any case, I thought I’d post pictures of the patterns here.  They’re made by Kwik Sew.  I’ve never used this pattern manufacturer before.  I really like them so far because the pattern is printed on real paper, not tissue paper.  We’ll see how the directions and everything else goes.  But I’m impressed at this point.

Kwik Sew 3382

I’m using the bodice from the above dress.  I love the V-neck and the tucks in the bodice.  You can’t see it here, but it’s also got a V in the back bodice as well.  I haven’t decided whether or not to make a wrap from the organza or use a velvet wrap I have.  It’s going to be in the teens or 20’s on Monday night.  I have a feeling time is going to make the decision for me.

Kwik Sew 3307

See view A?  I’m using that skirt with the bodice from the pattern above.  I’m using the patterned organza in the flounces.  No sleeves.  We briefly thought about re-structuring the arm-holes in the  bodice from the first to be able to add bell sleeves.  But … time over-rode us.  It’s easier to make a sleeveless dress at this point.

Well … I need to finish cutting it all out before LightGirl’s hockey game today (we leave at 10:30 a.m.) and get my sewing space organized for the onslaught.

Missional Tribe – Coming Out
Jan 6th, 2009 by Sonja

Missional Tribe LogoMissional Tribe – Not Just Another Use of the Word “Missional”

Do a Google search on the word “missional” and you’ll get 1,200,000 hits. Search “missional” at Amazon and 1,238 missional products appear before your very eyes. It’s the Western Church word of the moment. The key to all that ails the church. The promise of a bright future – beginning with a boldtomorrow. That is, if we only knew what it meant.

This recent quote from a church website accurately demonstrates “missional” confusion.

We have made a commitment to being a Missional Church, reaching into the community and inviting people to come and experience what we are doing. We should have “standing room only” Services every Sunday. There should be a buzz in the Community about [church name removed] and all the wonderful activities available for most people’s needs and wishes.

Well, not so much.

Last June (2008), in response to this kind of confusion, Friend of Missional’s Rick Meigs challenged the blogosphere to respond to the question,

“What is Missional?”

“I have a continuing concern that the term missional has become over used and wrongly used.

“I think it is time to make a bigger effort to reclaim the term, a term which describe what happens when you and I replace the “come to us” invitations with a “go to them” life. A life where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture. It speaks of the very nature of the Jesus follower.

“To help reclaim it, I propose a synchronized blog for Monday, June 23rd on the topic, ‘What is Missional?’”

50 bloggers responded with their understanding of the word – and a lot more conversation was generated both in real life and on the web. Brother Maynard did a great summary of the missional excitement. There was a sense of accomplishment – the 50 people and the hundreds of commentors had refocused the word missional.

But then each blogger wrote other posts – dislodging their Synchroblog posts from the lead position. Soon these posts disappeared from the front pages of 50 blogs – only accessible if one knew exactly what you were looking for. The sense of accomplishment was ephemeral.

A few of us who had met face-to-face at the Allelon Missional Order event in Seabeck, WA in October, 2007, talked about the best way to keep those posts and ideas evergreen. We’d also been part of the Wikiklesia Project: Voices of the Virtual World. Perhaps a book would be effective. By the fall, seven of us were in ongoing conversation around how best to serve the”missional” mission – Sonja Andrews, Peggy Brown, Kingdom Grace, Bill Kinnon, Brother Maynard, Rick Meigs, and Brad Sargent.

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody and Seth Godin’s Tribes helped to inform our discussions.  Missional Tribe’s first iteration was as a Wiki. Then the mini “blogstorm” around Out of Ur’s Dan Kimball Missional results post convinced us that what the conversation needed was a place to discuss, share stories, watch videos, ask questions, and grow together. Where all of this can easily be tagged and indexed for rapid access in the future. The Missional Tribe social network was born (www.missionaltribe.org).

Less than two months after the decision to launch a social network, the beta of the Missional Tribe site launches today – Epiphany, on the church calendar. We would like you to join us in being a part of this non-hierarchical network.

From simply reading and commenting on posts and in the Forums, to creating your own Missional Tribe blog or posting a video – Missional Tribe is a place to track and expand the missional conversation – as we follow the Lord back into the neighborhoods where he has strategically placed each one of us.

To become involved, please join Missional Tribe at www.missionaltribe.org .
Want more information? Contact info at missionaltribe dot org .

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