Monday, June 27, 2005

Intergenerational bumblings

Over at M Squared T Blog, Matthew has a couple of great posts about connecting folks with God across generations.

I would add the following to reasons why intergenerational worship, I would widen the thought to intergenerational communities of faith, is so danged important.

I believe it would help retain some of the fallout that the church experiences of the 18-25 year old demographic. In other words, it may help solve the "okay I'm too old for youth group but too young(or too bored or too whatever...) for anything else" mystery. We ask students to go from an environment of sometimes barely controlled chaos to a shall we say "more subdued" Sunday Morning experience. Making Sunday morning the primary worship experience for all ages would provide some contituity. In order to effectively engage a wide span of generations could take considerable retooling of the worship experience. That might not be a bad thing either?

(Let me preface the next reason with this; I acknowledge that there is much more at work in the emerging conversation than a generation gap. With that said....) The seeker movement grew out of a generation's discontent with their parent's way of doing church. The emergent movement has grown out of generations' discontent of their parents' way of doing and their lack of being church. 18-20 years from now, I can easily see, another upheaval, grown out of yet another generation's discontent with the current manifestation of church. Being church across generations, truly being church across generations, including people of all ages in everything from music to teaching to leadership to service has to minimize the generational discontent. If up and coming generations of Christ-followers are allowed, and encouraged to provide input into their communities of faith they will shape a future they will be more than content with.

I'm sure there are more great reasons to create truly intergenerational communities. I 'd love to hear 'em....

The reasons for bringing the generations together are many so are the questions....
How do we, not only include but empower, younger generations to participate and shape church?
How do we make these changes at a deep level not just on the surface?
How do we challenge and encourage the more mature generations to invest what they have to offer (which is an incredible amount) in the younger generations?
How do we challenge and encourage the more mature generations that they can indeed learn from someone half their age?
Where is it appropriate to include younger followers in leadership discussions?
How do we prepare a community that lives in an age-segregated society for a change in age roles within the church?

Monday, June 20, 2005


Someday, when I grow up, I hope to be half the writer that my brother-in-law Ward is.

His blog is midwestward ho.

He has been ranting quite a bit lately, some real beauts. My favorites are of the Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise variety.

Anyway, stop by and show him some love.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Redneck Theology

Originally uploaded by kayos.
I witnessed something this weekend that had a holy feel to it, a redemptive quality about it.

Gail and the boys and I went to visit my Dad in Maine this Weekend. He has a good size piece of property and has quickly assumed many of the trappings of country life. On his property their are 4 structures, a house with a beautiful wrap around porch. The porch is littered with old window sills, ladders jacks, empty flower pots and all sorts of other miscellaneous stuff. Next to the house is a shed, it is a mini replica of the house sans the porch. Siding, shutters, shape, it is really quite a attractive. About fifty yards from the shed is what my Dad calls the boat house. He built it to look like a covered bridge. It definitely did until the blue tarps went up on either end and old lumber and scraps of metal began to pile up on either side. Finally there is a building which Dad calls the lean-to. It stores more old windows and pieces of wood, and laminate beams. And again more stuff piled around it. Behind the boathouse is a firepit. The area behind all the structures is open field. Do you have the picture in your head? Wait just to fill it in a little bit more there are a couple of dog's running around. There are also a couple of kids darting in and out of the picture. My boys are shirtless, one wearing camouflage shorts and the other camouflage pants

My Dad has become a redneck. (As have I by association to both my father and sons) I use that term with the utmost affection.

One of the highlights of our trips to Maine is my Dad's truck. He actually has two, the big one is the cool one though. It is a V10 four-wheel drive monster. I didn't even know they made such a thing as a V10. My Dad will sit Jake or Jared on his lap, behind the wheel of this beast and let them "drive" the truck through the fields. Jared got to go first this time. Dad and Jared circled the wet fields just fine; mud spraying out of the back tires. Jake sat as patiently by as any 6 year old could, hooting and hollering, both in applause of his younger brother's performance and in anticipation of his own turn.

Finally, the truck came to a stop and Jared descended from the cab, grinning from ear to ear. In one fluid motion, Jake was up and in the truck on my Dad's lap ready to go. Dad and Jake took off around the property. You could hear Jake laughing and giggling over the sounds of the truck lurching and tires churning. They were coming to the end of their ride when the truck found some really wet ground. Mud flew everywere. The truck came to a halt. You could see my Dad talking to Jake but couldn't really hear what he was saying. I could tell by watching my Dad, he was engaging the 4-wheel drive. They hit the gas more mud, more tires spinning. Dad put Jake in the passenger's seat, things were getting serious now. He started trying to rock the truck back and forth. There wasn't much rocking going on, just sinking. You could actually see the truck sink into soft muck.

We tried everything. We dug. We put old roofing shingles under the tires. (Of course, there happened to be some old roofing shingles in the lean-to.) My sister's boyfriend and I tried to push. Both of us wearing sandals and shin deep in mud, quite the sight to behold. We brought the little truck over and attached a chain to the big truck and tried to yank it out. Nothing... but more mud and spinning tires...Both trucks sinkning further into the mud. Fortunately, we were able to extricate the little truck but the beast was still stuck. My Dad stopped and said this isn't working and went into the house. He returned and told us he called for help.

About 10 minutes later, the most rugged ol' 1 ton truck you could imagine pulls down the dirt road. An older guy in a tank top and mesh trucker's cap (the authentic kind, that let you know that this guy actually drove a piece of heavy equipment at one time, not the Ashton Kuchar poser kind) emerged from the cab. He and my Dad shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. I was watching from a distance, trying to keep the boys from either being run over by a truck or sinking into the mire. My Dad and his friend walked around the truck, surveying the situation. The older guy was now in the mud and muck right next to my Dad. They conferred for few seconds and then set about connecting the ol' 1 ton to my Dad's very stuck truck. They each climbed into their repsective vehicles, my Dad gave the thumb's up to signal he was ready. Both slowly and cautiously step on the accelerators. The forward truck pulled Dad's truck still stuck. The chain connecting the two vehicles had come loose. After some quick reconnecting and tugging to double-check the chain's connection, both men climbed back into the trucks. The 1-ton pulled away, the chain went taught, Dad jumped on the accelerator of his truck and both vehicles pulled forward onto dry ground.

Everyone cheered and clapped as both men got out of the trucks. Dad and his friend exchanged a few more words, put the chains away and the man in the tank top and mesh trucker's hat drove away. My Dad returned to us, all smiles and proceeded to tell us all about the guy who just dragged him out of the mud onto solid ground.

I witnessed something this weekend that had a holy feel to it; a redemptive quality about it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Keep it simple....

Jake and I were reading his learn-to-read bible before bed last and we came across this version of Genesis 12:1-7:

Abraham loved God
God said, "GO!"
So he went.
He went.
and went
and went.
He went until God said, "Stop!"

How straight forward, how simple, how hard to do...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Book Tag

Got tagged by Wilsonian for the book tour. Let's see what this yields...

Number of Books I own:

In the ball park of 200. (Embarassing side note, as I was gazing over the bookshelves I found the long forgotten classics Investing, Wine and Entertaining for Dummies. I was young...I don't know..)

The last book I bought:

The Out of Bounds Church by Steve Taylor

Last Book I read:

The Last word and the Word after that by Brian McLaren

Books that mean alot to me:

The first two grace, grace, grace and more grace
Traveling Merices by Anne Lamott
Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
This next one; it's all about character
Uprising: A revolution of the Soul by Erwin Mcmanus

One that is just memorable because it is bizarre and quirky:
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
This was one of the two books (the other was Giants of the Earth by O.E Rolvaag) I actually read in college. Hippies and Catholic Church Cover Ups. The passage that has stuck with me from the novel seems somewhat trivial. One of the man characters gets caught in a rainstorm. His stride is different than everyone else around him taking the same walk. The other people all have their shoulders pulled up tight. Trying to suck their heads down into their torso, like they were some sort of turtle. It's the rain walk that each of us does. The main character stands tall and walks upright throughn the rain. His rationale... none of us has an umbrella so we are all gonna get wet. Nothing we can do about it. They are gonna be uncomfortable and look goofy. I'm just gonna stand up straight and enjoy the rain.

Another 5 to tag:

I could be the end of the road... The people who would be on my list have already been tagged.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Being 6 is hard work

That's Jake, the only one in a red jersey. It's been a frustrating season for him. His team last year did not lose. His team this year has not won a single game. It's still fun to watch him play. He is all energy and loves to mix it up. (maybe a little too much)