Happy Canada Day

Here’s a throwback to 1992, when I made a flag to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Canadian confederation. Note the photobomb by my sister…

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If you want to join me at Skylight festival at the end of the month, pick up your tickets today to take advantage of their Canada Day sale!

Faith Forward Vol 2 is Noteworthy

I’m honoured that Faith Forward, Volume 2 is featured alongside Walter Brueggemann on Sojourner’s “New and Noteworthy” list. I’ve already heard from readers around the world who have used the ideas and practices in this new collection as they re-imagine ministry with youth and children in their congregations and contexts. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please do so and join us in a revolution in ministry with young people!

A New Children’s Book

If you’re looking for a new children’s book that helps young people imagine all that God is and may be, then pick up a copy of What Is God? by Olivia Bryan Updegrove. Olivia was kind enough to show me an advance copy at Faith Forward 2015, and I enjoyed reading the whole book recently. It tells of a conversation between a young boy and an old man.

“God is SO big!” the boy jumped suddenly.
“God’s part of the stars, the oceans, and trees! God is in heaven, but God moves around.
In all good things God can be found.
God was there when all things began,
and continues with us ‘til good wins in the end. God lets us choose what is right and is wrong,
but God is beside us as we go along.”

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Tony Campolo’s “Coming Out”

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In the past few days, my Facebook feed has been overrun by comments and articles about Tony Campolo’s (that’s a pic of us and some friends at the first Faith Forward gathering, back when it was CYNKC) “coming out” as encouraging the full inclusion of LGBTQ folks in the church. I’m hopeful that this moment is indeed in a tipping point in the true acceptance of all people in the church regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

But I’m not surprised by Tony’s announcement. After all, for many years he’s been telling us that whatever we do to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, we do to Jesus. Here’s an excerpt from his chapter in the 2013 book Faith Forward, which I edited with Melvin Bray (and don’t forget to check out our new book, Faith Forward, Volume 2):

Encountering Jesus in the other, regardless of whether that person is white, a person of colour, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, trans- gender, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or secular humanist, is what has made me into a social activist. I am coming to realize that Jesus waits to be discovered in every person, and that whatever is happening to that other person is happening to the Jesus I love. If the other person is hungry or naked or sick or an undocumented immigrant or in prison, increasingly I can sense the presence of Jesus in that person, and that person’s oppres- sion becomes intolerable. I must address it. If I see the other as a victim of racism or sexism or homophobia or poverty, I experience a compulsion to respond and cry out for justice. If the violence expressed toward the “sacred other” via capital punishment or war is something that I experi- ence, I feel a need to cry out,“Stop! In the name of Jesus! Stop!”

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Wondering what I was up to in Australia?

A few weeks ago I shared the text of a presentation I gave at Leaders to Go, a national children’s ministry conference in Australia. But shortly after leaving that event, I took a road trip to the state of Victoria for a series of workshops I led in Melbourne and the surrounding area. The last few workshops were with the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, and they put together this short video about my time with them.

Join me for the inaugural skylight festival

Jenny and I are energized by all the excitement surrounding the first Skylight festival. This Canadian festival of music, art, and justice is organized by an ecumenical group of spiritual and faith leaders and will be held July 31 – August 1 in Paris, Ontario. If you’re looking for a place where you can be yourself and explore issues that matter to you, then you won’t want to miss this!

http://www.skylightfestival.ca

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Progressive Christianity leads to unity across denominations

Unfortunately, it’s because several different churches want to discredit another congregation that identifies as progressive. More info here: http://www.thefountainsumc.org/2015/05/16/campaign-against-progressive-christianity/

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