Reflecting on Donna Freitas’ Talk on Hookup Culture at #QNashville

Another presentation that I find myself thinking a lot about is Donna Freita’s “Hookup Culture.”  Feel free to psycho-analyze – I have been too.

She’s the author of  The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy and she sees answering the hookup culture as a “justice issue.” While I have never thought of it in that light before, I certainly think exposing the damage of things like the hookup culture potentially contributes to the common good, the betterment of society, and better-lived lives.

The first line of her talk:
“I feel like I have to warn you, I’m Catholic. We have the Catholic explaining hookup culture.”

IMG_3465 Rest of my notes:
Young adults believe they are supposed to be casual about sex in college.

The official social contract of the hook-up:
[Read more…]

Reflecting on Andy Crouch’s Talk on Religious Freedom at #QNashville

I was grateful to have attended #QNashville and wanted to share some of my highlights. First, pardon my northeastern snobbery, I had to adjust being in Nashville. Though I spent my adolescent years in a small town, I’ve always been around major cities with huge buildings, crazy traffic, people everywhere, confusing streets, and airports with multiple terminals.

At the Nashville airport, there’s one terminal and its slightly larger than my local Target. But small airports are not unusual. What is unusual is that people were allowed to park their cars in designated “Pick-up” spaces and they didn’t leave them running either. They parked, put some music on, got out and waited for their family/friends.  I think one family had a grill they were about to set up and start tailgating but then grandma came out while they were assembling the tent.  And then when the security officers went around, they would all wave to each other. At Logan airport, my wife and I fold the stroller, dodge the buses, load up our luggage, buckle our three kids in carseats and survive an interrogation from the legions of officers faster than a NASCAR pitstop. And the weird part is, we’re not upset by this because we think this is safe.

Well there I was, waiting for a great friend I knew since college to pick me up in his Prius. He used to want a Ferrari. Now he was on time, he drove carefully, he listened, and his music selections were [Read more…]

Justice Conference Boston Simulcast – Part 3: NT Wright’s “If It’s Real, It’s Local”

I’ve always felt that If you want to get the most out of the conferences you attend then you need to review your notes and stay in touch with people you’ve met. You can’t be best friends with everyone but it’s great to stay connected with the people you meet along the journey. When possible, I like to watch/listen the recordings of presentations I liked the most and every so often, I even check out the ones I didn’t connect with. It’s amazing how receiving content in a different context alters your perception and understanding.

You can’t think about everything you’ve heard, you can’t blog about everything you liked and though I wasn’t able to take many notes at the Justice Conference (anyone want to share yours with me?), I was able to for N.T. Wright’s presentation. Wow – how incredible was that – can’t wait until it’s released on video.

So deep and rich a presentation but the line that sticks out at me most is “If it’s real, it’s local.”

At first thought, it rings true. Then on second, I wasn’t sure if it was complete enough. After all, there are many things that occupy my mind that are not near to me at all and there are many things that are local to me, that are not that real to me, if I were being honest.

Much of our attention this week has been focused on Malyasia Airlines Flight 370. None of us know [Read more…]

Reflecting on the Justice Conference Boston – Part 2 – The Simulcast Experience

There we were watching someone speak of the horrific evils of trafficking and poverty from 3000 miles away. Our minds filling with statistics, principles, history lessons, missional terminology, our hearts breaking from the stories of elementary-aged school children forced into horrific situations. And at the moment what may have hurt more acutely were our ears were wincing from the buzz of the feedback.

During Lynne Hybels’ excellent presentation, she invited us to sit in silence to hear God’s voice as she had shared how God had “spoke” to her. But the feedback was so deafening that when she stopped speaking I wanted to yell out, “No keep talking, please!” But she was 3000 miles away and running on an eight minute delay.

Can God speak through feedback? Where is God in simulcast with an eight minute delay?

Being the emcee of our simulcast, I tried to remind myself and my fellow attendees, “The feedback is a first world [Read more…]

Reflecting on the Justice Conference Boston Simulcast – Post 1

Well, it’s been a busy week since our Justice Conference Simulcast (Feb. 21 & 22) and I’ve finally got a chance to sit down and process a bit.

My first thought was that it was a great and worthwhile thing to do. I find myself thankful to my church leadership for allowing us the opportunity to host the event. These things can be taxing on staff, facilities, budget and I’m grateful that during a time when we are already stretched, that we found the conversation of justice worth doing.

My second thought is that I am still reeling from all the positive responses from those that came. Frankly, I am just not used to the justice conversation getting so much positive feedback. Rather, I am used to mostly sincere people [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why You Should Come to the Justice Conference Simulcast

If you have ever had the experience of trying to convince someone to enjoy an amazing and worthwhile time then you know how I am feeling right now. The Justice Conference is taking place next weekend and I’m so grateful that our church Grace Chapel has agreed to be a simulcast partner site and I hope you can be part of it.

To those of you who already know you are coming, we’d be grateful if you spread the word, share this post and our other links and make a diligent effort in inviting others. The more justice-seekers gathered next weekend, the better. Not for the sake of attendance but for the good that can come out of this.

I know some are trying to figure out if this gathering is for you and so here are my 5 reasons of why you should come.

1. To get deeper in the conversation
You may be new to the idea of social justice or a veteran of it but regardless of the length of time you’ve spent in the [Read more…]

5 Favorite Things About the Christianity 21 Conference #c21Denver

Two weeks ago I attended  Christianity21 – still loving on it. I’ll admit, some of it is the “high” gleaned from a great experience. Another part of it though is I keep thinking about the stuff I heard and the people I met. Those things  outlast any high and  in looking back here were my 5 Favorite things.

<strong>1. The vibe of the gathering.</strong>My first impression was how relaxed it felt. Not relaxed in the disorganized sense, relaxed in the friendly sense.  Second “the room” felt very friendly and gracious. As the time went on, I sense it was  an “us” place as opposed to “we are the experts, you are mere peons” sort of thing. I didn’t sense any pretension and if there was, umm, sorry about that, didn’t mean to be that guy.

Seriously, it was one of the least pretentious rooms of informed, “coolish” people I’ve been in. There’s a lot of [Read more…]

What I’m Up to: OPEN Boston for Youthworkers, The Justice Conference for Everyone But First Christianity21 (#C21Denver)

It’s going to be a fun couple of months as I get to be a part of some amazing events and I wanted to share with you a little about them.

I swear this post is not out of pride but in hopes that some of you will either be able to attend or share with others who can take part in some way. I offer that disclaimer because I’m somewhat involved in each of these and ever since I saw the #humblebrag hashtag, I have no idea what’s permissible to share anymore. It’s almost as if everything is a #humblebrag.

Anyway, if you are a youthworker come to OPEN Boston (Gordon College campus)  organized by the Youth Cartel. Seriously, sign up right now – it’s a well-spent $25.

Here’s what it is from their manifesto:
“There aren’t many places in the church where all ideas have the same opportunity to be presented. Everything is editorialized, shaped, and packaged. Every idea is filtered through a lens.
We think something is wrong with that. Deep in our souls we know the solutions to the problems we face [Read more…]

Anne Lamott, the Accidental Pastor

In the first post, I spoke on the context of seeing Anne Lamott in Bedford MA a couple weeks ago and despite my sarcastic and playful storytelling in the first post, I really do like Anne, quite a bit actually. She’s an extremely gifted writer that pulls you in and she’s among the most charming yet most raw speaker I’ve heard.

Yeah, I find myself thinking she should be more intentional as opposed to the “What do you folks what to talk about?” deal and maybe not begin by announcing her “rules.” But here’s the thing, if she followed normal protocols and proper etiquettes, she’d be less unique and she’d probably feel compromised. You also feel that every night is very unique from the next as nothing is canned and talking about the new book gives her an anchor point. In any case, I can not help but appreciate Anne Lamott from her books and seeing her speak a couple times now and here’s a bit of why.

Anne is Pastoral

My favorite part of Anne Lamott and what I hope to glean from her is she gives people permission to feel what they really feel. Many of us do that for some on some level but she is gifted in allowing an entire room full of people to be at ease [Read more…]

Collyde Summit Day 2 – Presentations By Pete Wilson & Margaret Feinberg – Post 4 #Collyde13

I’ve been blogging about the Collyde Summit. You can check them out here Post 1, Post 2, & Post 3.

Collyde’s main day began Saturday this time with a time of worship led by Aaron Keys (who is quite the worship leader). After a few more welcomes, words and blurbs, Pete Wilson took the stage. If you are unfamiliar with him, Pete is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee and the author of the popular title Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? (available in paperback for the bargain price of $3 from Amazon – it’s a deal).

I’ve only heard Pete a few times, but he’s very relatable, uses humor well and offers great application from Scripture. I think I’ll always flinch when someone says, “Nashville” as this town not only invented the “Christian Sub-Culture Bubble” but also [Read more…]