I am an immigrant

My friend Jason wrote earlier this week about being a digital native.

I am not, but to borrow from that really lame bumper sticker I’ve seen about people who move to Texas, “I got here as quick as I could!”

I enjoy, and appreciate, and adopt new technology pretty well, I think.  I know people decades older than I am who do so as well. I also know people less than half my age who haven’t yet realized they can keep contacts and a calendar in their iphones.

It is clear to me that however open I feel I am to technology, I am not an “early adopter.”  For example, I heard of and about Twitter several months before I bothered to join and begin tweeting.

As I have been migratory all my life, I wonder if that has translated into my openess toward new technology.    I don’t know, but I appreciate, and echo Jason’s call to digital taives and those who refuse to immigrate:

And so to my “old world” friends, do not decry the lack of respect of the “new world” or hint at how technology, while okay, is really the root of so much evil.
And to my “new world” friends, do not admonish the tradition and wisdom of the “old world” or hint at how older people, while okay, really are an obstacle to “progress”.


Goodbye, Earl

Many of us lost a good friend last week.  Earl Moseley died after a decade-long bout with pancreatic cancer.  He was 48.

For those of you who never had the opportunity to know earl, I could paste here lengthy remembrances from group emails, or link you to facebook pages of memories. But I think, instead, I will simply ahare this.

I went to college with Earl.  As a junior, I joined Pi Kappa Alpha, of which Earl was a member. Earl was one of 48 or so active members at the time I received my bid, pledged, and ultimately joined.  But Earl was never just one of the members.  Earl personified our chapter.

I wrote this about my fraternity experience in an autobiographical statement I submitted last year for Ecclesiastical Endorsement.

Reflecting back on my college years later in life, I recognized that one of my experiences that was most influential on my understanding of ministry came the night I accepted a bid to join a fraternity. Not only did this signal that I was certainly no longer a fundamentalist, but, more than any event before or since, it gave me insight into one aspect of the Kingdom of God.

I had not pursued the bid, but many of my best friends were members.  One invited me to please consider the bid they were going to offer as showing respect to our friendship.  I did; I owed them that.  Upon accepting the bid, I was guided around campus to meet every “Active” we could find.  I have never before or since felt so accepted, wanted, as a part of something.  Though it is a secret, social, Greek letter college fraternity, in this, it showed the Kingdom of God.

Earl had, of course, been a friend well before I joined PKA.   That’s who Earl was.  Warm, gregarious, full of caring.  Earl cared enough that he could talk straight with you and you wanted to listen anyway.

How does a fraternity show the Kingdom of God?  With and through people like Earl Moseley, who carried, or was carried by, the Kingdom everywhere he went.

Go and do likewise.


I posted Aug. 28th that I was heading for Nashville to interview for Ecclesiastical Endorsement.  I was interviewed by a team of three peers – other clergy who, like myself, serve outside the local church setting.  All three are also chaplains in a variety of settings.

The interview was a very affirming process.  I was asked challenging, thought provoking questions regarding my ministry setting, my callnig, and my gifts for serving here.  I enjoyed this experience because though challenging, the questions confirmed for me that I indeed am in a great place to serve God.

Which, in turn, reminds me of how incredible God is.  Having known me all my life, I can assure you that I have not always been the person I need to be for this job.  But I am now, thanks to God, and to many of you for the ways you have helped me grow.

I received official word yesterday that I have received Ecclesiastical Endorsement.  Thank you for your prayers, your encouraging words, and for being a part of my story. Thanks Kyle and Jason for lodging story near the front of my mind.

The Art of the Sermon

Last night was my first ever experience of Rob Bell in person preaching/speaking/delivering a message.   I intended to take notes, perhaps even twitter it, but found myself rather just listening, watching, absorbing.

Bell has been a major influence on me for these last 4 or 5 years, so seeing/hearing him in person was a joy.  This guy comes across as passionate and genuine as I feel when I preach.

In fact, honestly, I have adopted some of his style, method, and intonation.  This is apparently not overdone, else I’m sure I would have heard about it from colleagues by now.

This conference is about “reclaiming the art of the sermon.”  For that, I’m all in.  The part of that that I’ve always gotten is the part of the art that springs, sui generis, from the identity of the preacher.  The part I want to develop, and that I expect this conference to help with, is the study, the work development and practice of the art that brings it together over time.

I have already found the inspiration and motivation that going to a conference offers; so, for the next two days, I am eager to find the rest of what is in this for me.

Rohr Roars Like a Lamb

I have committed myself to joy. I have come to realize that those who make space for joy, those who prefer nothing to joy, those who desire the utter reality, will most assuredly have it. We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves. In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy. – Richard Rohr

HT sojo

– Richard Rohr, OFM