Posts by Pastor Bo


In the past weeks I have been on two fun podcasts. Religionless Church with Mason Mennenga has a fun and fast format. I had so much fun recording it and we cover a variety of topics. my religious migration academic interests interactive church religious but not spiritual nerdy takes on Bonhoeffer and ‘the world come of age’ He also has a wonderful style for his podcast where he features the music of a different artist...

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I had the opportunity to be on the UMC podcast Get Your Spirit In Shape. My interview is Ep. 43 called Disagreeing Well. It’s no secret that people disagree, sometimes vehemently. When our opinions match, it is easy to have a conversation. When we are on opposite sides of an issue, talking can be far more challenging, but often more fruitful. In a time when opinions are strong in both our public and church lives, learning to disagree...

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I had the opportunity earlier this week to be with leaders who are doing innovative things in their communities and ministry settings. I got to talk about ‘why we do church this way’. I love to think through how to do and be church in the 21st century. I like to call it ‘a liturgy of listening and learning’. Interactive church brings together the best of constructive approaches, emergent thought, church 2.0,...

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This past week, we started into a new series about Practicing Faith. The first week’s topic is “Times of Yearning” and I took the opportunity to have some fun talking about different ways of talking about desire. Here are 4 ways that I have heard desire talked about: God Shaped Vacuum You may be familiar with the famous quote by Pascal: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied...

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Here is yesterday’s message. The working thesis is that grace and forgiveness have lost their shocking greatness because we have grown too comfortable with them. My hope is to remind everyone how scandalous grace is. So in this short sermon you are going to hear that: grace is irrational grace is immoral grace is unethical I hope that you will give it a listen with an open mind!  You might be surprised by what you...

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Last week on the Peacing It All Together podcast, Randy and I talked about ‘the call for civility’. Next week at the church’s pub-chat, the topic is the same. Randy and I came up with 3 ideas about this and I want to reflect on them here. First, it is important in ‘The Argument Culture’ (as Deborah Tannen famously called it) that we don’t prioritize policing people’s tone or vocabulary. Yes, we don’t want to inflame the situation and...

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There are 3 elements of belief that overlap and interact to form what we generally refer to as ‘faith’. I am fascinated with how these layers stack up and both empower the other layers but also limit the options of each other. The 3 elements are: narratives (story) practices (action) relationships (connection) Narratives are powerful because the stories that we tell ourselves – or the stories that we are told and buy in to – frame our...

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About a year ago I figured out that if I didn’t put a moratorium on talking politics, that it was all we would ever talk about. So I implemented a 1-hour prohibition on saying the ‘T’ word in our gatherings. It has a made a huge difference. Here is a short (5 min) video [youtube id=”FXOZ7bp55_E”]

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We live in a time of division and conflict. It is perfect timing then, that our topic this week comes from Galatians 3 and says, “In Christ, there is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile … all are one.” Usually when this topic comes up people want to focus on how Christ’s love “bridges” the divides between us. I want to take it a step further! I want to look at how: A) we are...

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An interesting discussion from Facebook this week continues so I thought I would post it here as well. I commented Sunday morning, Some church songs are easier to make gender neutral than others. Some of these songs lean so heavily on the masculine pronoun that they are nearly unusable As someone who is very intentional about mixing up the English pronouns used for God [link], this is an important issue for me. It sparked a nice...

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