Bo’s Blog


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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Here is an 8 minute sermon about belonging, identity, and faith. The Bible is full of poetic language – including metaphors and metonyms. Pastor Bo has some fun with those examples before getting into the idea of “the Law” as a much bigger concept. [youtube id=”ims06fyzcFU”]

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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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How do you experience the divine presence in an average day? This topic has become one of my favorite things to chat about. I have found two powerful trends that seem to be developing. First: Depending on your phase of life, there are certain ‘givens‘ that seem to be assumed and everything else becomes a ‘variable‘. In the formula of life, the question seems to hinge on either how to manipulate (change) the...

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A Year with C.S. Lewis was my go-to devotional for about a 5 year window. I just loved his witty takes, his everyday language, and his optimistic outlook. Once I decided to go to seminary and started reading heady theology, Lewis took a back seat. I tried to pick it up again a couple of years ago but it seemed too folksy and some of his logic seemed questionable. Lately I have been doing an experiment: taking material that I used to...

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We are becoming a conversation community at Vermont Hills. Interactive church is both challenging and rewarding. Facilitating conversational community is not difficult and bears great fruit. [youtube id=”WvKxF5jvBhs”] Here is a short video about the 4 kinds of questions that seem to work well. 4 Kinds of Questions: 1) Ice-Breaker 2) Feedback 3) What Did You Hear? 4) Bull In The...

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A week in the woods is good for my soul. I look forward to my annual May camping trip and this year did not disappoint. This year had an extra interesting wrinkle. The Sunday before I left on the trip, I gave a short homily about email entitled, “too much of a good thing”. (It was the topic in our book series Sacred Everyday based Liturgy of the Ordinary).   I also did something for the first time ever: I set an...

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