This Week's Fave Five

1.) A good book for our times: The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers by: Amy Hollingsworth

Maybe you know, or maybe you don't, but I am preparing a class (and hopefully) a book on the theology of Mr. Rogers. In my research, i came across this little gem. Hollingsworth shares her interviews and personal letters with Mr. Rogers in an attempt to describe his personal spiritual commitments. This book is insightful, heartfelt, inspiring, and like the new documentary, I think it is a sort of tonic for our sick time.

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2.) A Poem I am listening to: Why I Wake Early by: Mary Oliver

Oliver died last week. Hers was a special voice of our age: focused intently upon creation, and committed to proper "seeing" in this world. Let this video presentation of her brief poem open up your imagination!

3.) A Conference I am considering: Methexis Institute Conference

This is a special invitation only conference. It seeks to bring scholarship into the church and the church into scholarship. If I can swing it financially, and calendar-wise...I'll definitely go. The line up of speakers is quite impressive. 

4.) An article I am thinking through to make sense of our times when it comes to church attendance: Church Attendance Patterns Are Changing.

As you all know, average church attendance is declining from 4 times per month to 1-2...even amongst committed church goers. A church averaging 350 in attendance likely has 550 active members. I have been asking how to go against the grain, or how to readjust exceptions...this article offers a few thoughts. I wish there were more, but it seems everyone is perplexed by these changes. 

5.) A video interview with a theologian of great influence:

Hauerwas is always thinking uniquely about common things: love, suffering, medicine, etc. He can, because he thinks about the world through the complexities of the Gospel.