Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.
It’s not just an individual problem when people hold on too long. It goes deeper. It betrays a lack of faith. Or a lack of faith in the future, of possibilities we cannot foresee, of people we do not yet know.
Wisdom from a teen: Ruby’s five-part prescription for teenage happiness is a stirring protest against the ruling gods of contemporary culture: speed, competition, information, convenience, and self-absorption.
Ever since Oliver Anthony’s song caught fire, the combatants in the culture wars have been trying to peg, box, claim, or deny Anthony and his song. So locked in to the culture war are its combatants that they cannot, apparently, conceive of someone who is not taking up arms.
The contemporary male/female landscape doesn’t look like a romantic scene of a summer field of daisies with a young couple walking hand-in-hand in the sunlight. It looks a little more like a mined battlefield with people moving very cautiously, if they move at all.
Kingsolver says that people in rural America, where she was raised and lives today, “are so mad they want to blow everything up.” She gives some reasons, mainly the shame that urban America cast upon Appalachia and its people.
There just isn’t time or energy for church. People in my generation say something like this about their adult children. “They’re so busy.” While that may be true, busyness is not so much the root of the problem as a symptom of it. Work has expanded to fill more and more of our lives. Yet even pointing to “Workism” may not go deep enough.