Tag Archives: personal journal

The Importance of Storytelling | The Story behind the Research Question

I write this as the Deep in the Burbs Research Team comes to the half-way mark in our six-week series of conversations. I have been wrestling with how to get after the heart of the research question without using instrumental rationality. (By that, I mean that I am trying to avoid manipulating–whether consciously or unconsciously–the conversation in order to arrive at a desired outcome.) Participatory Action Research is designed to allow the group to create its own agenda. However, my research question demands some sort of interaction with the topic of Social Trinity. I am, after all, trying to see how an “increased awareness and understanding of the Social Trinity might impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations.” read more

Phase One is Finished!

I just finished transcribing the sixth and final large group session of the Deep in the Burbs Research Team. This marks the end of Phase One, a huge milestone in the project. Woo-hoo!celebrate.gif

Now the team figures out how to navigate the next seven months. This is the wonderfully messy part of the process.

One thing we are doing will be interesting. Everyone is keeping a journal and asking, “Where did I see God show up today?”

Can’t wait to see what happens!

The Geese are Back | An Easter Meditation on Life in the Suburbs

20140421-134602.jpgThe weather cooperated nicely with Easter yesterday. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was bright, and warm, and unhindered by clouds. The air was dry and warm. Sounds of life buzzed through the still naked, but hopeful trees. Shoots of green stretched up from the dirt, yawning from a long, long winter sleep.

Easter is the celebration of new life. It is the birth of hope renewed. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is the quintessential image of the annual cycle of God’s redemptive process in creation. Pastor Mark, our senior pastor, reminded us, in his Easter sermon, that the resurrected life does not come with fanfare, in an instant. It is the slow, quiet process of growth. It begins in the silence of the seed pod breaking open and the unnoticed tomb stone rolling away. It is the hidden struggle of the sprout searching for the surface. It is the fragile and gradual struggle to become a seedling. read more