Reading | I’ve been sitting with Diana Butler Bass’ work A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story. It’s definitely a take off of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, with the stated purpose of looking at the history of Christianity from its inception. This is definitely a fascinating read, and even though you can read Butler-Bass’s ideology and biases into the text and how she wants you to emerge on the other side, it is still a valuable read in understanding how we got to where we currently sit as a Church today.
Loving | We have lived in Springfield, Illinois for a little over 2 months now and I’m absolutely loving our neighborhood. The brick streets are fun to walk/run down, our neighbors have been extremely warm and inviting–in fact, a couple from down the street stopped by a couple of weeks ago to deliver a welcome card and some Rice Krispy Treats. There is a neighborhood potluck coming up soon, and a couple of other parties we’ve been told about as well that shuts down our little street and allows the neighborhood to mingle. With a few new people joining our neighborhood (houses selling) in the next couple of months, this is a great opportunity for us to meet everyone!
Looking Forward To | This past week we had record low temperatures during the evenings which meant I got to try out the fire pit Tracy’s parents gave us! I’m looking forward to the fall and sitting outside around the pit more often with neighbors, friends, bottles of wine, books, and new craft beers.
Challenged By | I’m challenged by Springfield. Living in San Francisco for the past 5 years I grew accustomed to the instantaneous judgment or startled looks of indifference when people found out I was a pastor. It was easy to change their perception. Despite being the object of judgment or people quickly writing you off as a human being, I appreciated the sheer authenticity that arose out of those moments. Springfield, however, is far different. No longer am I the object of judgement but now, when people find out I am a pastor, they immediately feel judged by me. You can see their entire demeanor change as they slip on their pious mask. Authenticity is quickly lost and a wall is quickly erected. This is a vastly different challenge, one that saddens me, makes me wonder how it got this way, and instills in me a great sense of conviction for how to move forward.