Cultivate Community

Christian communities need to be centers of deep listening, where God's presence is named and life-giving relationships are formed across all dimensions of diversity, both within and beyond the church.

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The world is changing. 

Stay up to date on the latest research, resources, and reflections exploring how to cultivate Christian faith in the 21st century. 

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Jun. 25, 2012

On Christian Imagination

It’s hard to think of a more important book on Christian imagination than Willie James Jennings’ The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race. The American Academy of Religion awarded the book its 2011 Award for Excellence in the Constructive-Reflective Study of Religion. We were privileged to host Dr. Jennings for two days of discussion and presentation on his ideas.
Mar. 23, 2012

Youth Accompaniment: Mission through Mentoring

By Allison Tunseth, Master of Arts Student in Children, Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary Brenda Olson’s workshop presentation for the Missional Church Consultation 2011 and article on faith formation and the urban church, unpacks the theme of relationships by engaging the idea of ‘accompaniment.’ Olson defines accompaniment in the urban church as, “a joint venture in which collaboration and
Dec. 07, 2011

Embracing relevance, letting go of survival

Here’s a powerful and interesting take on the challenges facing mainline churches, from Mike Rinehart, who is the bishop of the Louisiana Gulf Coast synod of the ELCA. Among other things, he writes that: The turnaround of the mainline churches will happen when we in those churches care as much about those outside the church, as we do those inside.
Dec. 05, 2011

Diversity, demographics and the common good

Ever wonder how the world around us is changing, and how we might speak of God’s promise in the middle of those changes? Here’s a very brief look at just some of the demographic changes facing one particular church — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — from the director of multicultural ministries of the ELCA:
Nov. 10, 2011

Finding a Welcome Community

Dee Pederson talks about building cross-cultural relationships in Saint Cloud, Minn., forming the connective tissue between members who don’t share the same culture or language. Dee Pederson: Many Cultures and Languages from Discerning Mission on Vimeo.
Oct. 21, 2011

Go >> communities

by Joshua Linman Take about 3 minutes and watch just the beginning of this video: What I loved about this sermon starter video is more than the solid production values and great storytelling — it was the message shared. Instead of re-reading our original instruction manual we have been trying to produce a discipleship harvest by pushing and pulling the
Sep. 30, 2011

Moving with the Spirit, engaging race and diversity

This week at Luther Seminary we honor Jane Buckley Farlee with the annual Race, Church and Change award. Her work with Trinity Lutheran Congregation, the only Christian community in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis (which is predominately Somali Muslim), demonstrates the flow and vibrancy of the Holy Spirit in that context.
Jul. 25, 2011

Listening, leadership, ethnography

Dori Baker reflects on the benefits of an “ethnography of hope” at the Alban blog. She quotes Thomas E. Frank, a seasoned observer of church life, noting that he “writes about turning to ethnographic practices of listening as a way to escape what he perceived to be market-driven perspectives prevalent in church-improvement literature. He found most of that writing to
Jul. 13, 2011

Andrew Walls on the risks of becoming a “caste” in a plural society

Here’s a fascinating and brief glimpse of Andrew Walls:  
Jul. 13, 2011

The political novelty of God

I can’t resist this quote from John Howard Yoder, which is cited in David Fitch’s blog on mission and ecclesiology: The political novelty that God brings into the world is a community of those who serve instead of ruling, who suffer instead of inflicting suffering, whose fellowship crosses social lines instead of reinforcing them. The new Christian community in which