Archives For creativity

nationalinsecurity

if you follow my facebook feed, you’ll know that leading up to this holiday season i spent some time defending my counter-cultural suggestion that since the jesus of the gospel narratives is quite clearly against killing people, folks who claim to follow him ought to be as well.

some folks disagreed.

though it’s not the first time an impassioned disagreement has taken place in my world, i was surprised that the most vitriolic – sometimes even violent – responses came not due to my previous suggestions that the gospel is far better news than what we learned in church; or that the family of God expands beyond the walls of religion; or even that accepting syrian refugees and muslim immigrants is a christ-followers’ ethical and moral responsibility; but the assertion that christians shouldn’t kill people.

ever.

i don’t say so lightly. such an assertion flies in the face of the faith and family in which i  was raised – and not just because we used to sing, ‘onward christian soldier, marching off to war…’ during children’s church.

for me, it started on the day i was born.

Continue Reading…

(un)common good collective.

mjkimpan  —  December 23, 2015 — 1 Comment

blogUCG

the purpose of (un)common good collective is quite simple; we serve as a shared resource organization to provide services and fund work with churches, organizations and individuals within our growing circle of friends.

in more than two decades of doing non-profit and ministry related work, i’ve found the following to be true –

‘doing good’ is quite common.

there are countless people doing good in our world. it’s common. what is historically uncommon, however, is intentional collaboration and the sharing of resources within these communities of do-gooders. many times perceived competition for donor dollars combined with a scarcity mindset limits the range and effectiveness of the work – and stifles our vision of the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

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ancient wisdom.

mjkimpan  —  December 8, 2015 — 14 Comments

floweroflife

our present circumstances are often confusing.

we could use some ancient wisdom.

yesterday, i shared on social media this post – a HuffPo piece written by a friend and colleague concerning the coming (some might suggest present) evangelical schism. the author proposes that the jesus being taught by a number of self-identified evangelicals isn’t quite the same as the jesus invoked by some others of us who similarly claim to proclaim good news.

from my perspective, the primitively conceived, angry and wrathful (even violent) God of some self-proclaimed christians stands in stark contrast to the benevolent being believed by myself and others who claim to be compelled by the life, teachings and example of jesus.

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toilettrump

i admittedly read articles and blogs shared by those that espouse a much more conservative viewpoint than my own. often times it’s due to my desire to understand those with different perspectives. other times, it’s admittedly closer to ‘enemy surveillance’.

this past week was a bit of a both/and.

i read an article shared by a staunchly conservative, republican-supporting friend of mine in which the author claimed the GOP race has come down to the ‘final four’ – but in its march toward madness it ignores the candidate whom has been the front runner in every republican poll thus far – donald trump – but not for the reasons you might think.

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revision(s).

mjkimpan  —  November 13, 2015 — 2 Comments

chapterone

remember when i announced that i had a book dealthat was pretty exciting…and i worked diligently to produce a manuscript i hoped would accomplish a number of things.

the purpose of the book was to serve as a guide for pastors of conservative to moderate american evangelical churches – helping them navigate better the cultural conversations and practical implications in responding to questions at the intersection of faith, gender and sexuality. the publisher wanted pragmatic advice and ‘an expert opinion’ on ways in which churches could reduce the stigmatization of LGBTQ people in their rhetoric and practice while maintaining the ‘traditional view’ of marriage – a cultural construct to be sure, yet one which is held as sacred within many religious groups – that God’s intent for sex and marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.
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food for thought.

mjkimpan  —  May 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

foodforthought

on days that i can’t take the time to write a proper blog post (whatever that means), i’ll often ‘cheat’ and simply post a quote – but unfortunately, the ‘quote’ feature of a published post on WordPress (which i use on the backend of this site) doesn’t permit either comments or sharing as a feature.

so today, i’m cheating on both fronts – sharing a quote i suspect may be a thought-provoking conversation surrounding tribalism, exclusivity and the sacred – and the inherent limitations on the way we think about these things :: Continue Reading…

movement.

mjkimpan  —  April 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

movement

some exciting changes taking place…

as most of my readers are aware, the past two years have enabled me to participate in some wonderful work as the executive director at The Marin Foundation. over that time i’ve been able to work with political leaders, pastors and culturally competent individuals to actively encourage and facilitate peaceful and productive dialogue at the intersection of faith, gender and sexuality. it has been a great honor to work toward reconciliation in spaces that are too often defined by polarized, back-and-forth, win/lose rhetoric.

while i still wholeheartedly support both the work and mission of The Marin Foundation – as well as its staff here in chicago – it has become apparent in recent months that it is time for me to move on and continue to expand that great work elsewhere, in addition to pursuing my passion surrounding inter-faith dialogue and the ever-unfolding story of God’s good news for all people.

in coming weeks i’ll be making official announcements regarding the new opportunities to promote a just and generous expression of the faith within various spaces, and i’m genuinely excited to do so. one organization i will be partnering with is Convergence and their efforts to work with progressive evangelicals – which you can learn more about here.

i will also be partnering with a number of other friends and organizations that are doing similar work, ranging from hyper-local community activism to global initiatives collaborating for the common good as we address concerns in the areas of peace, poverty and our planet. stay tuned here on my blog for more in coming weeks.

i’m grateful for the tremendous support my readers given to me and this important work, and for your continued friendship and engagement in thoughtful conversation with the purpose of inspiring intentional movement toward the Other. each of these ingredients are essential for the flourishing of what i believe to be the future of christianity – an expression of imitating the life, examples and teachings of the jesus we claim to follow.

fortherecord

it’s been a long while since i’ve heard a ‘church song’ that deeply resonates with the just and generous version of my faith i’m growing into.

as a former music pastor, i’m all too familiar with the lack of depth in our praise choruses, as well as astutely aware of the sometimes harmful theological themes undergirding much of today’s (and yesterday’s!) popular christian worship music. even some of the great hymns hold onto a systematic form of the faith, creating formulas of if/then that fell apart under the weight of the reality of living life.

ideas like the prosperity gospel or the primary place of penal substitutionary theory of atonement; battle-cries of us/them mixed with a strong dose of in/out dynamics; each underpinned with our seeming unworthiness before God expressed with an intensified repetition mirroring the self-deprecating speech practiced by the prodigal son prior to being gently corrected by his father in luke 15; the insistence on crafting a simplistic version of the gospel story and indeed, the story of humanity in a theology that could be summarized on a napkin.

but then last week, i heard a few songs written and performed by a new friend, david lunsford from eastlake community church. Continue Reading…

convergence.

mjkimpan  —  March 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

convergence

this week, i’ve got the tremendous opportunity to plot and conspire goodness with some old and new friends at an event in marco island, florida – hosted by grace and brian mclaren.

the purpose of our gathering is for a group of initiators of a movement to gather together connecting people and organizations to solve great problems and participate in new opportunities – especially to heal the human spirit, to foster abundant life in community, to seek the common good, and to promote responsible living with the earth.

we readily acknowledge that growing numbers of christian leaders from many traditions – traditional protestant, progressive catholic, progressive evangelicals, and others – are coming to shared convictions that are both radical and exciting ::

• the future of the church will not simply be a replication of the past, and
• it is time for vital, new expressions of just and generous christian faith to emerge

many have often felt marginalized and alone in these convictions; yet when we voice them, we all too quickly discover that we are not alone. many others resonate with the restlessness we feel, and speak of… Continue Reading…

#evanjellyfish.

mjkimpan  —  March 2, 2015 — 6 Comments

evanjellyfish

 

over the past few days, i’ve been in pasadena participating in the Level Ground film festival with friends and colleagues who desire to create safe and sacred spaces in conversations surrounding faith, gender and sexuality across a variety of theological perspectives.

the mission statement of Level Ground is similar to that of The Marin Foundation, with a specific focus on art and film ::

Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. Level Ground is becoming a national innovator in film festival programming, art curation, and dialogue.

the name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of isaiah. the name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred – though likely uncomfortable – level ground.

one person doing similar work in her specific context is my canadian friend wendy gritter. she and i spent some good time together this week, discussing both the rewards and challenges of being leaders in these spaces. as we ‘talked shop,’ our  tête-à-tête drifted into some of the less-than-flattering names we’ve each been called – and how we each have at times had a tendency to preemptively label ourselves as heretics in an effort of self-protection. Continue Reading…