Archives For love

life after SCOTUS.

mjkimpan  —  June 28, 2015 — 6 Comments

#lovewins

leading up to – and in the immediate wake of – the SCOTUS decision in support of marriage equality in all 50 states, a number of religious and faith community leaders contacted me asking, ‘how should we respond?’ the majority of these requests came from pastors and churches who are currently unable to support same sex relationships, based on their conservative biblical interpretation and theological perspective – yet almost all recognize that their religious communities have historically not been very welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

they also realize, along with many others, that the journey of faith is a matter of being willing and open to having a relationship with God – and that each and every person is welcome under the banner of the unconditional love and radical hospitality of jesus christ.

this tension in which many religious folks live is a real one – and  has been heightened by the culture war rhetoric reaching an almost fever pitch in the anticipation and aftermath of this weekend’s ruling.
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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.

proud to be an american?

mjkimpan  —  April 22, 2015 — 2 Comments

xianflag

should this make you proud to be an american?

the following video came across my newsfeed yesterday, posted by a former ministry partner of mine, with the status ::

so proud to be an american!

take a look ::

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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…

top ten in 2014.

mjkimpan  —  February 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

topten2014

each year on the blog, i’ve published a list of the previous years’ most popular posts. this year, however – the opportunity to do so escaped my attention.

until now.

better late than never, i guess… so here’s a list of the top ten posts at the WayWard follower from 2014 :: Continue Reading…

discriminate

barronelle stutzman is stirring up headlines. the 70-year-old grandmother is the owner of Arlene’s Flower Shop in washington state, and identifies as a devout christian. she’s also opposed to gay marriage – so much so that she refused to provide flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding.

this week a washington judge ruled that refusal was precisely what it sounds like – discrimination – and therefore, illegal according to the state’s consumer protection and anti-discrimination law.

washington state attorney general bob ferguson has made the decision to seek legal fees and penalties not only against the flower shop, but also against stutzman herself.

the law allows for penalties of $2,000 per violation, which means that for every gay or lesbian couple stutzman refuses to serve she could receive the hefty fine. according to stutzman’s lawyer, these fines, in addition to her attorneys’ fees and court costs for the pending appeal could reach well into seven figures.

still, the soon-to-be bankrupt granny is sticking to her guns by refusing to serve gay and lesbian couples. she’s digging in her heels – in her own words, ‘because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Continue Reading…

MLK’s letter.

mjkimpan  —  January 19, 2015 — Leave a comment

mlk

 

purpose and passion combined can overcome the shadows of injustice and inspire movement toward a future of civility.

today our nation celebrates martin luther king, jr.

just a few weeks ago, a number of my friends and i gathered together and recorded a reading of dr. king’s Letter from Birmingham Jail – just released on Vimeo (and available for viewing below).

i hope you’ll take a moment to watch, listen and reflect on the words of this powerful letter. its message is just as critically important today as it was when it was first written.

 

off the highway.

mjkimpan  —  January 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

offthehighway

my friend tony kriz (who has a new book called Aloof! coming out this tuesday – pre-order it here!) has launched an amazing video blog series called Off the Highway – which already includes some phenomenal individuals and thinkers – folks like the author of The Shack, william paul young; lisa sharon harper from Sojourners; new york times bestselling author frank schaeffer; leroy barber from Word Made Flesh and many more…including yours truly.

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