descent church.

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, incarnational, leadership 5 Comments

“…The society in which we live suggests in countless ways that the way to go is up. Making it to the top, entering the limelight, breaking the record – that’s what draws attention, gets us on the front page of the newspaper, and offers us the rewards of money and fame.  The way of Jesus is radically different. It is the way not of upward mobility but of downward mobility. It is going to the bottom, staying behind the sets, and choosing the last place! Why …

a better story.

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, down we go, dreams, equality, faith and politics, incarnational, jesus is cool 7 Comments

It’s bad out here, people! The political division, the way Christianity is all tied up in it, the fear, hatred, ugly, and unknown. Everyone who reads here doesn’t agree with my faith and politics but most everyone these days is feeling the pressure, disorientation, anger, the sometimes-hopelessness that we will ever come back to some kind of unity after this much division. I really don’t know how this is all going to turn out; we’re only 100 days into this administration and it’s far more brutal …

we need mothers & fathers & daughters & sons & sisters & brothers.

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, healing, identity, incarnational, relationships, spiritual formation 2 Comments

I’m on a bit of a power-of-community roll right now, revisiting some old posts that have been rattling around in my head.  To me, the purpose of community, “the church”, is to have a place, whatever that looks like, to learn to love God & others and to be loved by God & others. Like so many other things that matter in the kingdom of God, it doesn’t magically drop out of the sky. It comes through hard work invested in relationship–with God, with others, with ourselves. Over the …

the difference between cultivating communities and building churches.

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, dreams, incarnational, leadership 8 Comments

Yesterday at The Refuge’s Sunday night gathering we had some cupcakes and sang happy 11th birthday to The Refuge. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 11 years. When it started I was just wrapping up my 30’s and now, in 3 weeks, I will be turning 50 years old (more on that soon, yikes!). The Refuge is a Christian community and mission center, and I’m always reminded how that’s different from our typical view of “church.” I’ve written about this before in Down We Go and …

holy week 2017: turning over tables in the temple

kathyescobar advent & lent, church stuff, down we go, faith shifts, incarnational 2 Comments

This year I decided to blog through Holy Week. Yesterday we started with Palm Sunday and our love of a certain kind of king. I find it fascinating that the next thing Jesus did after he entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers of “Hosanna!” was go straight to the temple and start turning over tables.  Matthew 21:12-15 describe it this way: “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables …

holy week 2017: palm sunday, oh we love our kings

kathyescobar advent & lent, church stuff, down we go, incarnational, jesus is cool, leadership 4 Comments

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week on the road toward Easter. I also call Holy week “It’s not what we think week.” I decided to blog every day this week, until the day after Easter Sunday as a spiritual practice for myself, to remember the story, to draw back on some thoughts I’ve written before, and most of all to reflect on Jesus through the lens of rocking the establishment in ways we continue to struggle with. Like Advent and the anticipation of …

who do we defer to?

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, dreams, incarnational, injustice 14 Comments

Most anyone who knows me knows one important thing about me: I care deeply about folks on the margins. What that means is that people who are normally not in the main stream of power are my priority. This also means different things to different people, but on the whole, people on the margins are more vulnerable than others. For me, this includes: people of color, those living in poverty and consistently under-resourced financially, those struggling with mental health issues, people with a range of disabilities, single …

post-election faith renewal

kathyescobar down we go, faith and politics, faith shifts 7 Comments

Last week I wrote about the reality of the USA election and inauguration deeply affecting a lot of people’s faith. Some were already unraveling, deconstructing, finding-their-way-in-the-dark, and this was just another tumble down the slippery slope. Others have been doing pretty okay with church and faith, but the tangled web between Donald Trump and evangelicalism just did them in. My heart is always with anyone who experiences this deep pain and loss. The grief and can-never-get-the-old-feelings-back reality can be brutal. A radical faith shift is such a …