despite the thorns there's still so much beauty

so much beauty despite the thorns.

kathyescobar church stuff, incarnational, jesus is cool 10 Comments

Well, that was kind of wild. My little post on narcissism and the church was the #2 most-hit blog post in carnival history (#1 is ex-good-christian-women, ha ha).  I am so glad because it means that people’s eyes are being opened to this issue in church culture. Hopefully we will actually let what we see guide us toward different choices about who we give our money, time, and talents to. Meanwhile, I have felt this sense of deep sadness the past few days. So much mis-used power. …

outsiders.

kathyescobar advent & lent, church stuff, down we go, ex good christian women, faith shifts, jesus is cool 32 Comments

One of the things that has been the hardest about shifting faith is moving from being an “insider” to an “outsider.” I have always been one of those people who looks like an insider, like someone who fits in. The truth is that underneath a lot of that has been a prevailing feeling that somehow, I just really don’t. The more I’ve talked to people of the years, the more clear I am that we can be lonely in a group or as part of the …

survival of the fittest church

kathyescobar church stuff, equality, incarnational, injustice, jesus is cool, leadership, rants 38 Comments

A few months ago I made a big plate of nachos for all of the kids. Within 10 minutes, they were devoured and I made a joke about how life around here is like “survival of the fittest.” The strongest and most-able-to-elbow-everyone-out-to-get-the-guacamole wins. The past few weeks, I also talked to some amazing pastors & leaders who are some of the most humble and kind and dedicated people I know but are struggling with what it looks like to lead in their contexts. Their communities are …

third way practices.

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, faith shifts, fundamentalism, incarnational, jesus is cool, leadership, the refuge 28 Comments

once in a while i click on a facebook link that i sort of know i shouldn’t read but do anyway (you know that feeling?) and yeah, i usually end up groaning.  sure enough, i clicked on the “there’s no third way” post by al mohler, who agrees with tony jones that when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage there’s no third way for the christians.  their premise is that people are going to have to choose. churches are going to have to split.  …

the unexpected.

kathyescobar advent & lent, incarnational, jesus is cool 9 Comments

yesterday was palm sunday and we had a really fun & sweet palm sunday dinner together at the refuge, one of our annual traditions. one of the reasons i like this particular day in holy week is it’s the time when we remember the anticipation and excitement of Jesus’ riding into jerusalem on a donkey to fulfill the prophecy and save the day. so many thought that this was their moment, the time when the messiah, the king, would topple the power structures and save the …

the kingdom of God is like…

kathyescobar church stuff, incarnational, jesus is cool, just because i thought it was fun, spiritual formation, the refuge 10 Comments

way back when i said i was going to share more about what happens in our living room on wednesday nights at our house of refuge gathering, which has been happening since the beginning of the refuge in 2006.  i never seem to get around to it, but this week i thought i’d take a few minutes and share with everyone because it was such a simple & sweet idea and a great exercise to consider, no matter where everyone is in terms of life and …

breaking our american hearts

kathyescobar church stuff, incarnational, jesus is cool, spiritual formation, the refuge 5 Comments

this past friday night we hosted a theology camp called “the radical welcome of God: wisdom from benedictine spirituality.” two nuns from benet hill monastery shared their hearts & stories & practices with us. it was beautiful in more ways than i can count. my amazing friend & local spiritual director ellen haroutunian facilitated questions for the sisters and then we processed together and made a space for reflective time walking through 7 stations that represented the pillars of benedictine spirituality: community, humility, hospitality, reverence, stewardship/partnership, integration, and discernment.  …

wonder.

kathyescobar advent & lent, church stuff, faith shifts, jesus is cool, spiritual formation 8 Comments

“all who heard the shepherds story were astonished.”  – luke 2:18 blogging is a very weird thing. i wrote friday’s post in about 30 minutes, just a quick ramble of some of my raw sentiments. like so many other things i have written here over the years, sometimes i cringe when i read it later. i think of ways i could have been nicer or take the edge off or been a better bridge builder. but the truth is writing like this is a good lesson …