franciscan blessing

5 popular ways to shut down conversations about power.

kathyescobar crazy making, equality, incarnational, injustice, relationships 19 Comments

Years ago when I started speaking out against the powers-that-be about “church”, I noticed a pattern. Almost the minute something negative was shared, there would be an immediate defensiveness and responses like “be careful about being divisive”, “the church is made up of imperfect people”, “t’s not all bad”, or “I’ll pray for you.” The basic summary of the responses–“quit saying negative things, we don’t like it.” When the events in Ferguson broke out last year, I was appalled at the comments on Facebook when people from …

friends-of-faith-shifters: things that help, things that hurt

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, relationships 25 Comments

Some things I originally wrote made it into Faith Shift, and some things didn’t.  After multiple conversations in the past several weeks, I thought I’d share some of the on-the-cutting-room-floor pieces of this part of the Appendix to offer some possibilities for those who have friends or family members who are shifting in their faith and you don’t quite know what to do about it.  If your faith is unraveling and you’re getting pushback in all kinds of directions, maybe you can print this out and …

a thing or two about narcissism (+ church).

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, faith shifts, injustice, rants, relationships 59 Comments

For a lot of years now I have been journeying with a lot of women who have been in marriages or relationships with narcissists. I’m not talking about plain old self-absorbedness, of which we all have a touch of in different ways. I’m talking about something far more insidious and confusing, too–people with true blue Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or just-plain-real-and-deep narcissism that makes people around them feel crazy, unempowered, abused, and emotionally stripped. Several years ago The Refuge hosted a gathering for women who had …

in my living room: choices

kathyescobar healing, relationships, spiritual formation, the refuge 6 Comments

One of my favorite times of the week is our Wednesday House of Refuge group that gathers at our house. A fun, open group, it’s been going since the beginning of The Refuge, almost 9 years now, and it’s always one of the most interesting times of my week. We have a potluck, and it’s wild and chaotic, with kids running to and fro and people eating and laughing and catching up. After dinner, the kids go downstairs and the grownups participate in spiritual conversation, which …

when father’s day is hard

kathyescobar healing, relationships 8 Comments

well here we are, our next big weird holiday that is great for all kinds of people and really hard for many others. i think at this point i will have covered all of the holidays except for valentine’s day–christmas, mother’s day, easter (for faith shifters). this year, father’s day snuck up on us and we have been buried with kids and sports and summer and refuge and work, but i didn’t want this day to go by without taking a pause and remembering that it’s …

new life through nonviolent communication

kathyescobar friendship, incarnational, just because i thought it was fun, relationships, synchroblog, the refuge 24 Comments

this month’s synchroblog is called new life and where we are experiencing it in our lives right now. as soon as i get the link list, i’ll post it at the bottom of this post and you can read other bloggers sharing stories of new life, too. when i get a topic prompt, sometimes i like to go with the very first thought that comes to my mind, even if it seems kind of weird or a-little-off-center. and here’s what i thought of first for “new life”: …

formation friday: our inner pharisee

kathyescobar church stuff, formation friday, healing, identity, relationships, spiritual formation 15 Comments

once in a while it’s fun to focus in on one topic longer than a post, and i am glad for the different responses to “healing the divides” week; if even one conversation or relationship could be different because of it, it was way worth it to me.  the other posts this week are: 8 ways those from more liberal-progressive and conservative-evangelical persuasions can better love each other, safer people make safer conversations, breaking down walls, and deeper dignified dialogue. i haven’t posted a formation friday (better …

deeper dignified dialogue

kathyescobar church stuff, healing, incarnational, relationships 9 Comments

last year i was part of the denver faith & justice conference, a lovely event that included so many wonderful conversations. as part of the kick off, we set up the importance of cultivating dignified dialogue at the gathering. the people attending came from a wide variety of faith traditions, and  justice issues stir up a lot of strong feelings.  we used these guidelines for communication, and they seemed to set the stage for more safety & better listening. here were the 5 guidelines for dignified …