10 ways churches jack people up

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, healing, injustice 52 Comments

i do not think church systems wake up in the morning and think “i’m going to hurt a lot of people today.”  intentions are often good.  stirrings from God seem clear.  visions and strategies make total sense.  the desire to make a difference “for the kingdom” is strong. for all kinds of reasons, though, many church systems are really unhealthy.  often our basic insecurity as christians is a flaw that crops up all over the place in the way we interact with the world.   our …

the underground railroad

kathyescobar church stuff, equality, faith shifts, healing, incarnational, injustice 27 Comments

“if i could have convinced more slaves they were slaves, i could have freed thousands more” – harriet tubman this past weekend i was in portland for a women’s gathering called convergence.  it is not a typical conference; there are no speakers, no people getting paid, no flash.  just a sacred safe space for a bunch of women leaders to share & learn & soak & be challenged & encourage & grieve & grow. i went to see dear & inspiring friends and get a little …

chronic pain, soul care & better theology

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 17 Comments

“when we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope” – henri nouwen * * * * * one year ago today i had back surgery to repair a gnarly ruptured disc.  it was one of the scariest things i have ever done.  as someone who had never had a serious injury and rarely takes any medicine, and …

never quite right

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, healing 35 Comments

this weekend’s walking wounded: hope for those hurt by the church was a really sweet & beautiful time for me.  it was hard, too, because the reality of so much pain & loss in what’s-supposed-to-be-the-safest-place-on-earth really gets under my skin. i will never be able to recreate what happened there but i will try over time to share some of what it stirred up for me.  i’m so behind on this blog, with unfinished posts here & there so i’ve got a feeling they won’t come …

there’s a difference between believing & “right belief”

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, fundamentalism, healing, jesus is cool, spiritual formation, the refuge 27 Comments

one of the things i love the most about our little wild & crazy refuge community is we can hold the space for a lot of divergent views about the Bible & life & faith.  it’s not an easy task, i must say, and sometimes i get asked “so, just what does the refuge believe about _______.” (it’s usually not issues that are on this list, though, they are usually questions far, far more specific.) this is a typical question of most every church.  and usually …

walking wounded: hope for those hurt by church

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, faith shifts, healing, the refuge 6 Comments

have you… been asked to leave a church or told you’re not a “good fit”? felt forced to conform or remain consistently overlooked? been told that you are loved but not your sin? questioned leadership or theology and found yourself on the outside? felt sad, angry, afraid, lost, or disoriented after painful church experiences? i’m guessing some of you might have answered yes to one (or all!) of these questions!  if you haven’t, you probably know someone who has.  unfortunately, there’s a lot of church carnage …