My wife, Kelley, and I watched this last night and laughed our brains out. It was incredibly profound and helpful. Kelley as an educator and I as a faith creative see similar failed imagination in public education and Christian discipleship, commitment to a literacy that moves the learner out of her body and to above their shoulders, and slightly to one side. This speaker, Ken Robinson, says in the following video "We are now educating people out of their creative capacities... we don't grow into creativity... we get educated out of it."
In her book, On Beauty and Being Just, Elaine Scarry writes that the "willingness to continually revise one's own location in order to place oneself in the path of beauty is the basic impulse underlying education" (7). And yet education must step into an unpredictable path, taking risk.
Sir Ken Robinson gives a great 20 minute talk at TED regarding creativity's importance in education. Take the 20 minutes and enjoy!
this song is located at iLike
here are the lyrics and chords:
Oh blessed God (by Bronsink, Sharp)
B E A, B E A,
B E A B E A
the fresh spring of everything pouring from your words, “let there be…”
B E A B E A
the fleshed life of woman and man dancing in the dawn of eden
B C#m D E
A richness of plenty for all the earth a destiny
F# A B
your-voice walking with them your-song’s cultivating rhythm
oh blessed god the saving one
lord, hear our cry to you
your kingdom come your will be done
life pouring out of you
B E A, B E A
now we fall like trees for missing you
and miss the kiss when justice and peace meet too
along the hungry and the thirsty streets
we see you in the people we meet
our eyes are empty, our stomachs ‘full
how long, oh lord, ‘til your world’s made whole?
your-voice walking with them
our songs, so far from heaven
oh blessed god…
C#m C#m/C C#m/B A
Put a song in me like you people the streets of history
C#m C#m/C C#mB A
Turn me upside by the heart I find in each street I’m walking
C#m C#m/C C#m/B A
put clothes on shame teach us to sing forgive our sins ‘salvation ring
F#m B A
oh blessed god…
this week old post about past the statute of limitations.
Melvin and Kelley and I took our kids to the neighborhood egg hunt last Saturday. It was billed as "Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt Saturday 12-5pm" We thought, "How can you have a hunt or 5 hours." So I called the parks and rec person and she verified that hunt would be first thing followed by a cook out and face painting and other games
Well we get there at 12 to learn the hunt would not be until 2pm. But eggs and kids were everywhere. everyone was wailing at little kids for not controlling themselves and at big kids for–well, not being able to contain themselves either. After an hour of this Kelley suggested that we make a run for it. Grabbing the eggs off the hidden far side of the park and continuing to walk home from there. Melvin thought the idea was genius and so we grabbed the kids hands and never turned back.
I wonder what the kids thought? We took this pic and then kept running!
well out of site, we relaxed for the walk home.
Thank you, Senator Obama for talking about the elephant in the room!
You can either ask "is this what any real leader would say?" or you can believe "this is what a real leader says!" Or you can disagree and think differently- and if you do, then at least ask yourself, what do I want a political leader to teach me about the election process?
AS far as Obama for President: this might be political suicide and it might be the unconventional innovative working out of couragous love.
I know it would be facile to expect that a presidential election be the only way for people to become reconciling and generous and imaginative Americans. But if the election process is not a practice toward these values, then our nation's leaders need to invent another way. 'Here's to trying!
...[Reverend Wright] contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
...But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality...
...A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.
This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them...
...The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation....
In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.
For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel...
We can do that.
But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.
That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.
This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.
This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.
This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.
I would not be running for President if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.
You do not become Senator, run a successful campaign of this sort, and graduate from Harvard Law School without being a leader. No, the real question is 'what kind of leader is he or will he be?' It not his leadership ability but Obama's perspectives and objectives that are on trial. Do they match? Can they be accomplished? Are they really what is needed for America and our world today?
Can we choose love over resignation? Who knows?
Can we choose reconciliation over condemnation? Who knows?
Can we choose expansive imagination over conserving rationalization? Who knows?
If not in the nation's presidential selection, then I hope, at least, that the election process becomes a generative practice that equips us to choose these things in our lives as citizens. Somebody who can lead us toward this way of living has my vote. I hope that he can keep it up, and that Obama's contenders will follow suit.
I am surprised that there are still so many growing opinions of the emerging church in the PC(USA). here's a conversation i had recently with a friend from seminary. he reached out on Facebook to ask for support info about emergent:
How's it going, my friend? I hope this Lenten season has given you ample time for reflection and renewal.
I'm wondering if you can help me with something. As you may know, I'm doing a two-year residency at [A PC(USA) church in a northern metropolis]. As part of our program, we have a weekly seminar, where we discuss various books we've been reading, watch and review sermons, and have the occasional lecture.
The Emergent movement has come up in a number of our conversations. I've been surprised to find that when it does, the tone is generally pretty hostile. As I'm sure you know, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the emergent church among those on the outside. I know just enough about the movement not to know very little, and have been unable to clarify things for my colleagues.
My question is, if you were to suggest two or three books of the many that are out there, what would they be? I want to recommend some for our reading list for next year. Something that addresses the theology would really be of interest here, but I also think that we should look at something more comprehensive--what does the emergent movement mean for christian ed, worship, community building, etc. I know that there are books on each of these, specifically. But since we are unlikely to read multiple books on the emergent church, are there books that address all of them? Would you recommend "The Emergent Manifesto of Hope," for instance?
Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.
My friend2:18pm Feb 27thgood to hear from you dude. 'Very common situation, I think that being realistic about where you can go with the whole group is helpful.
A couple questions: To get a read on what y'all need to read:
1. is Emergent being misunderstood more as charlatans or heretics?
2. from your fresh perspective, do folks need to be more convinced of emergent or missional thinking?
3. Is your church community open to learning new things and encountering the other or are are you looking for more of an apologetic to share how emergent works w/out implicated them?
This should help me a bit, hopefully i can help.
tMy friend3:22pm Feb 27thMy sense is that Emergent is misunderstood as a group of charlatans. I don't sense any fear of emergent theology or practices. I have heard, however, a characterization of the theology as "nothing new," "theology lite," "lacking depth." With that said, it's not my goal to convince people to identify as emergent, but I think they need to be convinced of its potential.
The church/pastors are open to learning new things. I think I am looking for an apologetic on how emergent works, to get some clarity. My concern about all this is that emergent has been dismissed in our conversations as a fad. Though I do not self-identify as "Emergent," I do think it will have an impact--on our denomination, on the Church--and for the better.
Does this make sense?
My Friend4:33pm Feb 27th
lots of sense! i think that emergence or missional theology will alway disappoint those looking to save/conserve a precedent. But like you, I am willing to engage the system with humility as an agent of imagination and hope.
I think that Ryan Bolger's "Emerging Churches" offers the best anecdotal and systematic approaches to understanding the phenomena, and Tony Jones' "Dispatches from the Emerging Frontier" offer the best description of the emergent verses "emergence" (differentiating the new styles from the new reasons of missional engagement in culture).
"Emerging theology" is so disparate that there is no way to pen down what a whole church group might enjoy reading. Here's three ideas: One book is "A Community Called Atonement" by Scott McKnight it gives an example of an emergent way of doing theology. A second book is on leadership and imagination by Tim Keel, "Intuitive Leadership." And a third is McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy that explains emergent theology from a frame of post-liberalism meets post-evangelicalism.
But my experience is that relationships and person stories are the best way to build sympathy and connectionallism between Presbyterians and Emergents. Try to find the local cohort, and try to get some emergent church peeps in your area to break bread with your colleagues.
As a singersongwriter the Artist's Way has opened up my creativity and my attention to details and God's hand in the world. I first read Julia Cameron's book, the Artist's Way, while in seminary taking a class called the Preacher and the Poet. The class, the book, and the friends i shared it with forever changed my posture in the world. The twelve lesson book creates a great way for folks to pay attention to the world around them and to act with imagination.
While Spiritual, the book is not overtly Christian. Our meetings will focus primarily on creativity, and spiritual integration with our neighbors. While I will lead as a follower of Jesus, and our meetings will include passages of Christian and Hebrew Scripture, we will also draw on Zen and Sufi ideas and practices. Anyone is welcome to join us.
I'll facilitate a group of us for nine weeks as we work at daily writing, reading texts of poetry and scripture, meditating, drawing, and visioning. The only assignments for the week will be to cover the chapters in Julia Cameron's book and her exercises of morning pages and artist date plus an added exercise of a weekly city walk.
Eve won the award for "most imaginative" last week in her pre-k... congrats
"Trust your intuition It's just like going fishing You cast your line And hope you'll get a bite But you don't need to waste your time Worrying about the market place Try to help the human race Struggling to survive its harshest night I'm gonna watch you shine Gonna watch you grow Gonna paint a sign So you'll always know As long as one and one is two There could never be a father Who loved his daughter more than I love you"- paul simon
I saw Paul Simon play this recently at the gershwin award for popular song at the library of congress. i saw it on PBS. amazing song!!!