I wish you could join us –



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A song that tired ears are waiting to hear (Announcement)

Hi friends - We're delighted to announce the publication of our new book The Seventh Story: Us, Them, and the End of Violence. Previously available only as an e-book, The Seventh Story is now a beautifully designed paperback, and can be purchased directly from the authors here.

The story we tell about the world shapes how we live. In a fable for grown-ups, presented alongside essays by Brian McLaren & Gareth Higgins, you'll examine six familiar stories that have repeated through history, which have taught us all how to dominate, fear, or withdraw from the world and the beautiful people in it. There is a Seventh Story, a path of openheartedness toward others, and reading this book will inspire you to look anew at the world and your neighbors in creating it. Facing fear, aggression, and violence with the strength to love, and change your story.

Click here to purchase the paperback, available now.

And click here to read more about the other part of this project, a children's book about "Us" and "Them".

We're certain that there's a better story waiting to be told about the world in which we live. Read The Seventh Story, and join the community stepping into a story of connection and courage.

Thanks friends - see you further up the road.

Gareth Higgins & Brian McLaren

PS: Here's what two followers of The Seventh Story tell us:

"...We were left with such a feeling of gratitude and respect for the hard wrought, and clearly joyful work you are engaged in...It is a song being sung that ears are yearning to hear.  I am less inclined to think that there is a fix, a "way out" of this entanglement, this global amnesia that we find ourselves in the throes of.  But there is a "way in"...and this is what your commitment to creating community, to forging a new narrative, to reaching toward a higher good and the healing of the separation that comes with this race into modernity, resources for us...our need for each other, for understanding, tolerance and connection, when so much around us seems to argue for our separateness, leaving us to cling to the buoys of our own entrenched and worn out stories/beliefs.    

Whether or not we are destined to plunge over the precipice, I think ultimately matters little as it relates to how we put ourselves into the world.  Either way it would seem there is only one sane thing to do...to share our love, compassion, our forgiveness and broken heartedness, with one another, and whatever else remains in this wonder-filled world, however long that may be.   Thank you for having your life's work committed to that, and to sharing it with us all." - Michael & Wendy Arbuckle, Asheville, NC

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What I Shared in Orlando

It was a special delight to be with the good people of the Metropolitan Community Churches this week in Orlando - and a special honor to speak about their 50th anniversary.

Here are slides of my presentation, including the words for the Lord's Prayer Chant:

mcc 50th

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A reader writes: Putting faith in a new language … vs. “stuck in bygone days”

A reader writes:

How do you live out the faith as inspired by Jesus, in community, when the local churches seem stuck in bygone days that either encourage hypocrisy by requiring people to say things they clearly neither understand or believe (when they have their children baptized) or seem content that their congregations are all drawing pensions, and lose people with passion for the cutting edge gospel because they don't trust new ways of reaching out eg social media.
I live in a tiny village and run a Day Nursery that I believe is a new kind of church. I give out five days a week and have for the last few years not gone to church on Sunday for various reasons.
My faith continues to inspire me to live a counter cultural lifestyle based on love. At times I feel lonely and isolated but with God you are never alone and I have Richard Rohr meditations and nature to feed my soul too.
You were the first voice to speak into my wilderness some years ago now and I see love in my responses at times that is not normal and I take as evidence of the Spirit living within me.
I have had more opportunities to share my faith since I stopped attending church than I did before.
How though, do we put the faith into a language that people will understand? The only answer that appears to work for me is to live it out through the care and love we shower upon the children and families of the Nursery but as soon as you enter any of the local churches you come face to face with another language that I find a barrier.
Maybe I need courage to continue to listen to the still small voice that I believe whispers to me all the time.

Yours in the search for the Jesus way of living life for all to be blessed,

Thanks for this note. I'm sure many will resonate. You capture the gap between a church speaking to itself, mainly about its past, and a world desperately in need of guidance for the future. As you suggest, the way of Jesus is ever-relevant, but just as new wine needs new wineskins, so the ever-new gospel needs ever-new language. The hard choice I think church leaders face: it is becoming decreasingly possible to massage the legacy church people with the language they find comforting and simultaneously make sense to people who have never lived in that subculture.
The good news is that people like you are making new spaces, whether in a preschool program or coffee shop, a summer camp or festival, an experimental "church for the unchurched" or an informal group of "two or three" friends. I trust that your words will inspire others to join in this important creative work ... and to stop wasting efforts on backward-looking groups that really don't want to be bothered.

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