The Public Isolation Project

Art these days. There’s the urine on display at MoMA, and naked models covered in meat. But my buddy Adam alerted me to a project from Oregon that involves trapping a young woman named Cristin Norine in a glass room room for 30 days. For the entire month of November, Nordine will have no human […]

On not obacerating myself

Whew, my stint at a regular blogger for the CENTURY Blog has come to a (regularly scheduled) end. It was lovely, but by the final days of the two+ month partnership I did feel my blethering had become too churchy and pastor-focused. Come January, I’ll begin a different but related stint with another great organization […]

On the blissful insanity of reading for two hours every day

In a recent Presbyterian Outlook guest editorial, pastor Roy W. Howard argues that pastors should read books for two hours each day. Howard, a friend of mine and former student of Fred Craddock, received such advice in seminary. Craddock told his students, often to their amazement writes Howard, that as “pastors they must set aside […]

Where are the church social media policies?

also posted at the CENTURY Blog The church is not known for responding quickly to cultural change. But really: almost seven years after Facebook launched, with thousands of pastors using Twitter, and NPR running stories on how Facebook and texting may break up marriages, I figured many churches, regional bodies and even denominations would have developed […]

Anti-bullying — there’s an app for that

also found at CENTURY Blog Could an iPhone app help address teen bullying? Could a website connect abused children to help? MTV and its A Thin Line campaign think so. Among other things, the campaign asks youth to share their experiences via the app or on the site, and then other users vote as to whether anyone […]

More than a movie about Facebook

(also posted at CENTURY Blog) Rarely do I see a film when it first comes out, but I’m very glad I chose to see The Social Network on its box-office-dominating opening weekend. It was brilliant — a fantastic script by Aaron Sorkin, skillfully directed by David Fincher. It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse […]

Facebook rules for pastors

Also posted at the CENTURY Blog “Should I post or should I not?” I ask myself this when I’m thinking of posting a particularly snarky religion-related Facebook status update that would entertain my old seminary friends, go over my high school friends’ heads and unsettle some members of my congregation. I use Facebook daily in […]

Social media blackout

(Also posted at the CENTURY Blog.  To get some discussion going over there, I’ve disabled comments on this post and invite you to comment at the new Christian Century website.) Last week, students at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania gave up instant messaging, Facebook and Twitter—not by choice but by Provost Eric […]

Stories from the ELCA

(Also posted on the CENTURY Blog) On the drive home yesterday I heard a beautiful piece from Minnesota Public Radio, reported by Sasha Aslanian with context, depth and emotion. She told the story of Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart, partnered lesbians who will be added to the ELCA roster of ordained clergy after a “rite of […]