I've got lots of blogposts percolating right now, but I'm still in re-entry mode from the conference, so those will have to wait until next week. In the meantime: NEXT Church Blog Roundup -- NEXT Church
Here is a roundup of posts about the NEXT Church National Gathering in Charlotte. These give you an excellent taste of what that gathering was like. Presbyterians, mark your calendars for March 31-April 1, 2014 in Minneapolis.
Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling -- Aerogramme Writers' Studio
Learn from the masters:
2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.
Left, Behind: The Hidden Progressive Christian Community of Texas -- Texas Observer
This is a story that needs to be told more. At a recent rally in against budget cuts to family-planning services and against the proposed sonogram law in Texas:
In the shade of the Confederate Soldiers monument, a woman stopped midsentence and turned to her friend. “Did they just say he’s a minister?” Behind her someone muttered, “Why would a Christian be speaking here?”
Why was it so hard to believe? Rigby is one of the most outspoken progressive pastors in Texas, but he’s not the only one. Last fall more than 350 religious leaders, most of them Christian, signed a Texas Freedom Network (TFN) pledge supporting women’s access to contraception. Some of the same clergy, and their congregants, advocate policies supporting the poor, immigrants, and gays and lesbians; oppose the death penalty; and draw clear connections between their faith and protection for the environment.
“I think the religious Left unquestionably exists,” says TFN’s Ryan Valentine, who coordinated the pro-contraception pledge. “It’s just never been as well organized or as prominent in policy fights in Texas as the Right.”
I want to write more about this next week as it relates to the church, but in the meantime:
In fact, a series of studies by psychologists Cameron Anderson and Adam Galinsky showed that when people felt powerful, they preferred riskier business plans with bigger potential rewards to more conservative plans, divulged more information, were more trusting during negotiations, chose to "hit" more often during a game of blackjack, and were even more likely to engage in unprotected sex during a one-night stand.
In other words: you are likely to be even more creative than you were when you felt relatively powerless.
When you are in power, you can be more innovative because you feel more comfortable and secure, and less sensitive to, or constrained by, what other people think of you.
Some of those behaviors lead to positive outcomes, as I'll talk about next week. But I'm also thinking about "too big to fail" and the incredible risks Wall Street took with our economy. These studies suggest these bankers were influenced by the myth of their own invincibility.
And now, three Sabbath-related posts:
Making Our Peace with Time: A Review of the Book Good Busy -- Englewood Review of Books
Keeping the Sabbath... Radical -- Mirabai Starr, Huffington Post
Why I Keep the Sabbath -- Jana Riess, Religion News Service