Greetings, friends - old and new!
I'm grateful to you for stopping by. I hope you'll find a lot of help and inspiration here at this site.
It's hard to believe the fall has come and gone. It was a great end to a great year - and although I'm a little tired (I've been in 20 countries and who knows how many states this year), I'm grateful for so many new friends and good experiences.
After returning from Latin America, I began my duties as board chair for Sojourners/Call to Renewal (sojo.net). I believe that this excellent organization has a crucial role to play in our nation and world at this time, and it's a privilege to be involved with them.
My travels this fall took me to Kansas, Minnesota, Indiana, New Brunswick, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania in October. I had two opportunities to preach in pulpits where Dr. King preached ... quite an awe-inspiring experience.
My November-December schedule included gatherings in Seattle, Nashville, San Francisco, Loma Linda, Ventura, Tampa, Little Rock and Chicago. It brings a smile to my face just to think of the wonderful people I met, and the range of churches and organizations I was invited to address: Pentecostal, Methodist, Episcopal, Native American, Mennonite, Baptist, Presbyterian, Adventist, interdenominational.
Two special treats - I've been back to Cedar Ridge (crcc.org) several times (to speak, or just to be a normal member of the congregation), and had the chance to meet with some emergent cohorts (emergentvillage.com). The work of emergent continues to deepen andexpand, as do the quality of relationships and depth of reflection and conversation taking place.
In terms of writing, I've been getting good reports on the impact The Secret Message of Jesus is having - especially how well it is being received in discussion groups. As I had hoped, the book is proving to create "safe space" for diverse groups that include Christians and nonChristians, seekers and believers, the "spiritual but not religious" and seminarians.
The sequel to Secret Message is nearing completion. We've decided to change titles. We're dropping "Jesus and the Suicide Machine" for a number of reasons, and the new title is (still tentative ...) "Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and the Revolution of Hope." It will be out either late 07 or early 08.
Also, my translation of Acts (part of "The Voice" project) is available, and Luke will be available soon. It's gratifying to hear of the warm reception the project is receiving. I know it was a profoundly enriching experience for me to be involved with this project.
From mid-December 14 to mid-January, Grace and I will be taking a vacation - a needed rest after a challenging year. Please be patient if emails take a little longer to answer.
After vacation, I look forward to visits to Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Georgia, Texas, San Diego, and Oregon. I'll also be going to Alberta, Canada, and Australia before the arrival of Spring.
Also, many of you know of my decision not to accept speaking engagements in 2008, but instead to help lead a ten-city speaking tour - a Friday-Saturday gathering that I believe will be truly unique and remarkable. Plans are developing, and we'd love your input and involvement. Check out the link to request more information, and expect a list of cities to be announced in early 2007.
Shortly after the new year, we'll be inviting people to sign up for a
regular e-newsletter. Stay tuned!
People often ask me what I'm reading. You'll find a list of some of my favorite books of 2006 here on the site, along with a lot of other interesting stuff.
A new article I wrote called "A Reading of John 14:6" is available as a "thank you" gift for supporting emergentvillage.com. Go to the site, make a contribution to this worthy cause, and Tony Jones will send you the article.
Thanks to all of you who keep me in your prayers. I need them, and feel the strength they bring. I thank God for the path to which I have been called, and for the companions I have on the journey. May you experience the beauty of God's truth and goodness each day this winter!