I had the wonderful opportunity of being included in Mike Rohde’s new Sketchnote Workbook. This book is both beautifully illustrated and really helpful for learning how to use sketchnotes for all the different aspects of you life.
Awhile back I had an article published over at the Antioch Session blog on sketchnote preaching. If you’re interested in knowing more about sketchnotes and how to use it for your writing and preaching this is meant to be an introduction to the whole thing.
I opened my notebook and I began to draw the images that were floating in my head. I drew people. I drew lines and arrows. I drew symbols to represent texts, record players, networks, remix, critical mass and all the parts of my dissertation. When it was done I had before me my very first – of many to come – illustration of the “convergent model” – which is basically a renewal model for faith communities that want to draw on their tradition within new cultures while being “participatory.” In a matter of about 10 minutes, I went from not being able to explain succinctly or clearly what my model was or how it worked, to not only being able to explain it but show it with some very basic illustrations.
We have been reading through Parker Palmer’s “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward and Undivided Life,” at our church lately and are loving it.
Here are the links for chapter three:
Quotes, Scripture and Discussion Notes for chapter 3 here.
Download sketchnotes for chapter 3 here.
I finished my dissertation, “A Convergent Model of Hope: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture,” last November.
But it is finally rolling out so that it can be shared with others.
I know it’s the case that dissertations aren’t always thought of as super interesting things to read but let’s not underestimate how interesting a dissertation can be to read especially when it references topics such as contextual theology, early Quakers such as Margaret Fell, Jay-Z, Bob Dylan, remix and Freedom Friends Church! I know I am biased, but I think this little stack of papers glued together has the potential to be inspiring for a lot of folks out there.
Here is the abstract:
In the wake of modernity, faith traditions face the challenge of how to adapt within changing cultures, new scientific discoveries, and other pressing realities that bring about crisis. Often the response to revitalization is to eschew tradition altogether or rigidly cling to it. The “convergent model of renewal” proposed here demonstrates how renewal can conserve tradition while being innovative. The model draws on missiology and participatory cultural studies, enabling the construction of a theory that is fully contextual and fosters participation.
In order to construct the model, I draw on the work of philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, missiologist Stephen Bevans and cultural studies scholar Henry Jenkins. MacIntyre argues that traditions are historically extended arguments that are socially embodied within living communities. At their best, they overcome internal and external crises by drawing on the resources already within their tradition. Bevans emphasizes that all theology is contextual, and that changing contexts necessitate changing theology. Bevan’s synthetic model illustrates how practitioners within a context can be in a dialogue with tradition, culture and praxis. Henry Jenkins demonstrates that within participatory culture, practitioners remix original texts in order to create something new, they work to create authentic experiences, they produce what they want to consume, they share their collective intelligence in ways that are decentralized, and in doing so they embody an alternative social community.
The convergent model draws on these three thinkers to offer a way forward for tradition. Tradition is the only grounds for innovation, context is the catalyst for change and participatory culture provides the practices for holding these two things together. Two examples are presented that demonstrate how the model works: early Quakerism and Freedom Friends Church in Salem, Oregon. Both of these groups remix original texts of their tradition with new texts in a way that innovates while maintaining a continuity with the past, as they resist a passive culture of consumerism in order to foster an authentic subjective experience, drawing on many voices an open work of shared power and knowledge is formed, and by doing so they embody an alternative participatory community.
I am still working on making it more widely available and less expensive but for now if you have access to an academic library you can get a hold of free as a .pdf through ProQuest.
I would love to come and do a workshop, retreat or other teaching around the topics covered in my research. Please contact me if that is of interest to you.
I was given the wonderful opportunity to speak at the American Friends Service Committee’s Corporate Gathering this past Saturday on the subject of Zacchaeus, Single-Stories and Bayard Rustin’s “Angelic-Troublemakers.” If you’re interested in reading that message, you can jump over to their Acting in Faith Blog and read it there:
Movement by Rumi
If a tree could move from place to place,
It would escape the pain of the ax.
And if the sun and moon were set in stone,
how could they spread their light?
How bitter would the great Euphrates, Tigris, and
Oxus rivers become,
if they were stagnant as a lake?
If air is confined in a well, it turns foul:
see what loss is suffered from inertia.
But when the water of the ocean rose high
in the clouds,
it was delivered from bitterness and became fresh and
As I look out the window today, I can’t help but notice the presence fog-thick sky resting upon the ground. Fog is a good metaphor for those places in life where we find ourselves uncertain, unclear, and just afraid to face the unknown. But the presence of Fog does not have to be seen negatively. It has a way of slowing us down, and if it’s thick enough it can even bring our wandering lives to a halt. Even here though, we can learn to move through it and break the inertia that fog often brings. Continue reading
This past Sunday we talked about imperfection and the importance of being average and ordinary. Jesus’ work in Galilee reveals his desire to “build an alliance of backwards people” or as another person put it, Jesus worked to create the “fellowship of the disqualified.” We put so much pressure on ourselves and others to be perfect, successful, to look beautiful, keep up certain appearances, that we avoid our own imperfections to painful consequences. This avoidance is not only dangerous for our spiritual lives, it keeps us from being fully present to others in their weakness. Continue reading