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First Sunday At Camas Friends

Last Tuesday we landed at our new house in Camas Washington.  I came by car with our good friend James LaCroix, and Emily and L arrived by airplane. Fortunately enough, all our things transported by ABF U-Pack It also arrived on Tuesday mostly undamaged.  We spent the week unpacking, getting to know Camas and the greater Portland area and enjoying the company of James and Rachel (who he proposed to while he was up here).

The road trip up was really great. On Sunday, James and I stopped in San Francisco and stayed with Chad and his wife, Quaker friends of mine. On Monday morning we went into the mission district of San Francisco and saw the newly built Friends School there, one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. It’s inside an old Levi-Strauss building. Then we drove for 8 hours and stopped in Eugene to stay with friends from Fuller. The trip was fun and made better by having a companion along the way.

This past Sunday was our first with the church and it was wonderful. The clerk of the meeting suggested that since it was our first we could do more a of “get to know you” type service so I took about 15 min and answered the question “How did you get here?” I talked about a little of my upbringing, some of my faith journey, and some of the passions I have. Then I asked the congregation to answer this question as well. It was wonderful to have so many people respond – I think this part of the service went almost 25 min. A number of people talked about how they found Camas Friends and the love and support they received there, others discussed their deep committment to the Quaker tradition and desire to be a part of a community that’s not simply “generic Evangelical,” and everyone seemed to be genuinuely happy to be a part of this church. We felt really welcomed and and glad to finally be here.

I’ve moved most of my stuff into the office here and have unpacked my books and setup shop (though I do need some serious organization to still take place). This is only my second full day in the office so I’m still learning a ton. I had a great conversation today with the previous pastor of the congregation, Caryl Menkhaus, we (, cable internet was installed yesterday, I’ve had many wondeful cups of coffee in the past 8 days, we’re training a new secretary for the office (who will also be doing some online things for us) and I’m working on my first teaching for Sunday. We definitely miss all our friends back home (Pasadena and Ohio) but feel the transition is going well so far.

Blog Entries

GiL Video: Road Trip To Camas Memoir #1

Road Trip Memoir #1 from wess on Vimeo.

I’m on the way to Camas Washington with our good friends James LaCroix. Our first stop from Pasadena was San Francisco where we crashed with some friends. In the morning we hung out in the mission district, saw the new San Francisco Friends School (amazing!), had great coffee at Four Barrels, and ate burritos at Pancho Villa. Then this afternoon we drove for 8 hours up to Eugene. Tomorrow morning we arrive in Camas and will meet Emily and L there.

Blog Entries Reviews The Cultural

My friend Rhett Smith asked me on twitter yesterday where he should start if he wanted to get into some of Žižek’s writings. There are a few different places to start because he has such a huge corpus and covers a variety of topics. For instance the different areas of his work you can dive into are:

  1. Christianity
  2. Politics
  3. Psychoanalysis
  4. Film Criticism
  5. Hegalian Philosophy

He was interested in learning more about his use of Psychoanalysis, which is almost solely based on Jacques Lacan’s work. Here are my recommendations on this particular subject, if you’d like to chime in about the others please feel free ((all these links have embedded referral codes in them to Powell’s independent bookstore in Portland Oregon. I strongly support local bookstores and hope you will too. If you purchase these books through these links I also receive a little  kickback from the sale)):

Finally, If you’re interested in getting books that cover the four main pillars of Žižek’s thought: Hegel, Lacan, Marx and Christianity then I highly recommend the four volume: The Essential Zizek: The Complete Set (the Sublime Object of Ideology, the Ticklish Subject, the Fragile Absolute, the Plague of Fantasies).

Blog Entries Green Practices Quaker The Theological

GiL Video: Resistance and Simplicity: Reflections On Swimming Upstream

Resistance and Simplicity from wess on Vimeo.

In this video I discuss some of the questions I have around using words like “simplicity” when it comes to living out the Gospel in a consumer culture. With a nod to early Friends history, John Woolman, and some contemporary examples of the greening of capitalism, I argue that we need to form practices of resistance to these influences rather than assume there is any neutral space we can stand outside its influence. This is a call to swim upstream, rather than get out of the water. At the end I share one practice my wife and I have been working to do this year, we have decided to not buy new things. I’d love to hear your ideas and your own practices of resistance.

Other posts in this series: