Friday, October 30, 2009

StoryChicago is now hiStory...

Hats off to Ben Arment and everyone who collaborated on StoryChicago, an event designed to challenge and inspire all of us to do a better job of telling a better story. Job well done! Click HERE for some great pics from the event.

Story was broken up into two days. Day one had keynotes speakers sharing about...story. Day two had workshops on...story.

Here are some notable quotes from the event.

"The church is a rescue community. And everyone wants to reach people until you start reaching people." Ed Young

"We need to listen to people's stories and then customize a spiritual formation plan for them." Dave Gibbons

"When we are transparent about our weakness, there is a release of the power of the Holy Spirit...we need to develop a theology of suffering." Dave Gibbons

"We need to tell the story of God so that the hearer will want to be a detective and desire more." Chris Seay

"We thrive when we are on mission but we wither when we sink into institutionalism." Chris Seay

"We have lost our sense of shalom (the way things are supposed to be)." Nancy Beach

"The Gospel needs to be rooted in comedy and tragedy and wrapped in transformation." Nancy Beach

"Movies are high budget parables." Stacy Spencer

"A story is a character that wants something and overcomes conflict to get it." Donald Miller

"We have a relationship with the Bible that is strange. It is a collection of stories that we moralize. What if 5 minutes into a story we were telling on fishing someone asked 'what's in this story for me?' Or 'what does the fish represent?' People would hate us." Donald Miller

A story cannot be meaningful without conflict. But the average American sees 3000 ads a day telling us the opposite...and the church does the same thing. The reality is there was conflict in paradise. Before the fall, Adam was lonely. And God knew it and he still assigned him to name all of the animals. And it's not like Adam met her at a bar and just can't go out with her...she didn't exist!" Donald Miller

"The way we consume stories isn't books or movies, it's each other. You and I are setting the moral compass for each other. We are the story." Donald Miller

And that was just day one! There were many great speakers and interactions at the workshops on day two. Overall, this was a great first step in helping the church understand how to communicate and connect God's story and our. I am looking forward to how Story 2010 will . We need events like these to remind us that it is stories that will continue to shape us, move us and transform us all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Haiti and the ApParent Project

Our church is developing a strong relationship with a fledgling non-profit in Haiti called the ApParent Project. They work with orphans and many living in extreme poverty. By helping the poor, they are preventing more orphans.

This video gives you a window into the ministry and some of the startling statistics of the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere.

The ApParent Project from Corrigan Clay on Vimeo.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love... Create

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love talks about how creative people do not have to be doomed to suffer in order to be creative. She talks about how the renaissance did serious damage to creativity and has been killing off creative people in the last 500 years. She says that the shift away from the creative process being part of the divine to the human is too much responsibility for any one person to handle. While not a theologian, or probably a christian, she brings up creativity as something that is divinely given to us and is to be stewarded well as a gift.

It is a great thought. The renaissance did much damage to the creative spirit in and outside of the church. In the church, many creatives have been burned at the stake literally and figuratively because of the shift. Mystery gave way to reason and the right brain became dangerous. It is fun to see this moving the other way in the church but there is still a long way to go. Something repressed for 500 years needs to be nurtured back to health.

Here is the talk Elizabeth gave at TED earlier this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is the World Better off Without Religion?

That is the question posed on US News opinion blog. They are responding to a book by an atheist who seems to think that we do need religion after all. The author of the opinion blog closes with questions about religious wars and maybe we would be better off.

It seems like that is the new default answer for critics in the west. War, terrorism, other "isms", all stem from religion. Therefore, why not do away with them and then there would be world peace. Of course there is little discourse on the fact that the major religions actually do preach peace. Take religion out of the world and maybe what you are left with is simply Darwinian survival of the fittest. Why not? There really is moral reason to hold back. Just a thought.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Corn maze art is the latest to use high-tech designing to give an outlet for enthusiasm. This man is either brilliant or has too much time on his hands...or both.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

News + Humor + Electronica = Fun

If you haven't ever checked out auto-tune the news, you need to watch it just for the sheer creativity. Pretty amazing how comedy and technology continue to progress.