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Blog: Where We Write

Pandemic Dreams

By Maria French 

Everywhere you turn it seems people are talking about pandemic.  And for good reason, I suppose.  Sometimes it is talked about in the context of it being temporary.  Others are talking about it in ways that suggest a comprehensive paradigm shift.  Others speak of it in terms of its grave effect on global economic systems, as well as exposing the unsustainable growth fetishes of Capitalism.  Still others have used it to track unimaginable and ironic fashion trends.  And we would be remiss not to mention the transfer of all not digital activity to full digitalization mode.  At H&Co our ears, of course, have been to the ground when it comes to churches and faith communities and their responses to continued lockdown.

There is simply so much to take in.  So much to evaluate.  So much to think through and re-think through. 

British style magazine, LOVE, came out with their bi-annual journal last spring entitled ...

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Emperors of One Idea

By Barry Taylor

“When Darwin or Einstein proclaim theories that modify our ideas, it is a triumph of science. We do not say that there is another defeat for science, because its old ideas have been abandoned...Religion (should) face change in the same spirit...”

A.N. Whitehead

Whitehead’s quote taps into an important question that we need to ask ourselves: Why in the face of such an evident need for reframing the way we speak about religion is it so difficult for us to let go of old ideas?

Part of the answer might lie in the fact that many people don’t think they have ‘ideas’ about God. They think they’ve happened upon an unchangeable truth and therein is the challenge. It is a difficult notion to overcome. Many of us have been schooled in forms of religion built around crystallized dogmas that are presented to us as the truths we need to embrace in order to be the ‘right kind’ of Christian.

But as the writer Adam Phillips...

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More Than Lip Service: Is the Church Essential Work?

By Maria French

What makes the church more than a self-help option?  In the name of ‘essential work,’ what are the categories of community the church provides for its congregants that are integrally Christian?

I don’t ask these questions because I know the answers. 

I ask them because I think they must be asked and deeply considered. 

If you are keeping up on the news across the U.S. when it comes to church openings (or non-openings) you will find that many pastors have fought against the continued government mandates not to assemble for the purposes of worship.  There has been outrage, citing infringement on their first amendment rights, calling for churches to be seen as essential work as well as an invoking of mental health statistics among church goers who no longer have the comfort and community of their in-person Sunday gatherings.

There has been a distinct ‘us vs. them’ narrative when it comes to churches re-opening and...

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What LIEs in BeLIEf

By Maria French

           “What do you believe, Maria?” is a question I am asked more than you can imagine. 

Only the question sounds more like this…

            “Do you believe that Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead?”

            “Do you believe in hell?” 

            “Do you think Jesus was kidding when he said, ‘I am the way, the truth

             and the life’?

There was a time in my life when I took the bait; hook, line and sinker!

I’ve learned the hard way, more than once, that these are questions I will never answer for people.  And I don’t mean theologically.  I literally mean that I will not physically open my mouth and attempt to answer them.  

In reality, we need to take the...

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