Dancers protest church - seems like it should be a story from the Onion, sadly it's not. Todd Rhoades has some great thoughts, and pretty much puts into words what I'd been thinking since I first heard about the story. To summarize the story: for the past few years a congregation in Ohio has been staging protests every weekend in front of a local strip club, which included taking photos of the license plates of the club's patrons and posting the info on the web. This past weekend the strip club fought back by having some of the dancers plant themselves in front of the church, grilling burgers and holding signs like "Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing."
There are big issues surrounding the sex industry in this country, so I'm sympathetic to a congregation that is trying to do something about it, but at the same time, I can't help but be amused at the dancer's creative response.
As I've been thinking about "what would I do if I found strippers on the front lawn on a Sunday morning"? I'd like to think that in my very best moments (after my initial panic) I'd announce that we'll be having worship outside this morning with these ladies who have joined us, gotten some more hotdogs and hamburgers and turned the whole thing into a party. As I noted on facebook, "Somewhere along the line we've become allied with the Pharisees, instead of spending time with (as opposed to protesting) the people Jesus hung out with, AND we've forgotten that one of the key images Jesus uses again and again for the kingdom is that of a party! Sometimes we need to take a moral stand on issues, but maybe instead of a protest, we should offer a better party."
(Or you could try this).
At EmergingUMC, Matt Kelly takes a slight tangent off the recent article about clergy health, and asks the question, who is responsible for fostering an environment of unhealthy expectations around church. Eugene Cho also offers his take on "Death By Ministry." (In another tangent, one way to help foster personal happiness is to use your "extra" income towards memorial experiences rather than more stuff).
Fred Clark looks to sewers and storm drains as a possible answer to the current economic problems.
Seth Godin on "The Incredible Power of Slow Change."
Lifehacker suggests a list of foods that are cheaper to grow than buy. (I especially found the comments to be fascinating as one commentators suggest things like kiwi and shrimp (raised in a kiddie pool in the basement!?!) might also fall into this category).
The Most Beautiful Churches in America
Double-rainbow action in this week's Fox Trot.