The Resilience of Refugees (And Mommy Groups)

A young family made it to Chicago from Aleppo, Syria, after years of terror and flight and, surely, despair. Lawyers and non-profits and churches and a mommy group all played a role. The law is resilient. The scene at O’Hare airport when the family arrived was lawyer-heavy. About a dozen rectangular folding tables pushed together […]

The Weekly Email Newsletter Is Almost Perfect. Almost.

We are relying entirely on a weekly email newsletter to share¬†information with our youth and parents. We have a crack team of communications pros at the church who format it, pulling together various threads that the youth ministry staff post to our Slack channel. The signup for the newsletter is on our website, and the […]

When The Costs Outweigh The Benefits

If you’re the one holding up the line, the stick in the spokes jamming the process, either through inadequate experience or study or attention, be annoyed. Pay more attention. Be better next time. Once you’re better, though, don’t be satisfied. Clocking along to a step-by-step exercise is not the fish we need you frying. Do […]

My Last First Thing

Tonight our Confirmation students take part in the annual homelessness immersion experience, where they spend about 18 hours navigating streets and shelters with only what they can carry before sleeping on a cold gym floor. It’s an experience unlike anything most have done before, and it’s my first time at it too. I started this […]

I’m A Slow Learner

We took our monthly committee meeting agenda down to the studs. The last 12 months have seen the gradual assembly of an infrastructure supported by reports of activity, both immediately past and upcoming, given mostly by staff, met mostly by nodding heads. So last night we experimented with skipping the reports. I asked at the […]

Always Double Down On 11?

Architect of Donald Trump’s refugee ban, Stephen Miller, said this over the weekend in response to the eruption of resistance that ban has touched off since it was announced Friday: “Any time you do anything hugely successful that challenges the failed orthodoxy, you’re going to see protests. In fact, if nobody’s disagreeing with what you’re […]

Show Your Work Sunday

Note: in an attempt to get better at writing curriculum, I will be sharing pieces I write or compile here for the sake of feedback and sharing. Use anything here you like. Object to anything here you don’t like.¬† This week’s Confirmation talk is about the Holy Spirit. My go-to for these talks has been […]