The Locus and Economy of Community (The Transfiguration of Place, Part II)

The following is Part II of a talk I gave on April 2nd at the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village. The full talk is entitled “The Transfiguration of Place: An Orthodox Christian Vision of Localism.” Read Part I. There are six parts in all. Let’s think about this effect for a moment: What if transportation became so expensive that you…

The Politics of Hobbits (The Transfiguration of Place, Part I)

The following is the introductory section of a talk I gave last week at the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village. The full talk is entitled “The Transfiguration of Place: An Orthodox Christian Vision of Localism.” There are six parts in all. There is a mythical place where many of us, including myself, have often fantasized about moving to. In it,…

The Gospel’s Good Soil

In my experience, adding new members to the mission is best accomplished by keeping current members healthy. I think our mission has come to believe that ultimately it is God who plants new seeds in our mission, and that our responsibility is to provide good soil. We can get the word out there, we can advertise and announce our presence, but, generally, the folks…

A Localist Moment in Emmaus, reprise

I wrote last week regarding the proposed opening of a swingers’ club (to be named “The Vault”) on Main Street in Emmaus, at the very heart of the borough. Last night, to consider the matter, the borough’s zoning hearing board met at the Emmaus Community Park (an aptly named venue for this event), rather than their usual borough hall location. Suffice it to say…

A Localist Moment in Emmaus

It seems that “quaint” Emmaus (the word the newspapers all use to describe our borough) has been targeted as a potential home for a swingers’ club, to be situated right on downtown Main Street. The fellow behind the club claims that it’s not going to be a “sex club,” that they’re going to be more innocuous than the Freemasons (will they also have funny…

The Theological Significance of Political Liberty

While attending this conference this weekend, I happened in some of my offhand remarks during one of the discussion sessions to tip my political hand as “localist / libertarian-leaning.” Of course, questions of ecology and how to work with God’s creation eventually do lead to economic and political issues, though I felt the conference successfully mostly steered clear of such things. (My impression of…

Confessions of a Localist in Training

I was recently sent this note by a young lady who listened to the first episode of the Roads From Emmaus podcast: …I listened to your first “Roads From Emmaus” podcast and instead of joy I got a guilty nausea in my stomach. The ideal “me” in my head agrees with you, we should reach out to our neighbors and community. I’ll admit I…

Raising Humanity

The following is an excerpt from the lecture on evangelism which I will be giving in Bethlehem this coming Sunday. This represents some of my first articulated thinking on localist themes with regard to evangelism. Another aspect to the question of location in evangelism is perhaps a bit less obvious, and that is the need for us to foster human community in the places…