We are not influencers: at least not yet
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dawn Léger
1d ago
Coach is a common word these days. I even call myself a “spiritual director and coach” on my professional website. Coaching is a valuable skill. I have benefited a great deal from coaching so, again, not against someone calling themselves a deconstruction coach. Some people need that one-to-one regular support from a coach, just like I have, and I’m all for it. Once this process of leaving traditional churches because of ideological and political differences got the label, “deconstruction,” a whole industry started to take off. Courses, coaches, and communities sprung up and we have a raft of ..read more
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Dear Grandma, we need you at church.
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dottie Oleson
6d ago
In this recent season of ministry (both at Harbor and in-person), a theme has emerged: we need relationships in different generations in order to heal and grow.  Over the weekend, I told my 83-year-old grandma we need her at church. Let me explain. I have been the interim pastor at a new church in Orange County, California, that primarily hosts folks in their 20s and 30s. While there are younger children and some folks in their 40s and 50s, it is obvious this is a “young church.” Since I have started my role there, my grandma comes on Sundays and she sticks out like a sore thumb. She is a ..read more
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An ode to chess
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Jon Mathieu
2w ago
It’s sort of like my spiritual practice First of all, I understand that a chess article while the world burns is like a Met Gala while bombs are being dropped. There are agonizing horrors happening right now, cries for justice rising up and going unanswered. I don’t want to minimize that, but still I think we need self-care, we need recreation, we need small ways to find and claim and clutch joy. For me, one of those ways is chess. So perhaps to convert you to chess life, or perhaps just to entertain you with a display of nerdiness, I wanted to share with you this love letter to the game of ch ..read more
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Art as Co-creation with God
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dawn Léger
1M ago
This week I (Dawn) am in Toronto presenting a paper at an academic conference about my PhD research so I thought for this week’s blog I’d offer a version of part of my paper. My research is about the spirituality of artists, how every single one of us is creative because we are made in God’s image.  In this dumpster fire of a world, why should we invest time in something as frivolous as making art? How is taking pictures on your cell phone, making a dent in the human scale of destruction we are participating in. Making art could be considered escapism: wandering with a cell phone instead ..read more
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Revolutionary belonging and the problem of couples
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dottie Oleson
1M ago
Last week, we began our series studying the book of Acts in the New Testament (written about 80s or 90s CE) that traces the story of the early church from Jesus’ heavenly ascent to well into Paul’s ministry. As Jon wrote about and shared last week, we are using scholar Willie James Jennings’s commentary on Acts as a significant pillar of our studies (he is so brilliant and also we are finding we need plenty of time to metabolize his work). Jennings understands the book of Acts to be a portrayal of revolution: the Spirit of God disrupting in the midst of empire and diaspora. One of the most sig ..read more
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Are you lying down? Tricia Hersey’s Rest is Resistance
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dawn Léger
1M ago
“I hope you are reading this while laying down!” ― Tricia Hersey, Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto As children, we learn so much about work from watching our parents, guardians, and other adults in our lives. Many of the values they hold about work they teach us through school. I grew up under the care of a single parent working 40-60 hours a week in a community of fishers, foresters, and farmers. 9-5 jobs were for city people. We woke up with the sun and fed, milked, lifted, cut, hauled, moved, and operated until the moon was up.  You may already be familiar with the Nap Bishop, Tricia H ..read more
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There are people out there who get us (and you)
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dottie Oleson
1M ago
At Harbor we partner with two denominations, the UCC and the PC(USA). Both partners support us with grant money, coaching, resources, and more. For the last two years, I have been fortunate to be a part of the PC(USA)’s 1001 New Worshiping Community (NWC) cohort . The cohort is filled with other faith leaders reimagining faith gatherings across the United States. Folks are doing all types of creative expressions of worship. Once a year the cohort, which meets weekly on Zoom, gets together for a few days in person. This year the gathering was in New Orleans.  A word on hospitality from den ..read more
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Memento Mori
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dawn Léger
2M ago
Eternal life or a good death? We are not here to build nests. The birds can do that. Rather, we are here to take our nests and make of them homes, vibrant with the qualities of kindness, order, and stability. We are not here to amass hoards. The ants can do that. Rather, we are here to take those stockpiles and release them into the energy of generosity and compassion. And we are not to live forever but to die well, releasing to the atmosphere courage, dignity, and trust. –Cynthia Bourgeault, from The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart Over the ..read more
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Hagar the Hero
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Dottie Oleson
2M ago
At our Thursday Harbor gatherings, we are in the middle of a Lenten series called “The Wilderness of Faith: Hope and solidarity in Lent.” The first 3 weeks of our series were spent looking at the story of Hagar in Genesis 16 and 21 through the lens of womanist theology (more on womanist theology in Dawn’s blog post). Many of us were first introduced to Hagar as a side character, almost a disruption, to the main story of Abraham and Sarah. Patriarchal and colonial interpretations of Genesis 16 and 21 taught us that this is Abraham and Sarah’s story—Hagar is just a prop. Womanist theology, on th ..read more
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Civil rights hero Bernard Lafayette
Harbor Online Community Blog
by Jon Mathieu
3M ago
This post is from a guest blogger, Harborista Jim Melson. Jim is founder and executive director of Cornelius Corps, an organization in Richmond, VA, committed to a shared journey of racial justice/reconciliation and spiritual formation. As we come to the end of this Black History Month, I want to remind us that Black history is American history, that the contribution of Black Americans goes far beyond the few names that are most well-known and popular among white Americans. With that in mind, I want to lift up the witness of Dr. Bernard Lafayette. His commitment to and practice of nonviolence ..read more
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