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The Daily Voice
Author: host Created: 10/13/2008 6:48 PM RssIcon
The Daily Voice blog explores Christian education in progressive congregations. Archives of our daily email newsletter will be posted here each weekday morning. Use the various tools to the left to see posts older than 2 weeks.
By host on 11/27/2009 7:00 AM

Dear God,

waves lapping up on the beachIt’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am bombarded from every side by advertisements urging me to spend, spend, spend…the kids are home from school…the calendar is full…church activities, school concerts, volleyball games, Christmas pageant, sleepovers and more…there are six loads of laundry waiting…my daughter wants to go shopping…snow is on its way…there are bills to pay…and worries about whether there is enough money to pay them…and then there will be additional bills that Christmas shopping will create…the dog wants outside…I am feeling overwhelmed…I’m tired…my son wants to go to the library…there is grocery shopping to be done…and meals to be fixed…every day…the dog wants back in…our annual letter needs to be written and printed and folded and stamped and mailed…and I’ve agreed to take on another responsibility…what was I thinking…my best friend has moved…to another state…and I miss her a lot…the cat wants to help me type…when did Christmas become less about the Christ child and more about shopping...the car’s oil needs to be changed…the dog wants to go for a walk…there are 12 years of photos waiting to be put into albums…and then there are things that I want to do…

By host on 11/26/2009 7:00 AM

Here at Different Voice, we are thankful for you, our readers and subscribers! We thank for your support and input. We are also thankful for the many ways that each one of you is in ministry in God's world.

Happy Thanksgiving from Tim and Sally!    

By host on 11/23/2009 2:48 PM

This week we are fine-tuning some changes for our daily emails. During this time, we are sending out articles from our archives. We invite you to spend some time browsing through our previous blogs. You never know what you might find!

~Sally and Tim

By host on 11/20/2009 7:00 AM

No worries!“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25, NRSV)

After saying these words, Jesus further explains that, just as God feeds the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, God will care for human beings. Don’t worry; God knows what you need.

By host on 11/19/2009 7:00 AM

Letter to my Daughter book coverWhen I first noticed Letter to My Daughter at the bookstore, there were three things that tempted me to purchase it. First of all, I was attracted to the cover; it is quite colorful. (I realize this may sound shallow, but after all, that’s the purpose of cover art, to get us to take a closer look. In this particular case, it worked!) Secondly, the title intrigued me. I have a daughter. I am a daughter. Thirdly, the author of Letter to My Daughter is Maya Angelou, a woman I admire and respect.

As you’ve probably surmised, I did in fact buy Letter to My Daughter. Since I had high expectations, I was almost afraid to read it, for fear of being disappointed. It was in my “to be read” pile for quite awhile, but I finally gave in. I was not disappointed.

By host on 11/18/2009 7:00 AM

Summer of 2010 may seem far away, but to an avid cyclist it's only 248 days until the start of RAGBRAI®, the world's largest bike ride. Some 25,000 cyclists from all over the world come to Iowa and pedal their way across the state. Next year's ride will be held July 25-31, 2009...and I really need to start my training before long!

So why in the world am I telling you about RAGBRAI® in a Christian education-related email? Because it's a great opportunity to...

  • meet lots of interesting people (and this is definitely not an understatement)
  • care for your body (1000 miles of riding = around 50,000 calories burned!)
  • enjoy a unique form of outdoor tourism (Corn. Corn. Soybeans. Corn.)
  • engage in long conversations (gotta do something besides look at corn)
  • eat a lot of homemade pie ('ll burn it off!)
  • build community between your congregation members
  • invite non-church friends to join you for a fun week
  • and even meet other progressive Christians educators. RAGBRAI® doesn't usually have many church-affiliated teams (the few I've run into are often from conservative seminaries or Christian colleges), but my congregation's team would welcome you with open arms!
By host on 11/17/2009 7:00 AM

The web makes it very easy for people to do a bit of good each day. Sites like The Hunger Site have been encouraging people for years to just click on a button each day to donate a bit of rice to impoverished people. Some churches urge all of their members to use as their search engine, because doing so can generate revenue for the church or for another organization the church supports. Sites like these are proliferating rapidly as nonprofit organizations try to reach new audiences by blending a bit of education with a simple-to-do action and the power of social networks.

The latest of these sites to cross my path multiple times is Help From Home, which provides information about websites devoted to making a difference and ways to take action in as little as one minute. Frequently, the actions involve such low-effort tasks as digitally adding your signature to a petition, tweaking your email signature, or taking part in a project that uses your idle computer time to process data. In other words, these actions are gateway actions; they introduce people to issues of concern with the hope that people will gradually become more and more interested in the cause. A term has of course developed for this type of social action: slacktivism.

By Different Voice on 11/16/2009 7:00 AM

Going off on a tangent. Chasing rabbit trails. Veering off course. Whatever the terminology, all teachers are familiar with the reality that discussions often get off topic. What's a teacher to do when that happens? Go with the flow, ignore the off-topic comments, force the conversation back to the main topic, or something else entirely? Knowing how to deal with tangents is a skill that is acquired with experience.

Sometimes, tangents take the conversation in a more serious or personal direction, such as when a youth group begins to open up and share personal stories and raw emotions. When that happens, the wise teacher may, if time allows, set aside the planned conversation in favor of the more pressing need. At other times, tangents are clearly superfluous, and a good leader will recognize that and redirect the conversation.

But often, teachers may have a valid reason for wanting to keep a group on topic in order to keep discussions from becoming frivolous or argumentative. In addition, tangents can take a discussion in a direction for which a teacher has not had adequate time to prepare, such as when someone brings up a question about a biblical passage or topic that the teacher has not studied.

By host on 11/13/2009 7:00 AM

Every day I have a choice.

By host on 11/12/2009 7:00 AM

To illustrate a biblical text in any kind of graphic medium is to be an interpreter. Each stroke of the pen made by an artist who is creating an image of Jesus for a Sunday school handout, for example, is an attempt to make a statement about what a scene may have looked like. Examples abound of truly dreadful attempts to translate the Bible into visual forms; the Spire Christian Comics series (look at the one simply titled "Jesus") and The Passion of the Christ are two examples that would likely make most progressive Christians cringe.

My comic book collecting days are over now (and yes, I'm afraid I did have several of those Spire comics at one point), but I still read the occasional graphic (i.e. illustrated) novel. So when a Daily Voice reader alerted me to the news that R. Crumb had put out an illustrated version of Genesis, I ran down to my local comic store that day, as well as to my local Borders Books, to see a copy. R. Crumb is likely unfamiliar to most readers of The Daily Voice, though odds are good you've seen some of his images at some point. He is considered the founder of the underground comics movement (i.e. think "adult"), with a unique style that is instantly recognizable. He's definitely not the first illustrator that would come to mind if one was thinking about a Bible-related project (in fact, he claims to be essentially Gnostic in his religious beliefs), and indeed the sales guys at both stores (who both happened to be very acquainted with his work, but not this particular book) were utterly shocked when I told them about his project.

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