Friday, July 25, 2008

SOULfeast II

A quick shout-out to the folks who attended my workshop on The God-Hungry Imagination at SOULfeast in Lake Junaluska, NC this past week: You were a fabulous group, and I hope you come away as enriched as I feel having spent time with you all. Please stay in touch.

Another shout-out to the youth & adults who attended my workshop on C. S. Lewis & J. R. R. Tolkien--great questions & discussion! I especially appreciated your enthusiasm in the spontaneous scavenger hunt for the lost hearing aid. You gotta love those unplanned intergenerational group bonding moments. (I wouldn't have thought of a hearing aid, myself, but God is clever like that). Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about C. S. Lewis, you can read my blog article "Good News for Toy Soldiers" on the official CSL site.

Peace out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soul Searching

Frankly, I wish this summer held a bit more of that for me, but things have been nuts. But that's not what this post is about anyway. It's about the 2007 documentary from the folks who are conducting the National Study of Youth and Religion (see link at right). They're the ones who brought us the landmark book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, by Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton (Oxford). [Incidentally, Christian Smith wrote a fine endorsement of my book, The God-Hungry Imagination: see the post "Endorsements for the GHI"] I've just ordered the DVD, and I'm wondering if there's anyone else out there who has seen it? What are your thoughts? Comments? Concerns? It's the kind of thing I look forward to watching, but not really, if you know what I mean. I can only stand so much bad news about today's teenagers before I need to call up one of them and take them out for icecream, just to remind myself that they are, in fact, human beings like the rest of us.


I'm not sure why the "soul" in SOULfeast is capitalized, nor why feast is italicized, nor why it's all one word, but I DO know that I'm headed there in a week. SOULfeast ( is the General Board of Discipleship's annual spiritual formation retreat at Lake Junaluska, NC, in the western mountains. It's an Upper Room bash, actually, and I'm really looking forward to it. If you happen to be going, be sure to look me up. I'll be leading an ongoing morning workshop on "The God-Hungry Imagination," and a one-time afternoon workshop on C. S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien. I've even gotten all tech-savvy for the occasion, complete with power-point slideshow and video clip (nuh-uh, you say; and I say, chyeah). But never fear: I'll still bring a single candle and my copy of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in the spirit of media minimalism.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

National Youth Workers Convention 2008

Thinking about attending the Nashville youth workers' convention hosted by Youth Specialties this November ( I'll see you there! I'm leading two workshops: one on "The Role of Imagination in Spiritual Formation" and the other on "Re-imagining Confirmation." The topics will expand on some of the ideas in my book "The God-Hungry Imagination: The Art of Storytelling for Postmodern Youth Ministry" (see link at right), though you won't have to read the book to get what I'm talking about (though, of course, reading the book would only enrich your experience, but then again, I'm slightly biased). let me know if you plan to attend, and maybe we can connect. One of my main stations will be the Upper Room booth in the exhibition hall (more info to come). Looking forward to seeing you there!