happy belated blog birthday–9 years!

Happy 2017, everyone. I know many who are glad to leave 2016 behind! It was filled with a lot of rough stuff for not only me but countless friends, too, and on a much wider scale in the USA, the world.  I personally think this turn into the new year feels somewhat different than many before. Usually, there’s more enthusiasm for the year ahead but here in the US at least there’s a plethora of weird, unstable,”off” feelings floating around post-election.

More tomorrow on my commitment as best I can to “hopeful realism” (originally part of Faith Shift but now definitely something that’s needed far beyond rebuilding faith).

Meanwhile, the end of each year marks the birthday of this wild little blog, too. Almost exactly 9 years ago I started writing here, and I always do a round-up to remember where we’ve been this past year and consider where to go in the year ahead. I am grateful for your readership over time; it’s a true gift to me to know so many kindred spirits and to be part of the ever-changing landscape of faith, church, and life together.

I didn’t blog as much in 2016, with a 3 month summer break, the start of Faith Circus, and an unexpectedly weird year overall, but here are the top 10 posts from 2016:

  1. the trump travesty – I wrote it in February of 2016, truly believing there was no way we could be that crazy and vote him in. Oh, how wrong I was!
  2. the great loneliness – When our faith shifts and we lose all that we once knew, it can be incredibly lonely.
  3. abuse and Christian obstacles to healing – The realities of the abused not getting what they need from the churches and ministries they are part of. It is painful and wrong and we need to own how much we have to learn about the dynamics of abuse.
  4. narcissism, power, and staying awake – Some post-election thoughts. We must stay awake.
  5. what we’re willing to live with – Owning what we can and can’t live with related to faith and politics and the systems we are part of can be so helpful.
  6. our codependent relationship with God – Breaking this unhealthy-but-often-engrained-in-us pattern is no easy task.
  7. equality matters – I write about women’s equality all the time because women aren’t equal yet! This post also includes a list of some of my favorite equality posts.
  8. the kids are alright – For those faith shifting parents out there.
  9. the church could use a recovery meeting – I forgot about this one. Yes, it sure does! And we all do!
  10. “making nice”: the call of the privileged – It’s easy to say make nice when you’re the one with the power.

and #11–God’s got us – Because I really liked this one and didn’t want it to drop off the list. It’s a good reminder for all those friends in the middle of an unraveling faith–God’s got you.

I’m looking forward to a new year here; it will take me a few weeks to get my bearings on 2017 but my hope is just to keep this space open to share when something comes on my heart to write, to be a resource to those who are finding their way forward when everything they believe is coming apart, who long to cultivate transformational community in some way, shape or form, and who want to be bearers of God’s light and hope in the midst of a dark, divided world.

Micah 6:8 came to mind this morning as I was considering some Refuge stuff for the new year–“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Justice and mercy, humility and love. That’s my hope for 2017.

I’m glad that somehow we’re in this together.

Peace and hope, kathy

ps: In February my friend Phyllis Mathis and I will be hosting another Walking Wounded: Hope for those Hurt by the Church through Transform Network (registration information coming soon) and March 15th  I’ll be running an 8 week Faith Shift online group (finally) with short videos and ways to engage with the material and others finding their way, too. I’m really looking forward to both of these! My word for 2017–“Curate.”

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Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

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