Tag: general

Help Send Clean Water to Ethiopia

The Symbol Communities, a network of faith communities here in Phoenix that I help lead, has just launched a effort to raise about $8,000 to ship 13,000 (valued at over $2million!) to communities in Ethiopia devastated by HIV/AIDS.  The water filters will be used to care for children who have been orphaned or abused, treat those afflicted with HIV/AIDS, and provide safe drinking water for communities.
If you are interested in getting involved in this project, click here, or just click the image above.

You can now donate to Communitas online

communitaslogo.jpgI currently make a part of my living from the generosity of some friends and family that believe in the efforts of the non-profit I operate (The Communitas Collective).  They contribute to Communitas and those contributions help me be able to be freed up to dream, to work to see those dreams through, and to provide for my family.  I am honored by their generosity and thankful for their sacrifice.

Communitas is a collection of community projects exploring the spaces where we find a collision of the human and divine. We are obsessed with exposing people to the reality of the Kingdom of God by inviting them to experience the spaces of community, Christ, creativity, & compassion.  In other words, Communitas cultivates communities surrounding the spaces of Christ, community, compassion, & creativity.  Currently we are working on developing two faith communities (Symbol & Sky Harbor), a network of artists and activists working together for change (Foundarts), and a network of faith practitioners centered around conversation about the future of faith, the church, social justice, and mission (The Communitas Network).

If you are interested in getting involved (or already are a supporter) you can now donate to Communitas online on the Communitas website.  You can give a one-time donation or set-up a recurring monthly donation in amounts of $25, $50, & $100.  The donations are accepted using PayPal, a secure and effective way for Communitas to accept donations from credit cards, bank accounts, or PayPal accounts.

Your support and generosity helps us continue our work and the work of The Communitas Collective. 

Communitas Online Donation Page 

Site changes

I've decided to simply life (or at least the blogging part) a bit and merge the two blogs I currently post to, this one and therevolutionarylife.com. What this will mean is more of a death to therevolutionarylife and a re-birth to zacknewsome.com.  I once felt a need to carry on two different sets of conversations for two different sets of readers – this distinction has recently disappeared. 

This site is getting a bit of a facelift currently – so please forgive the chaos.  It should be up and running with some new features before the end of the week. 

UPDATE: the changes are mostly done in terms of features/layout.  Just some design tweaks to go. It's a bit busy for my taste, but there is much more info (like the listening & reading lists). 

Timely words from Thomas Merton

The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects (italics mine), to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation with violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys her own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

                                                           – Thomas Merton

Oh yeah…an arts venue, too!

In my previous post, I forgot to mention one of the biggest and most daunting projects taking up my time these days – starting an alternative arts venue in Downtown Mesa.  We're calling it "Found Arts" and it's will be a space devoted to the dreams of artists and non-artists alike.  The hope is for it to be a place where new and emerging ideas are created, expressed, wrestled with, and discussed through various forms of creativity.  Looking forward to this one – now all we need to $75k and we'll be on our way.

Seriously though, if you have $75k and are interested in sending it our way, we are all ears :). 

Hinting at the Divine


As I was preparing for the gathering of our community this morning (we're looking at the concept of "symbol" as it relates to our lives, to our faith, and to our world – see the symbols of salt and light in Matthew 5), I found myself revisiting a book I finished recently by Peter Rollins called How (Not) to Speak of God.  I loved this book when I finished it a few weeks back and I am discovering that it is one of those books that sticks with you in it's challenges.  In other words, the ideas presented are only getting louder as time goes by.  In chapter 3, entitled "A/Theology as Icon", Rollins says something that I thought was particularly interesting:

"In a world where people believe they are not hungry (spiritually speaking), we must not offer them food but rather an aroma that helps them desire the food we cannot provide.  We (followers of Jesus) are a people whao are born from a response to hints of the divine.  Not only this, but we must embrace the idea that we are also called to be hints of the divine."

Just wanted to share these words.

You can find Rollins book at Amazon here. 

Engaging culture or living counter-culturally?


Travis and I started talking about counter-cultural living today and ended up at this deeply troubling (at least to me) question – "As followers of Jesus are we called to be counter-cultural or to engage the culture?"  The two ways of life seem contradictory at first, but can they be?  I think the answer to the question is "yes" – Yes, we are to live counterculturally as citizens of a kingdom that is counter-cultural to our present world AND yes, we are to flesh out this faith within the culture we find ourselves in. 

There is much to say here, but I want to let it brew a bit.  In the meantime….I would love to hear your thoughts.

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