FTE Blog


What Is Thy Name

In the eighth chapter of Luke’s gospel Jesus is confronted by a man possessed by demons. The man is nameless, but is given a narrative. He is naked. He is homeless and finds rest among the dead in graveyards. He is depicted as one who is suffering.

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By: Hassan Henderson June 23, 2015


Active Faith is Urgent

It’s incredible how quickly things can change. Just three weeks ago, FTE gathered leaders of many ages, races, and church traditions to explore what it means to live out an “active faith” – a faith motivated by a deep religious conviction that what God is doing in this world bends toward justice and that we are called to be active partners in that transformation.

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By: Chris McCain June 19, 2015


The Birth of Goodness

I got to welcome a new life into the world this week. After 30 hours of helping my friend labor, I watched in amazement as a new child was born. Having lost a baby to stillbirth 14 years ago, I witnessed this live birth as a healing deep in my soul.

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By: Dori Baker June 19, 2015


Re-Arranged by the Spirit

During the Forum opening, Stephen Lewis, among others, repeatedly said, you matter, your work matters. For sure that falls differentially across bodies, but I experienced a sense of being washed over; crisp water waving over me making the cracked parts supple.

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By: Amy R. Barbour June 17, 2015


Vocation in Between the Aftermath of Violence and a Hoped-for Future

What future does God envision for us? What future do we long to see? What are we willing to do to give shape to it? These questions, written by FTE President Stephen Lewis, are ringing in my ears as I follow on-the-ground reports of what’s happening in Baltimore ...

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By: Dori Baker May 01, 2015


To Follow a Call

What does it look like to be a woman in ministry? At FTE’s East Coast Discernment Retreat in Black Mountain, NC, I met many examples of women in ministry including Tiffany Thomas, a United Methodist pastor who began preaching at 15.

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By: Kate Stoltzfus April 29, 2015


Tooth Fairy

Last week I attended a retreat in Black Mountain, North Carolina hosted by the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). The main point that I took away was that God’s ministry can be present in the work I want to do – animal therapy. If God is truly calling me, I can get there. But in order to get there, I have to continue to accept the experiences in my past.

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By: Katherine Mockler April 28, 2015


Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Every two weeks, I have a standing date with three of my favorite people in the world. We gather online over laptops and lunches in Boston, New York, and Nashville for a time of communal learning and fellowship. Together we form quite the motley millennial crew.

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By: Jennifer Bailey April 22, 2015


Marking Vocational Transitions Faithfully

I was only 20 years old when a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church hired me – a devoted United Methodist to serve as Assistant Minister for Youth. At that point in my life, I was certain of my place in the church.

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By: Rob Lee April 21, 2015


Our Becoming

Normally when I hear terms like “church retreat” or “staff retreat”, I mentally prepare to not be able to, well, “retreat”. However, my most recent experience with the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) proved otherwise. I was extremely fortunate to be nominated by Mission Year to attend FTE’s Discernment Retreat in Lake Arrowhead, California.

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By: Cailin Choy April 08, 2015


Falling Deeper Into My Calling

Last week a kid died in the alley by my office. A homeless kid. He overdosed and fell into a deep forever-sleep by the mail truck next to my office. His name was Dylan.

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By: Margie Quinn March 25, 2015


Let the Streets Inspire You

Less than 25 minutes. This is the time it typically takes one unnamed, unknown British artist to create a public work of art that provokes conversation—and most times, controversy. Banksy.

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By: Kimberly R. Daniel-Brister March 24, 2015


Whose Name is on the Invitation?

It is not uncommon for institutions in the Church and in the part of the academy engaged in Christian academy education to approach diversity through the idea of inclusion.

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By: Stephen Ray March 19, 2015


The Feeble Art of Radical Hospitality

I once told a friend who has lived in the South all of her life that I was going to teach a conference on hospitality in the church. She replied emphatically, “What are you, a Northerner, going to teach Southerners about hospitality? We [Southerners] invented hospitality.”

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By: Tiffany Thomas March 03, 2015


Finding God in the Rabbit Trail

Do you ever feel guilty for getting distracted by the way any good book, blog or podcast leads down a rabbit hole of connected thoughts, ideas, people and movements? This is part of the contemporary human condition; indeed Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains) suggests humans are losing our capacity to dive deeply and concentrate single-mindedly.

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By: Dori Baker February 19, 2015


What is Worship to Me

What does worship mean to you? As I contemplated that question, I began to examine my heart in the midst of my worship. For example, was I really worshiping God, or just uttering words with no substance.

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By: Anthony Ramos-Ruiz February 10, 2015


A Resolution for Religion

With the advent of every year, we gain a fresh start or a new perspective on where we are, where we have been or perhaps what fills us with hope to begin. The beginning of each year provides Christians an opportunity to reflect and discover God’s epiphanies in their lives, communities of faith and through their witness in the world.

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By: Stephen Lewis January 13, 2015


Sacred Cows at the Lord’s Table

There were four of us young adults: my United Methodist self, an Episcopalian, a self-avowed Luthera-costal, and a non-denominational turned Presbyterian. As we sat together in the musty, old-fashioned bed and breakfast that was our home-base for the Wild Goose Festival ...

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By: Cassidhe Hart January 06, 2015


I am a Pile of Trash

A pile of trash in the middle of the street? The Washington Post is making a call over this?” Reading what the Ferguson Police Department’s representative said about Michael Brown’s memorial, I remembered the day I visited that sacred space with my FTE mentor, Pastor Shonda Gladden.

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By: Trevor Persaud January 06, 2015


The Church Knows Something

Sixty years ago, FTE emerged during a segregated era. Twenty days later the United States Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools and universities unconstitutional, provoking civil unrest throughout the country.

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By: Stephen Lewis December 23, 2014

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