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Dear friends,

It has been wonderful to serve as the founder and author of the ‘Operation Church’ blog.  In just 2 years we have collected over 1,000 readers and served as a resource for hundreds of churches and church leaders.

Yet all things change, and as of 12/31/11 I left Church Extension to accept a position at the Univ of Colorado Foundation in Denver. With this change, I will be passing the mantel of blog manager and author to Katie Marlowe, Church Extension’s VP for Marketing.

In the short term, Church Extension plans to leave the blog open to serve as a resource, however its extended future is unknown.

It has been a wonderful experience for me and I thank you again for being a reader.

Blessings,

Rev. John Davidson

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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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This is a Guest Blog by Matthew Harris-Gloyer.

I’ve been frequenting Kansas City coffee shops as of late because I have found that I do not work well at home.  I do not have an office to write in so coffee shops have become my ‘work space.’  I like one particular coffee shop on the KC plaza.  They play music I like and there is interesting art on the walls that is switched regularly.  There are often people in there for similar reasons as I: study, typing, business conversations, theology students trying out pastoral care.  The atmosphere is just right for me.  The energy is right for me to focus and to get stuff done.

One thing that I noticed this morning as I was ordering and then paying for my coffee and cinnamon muffin was that I put down a tip for the barista (that’s the beougois name for workers in a coffee shop).  The fact that I tipped was not novel.  What was interesting to me was the revelation of why I tipped.  I was initially encouraged to tip because of the service that I received.  The barista offered to warm up my muffin, asked if I wanted dark or light roast (dark, of course!) and room for cream in my coffee.  I thought to myself, “This is great!  I feel listened to and appreciated as an individual.”  Yet, what sealed the deal was the smile that I received at the hand off, when the coffee passed from the barista’s hand to mine.  At that moment, I felt my ‘heart strangely warmed.’  I felt the holiness of human recognition and experienced a communion of spirit.

As I sat down, I sipped my cafe caliente and the cynic emerged.  Was the smile simply the manifestation of a corporate-capitalist and profit-focused marketing policy to bribe customers into subsidizing the barista’s meager salary?  Was I simply paying for coffee and a muffin?  Or, was I also paying for a smile? (more…)

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This is a Guest Blog by Matthew Harris-Gloyer.

My wife is a pastor.  That’s right, I am a pastor’s husband.  It is a role reversal from what is traditionally considered.  My experience as a pastor’s husband is becoming more prevalent in the Church that is experiencing more women in ministry as ordained clergy.  Consequently, there are more men who are experiencing the joys and challenges of being a pastor’s spouse.  How the Church and church members respond to this emerging situation is important to me and, I believe, is important to the Church.  One important aspect is how the Church supports pastors and their spouses.  This support will play a role in whether or not I (and other couples) continue in ministry and consequently whether the Church will live into its gospel mission to bring the Good News to the ends of the earth.  For, the ends of the earth begins at our own doorstep and even within our own communities.  I put it this way: The Church’s biblical calling to care for all of creation begins with its care of congregants and pastors. (more…)

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