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Update: got the book, digital fast starts tomorrow.

See you in a month or so, assuming I choose to reintroduce Mastodon to my digital life, that is. In the meantime, if you *really* need to get in touch, my email is just matthewlafferty at gmail.

Be good to each other, friends.

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My name is Matt, I'm married to my very best friend, we've got three girls, and I struggle with church. To steal a line from @danielmrose, I'm constantly deconstructing and reconstructing.

I'm unreasonably fortunate to have a supportive wife (who also struggles w/her relationship to the church), and I'm grateful for voices like The Liturgists, Pete Enns, Rachel Evans, and Peter Rollins (to name too few).

Just glad to be here. Looking forward to the conversations to come.

So. We've got family going through some pretty heavy shit. It's emotional (not physical), so one's dying or anything, but I mean, they told us last night, and then *I* couldn't sleep. Point is, if you're the praying kind, consider adding a few words for them.

Classical Music 

I'll admit I don't know what God even *is* most of the time, but I absolutely feel a divine presence in & around music.

I grew up on classical music, and while my tastes have expanded significantly since childhood, classical music can still provide a mystical experience for me unlike any other.

All that to say, the music I've got on loop today is Fauré's Pavane in F-sharp minor.

Good morning to everyone except Jeff Bezos.

Here's a thread on Judaism and workers’ rights:

Every last atom on this planet was either forged by nuclear reactions deep inside long dead stars, or was created by the birth of the Universe itself. That includes the atoms which make up every pebble, every oak tree, every lettuce leaf, and every human.

The Universe isn't merely some faraway thing which you only see when you look into the sky at night. It's also you.

You share that in common with everything you've ever seen, and everyone you've ever met.

Daughter has reached the age of asking "why?" to everything.

"hold on to that cup with both hands"
"i don't want you to drop it"
"It's made of glass, and if you drop a glass thing it can break"
"because glass is brittle"
"because supercooling molten silicon dioxide makes an amorphous solid which is weaker than the crystalline form"
"the crystalline form has a tetrahedral lattice of ionic bonds"
"because one silicon atom can bind with four oxygen"

So Darius's (@darius) "Run your own social" ( is super interesting. Honestly, I'm pretty sure it's a good look at what better social networking could be.

I don't even remember when I first thought about how it could be worth it to run a small social network for some friends/family, but it's totally on my brain again now.

I have no idea if it's something I'm likely to actually do, or if I could talk people into it, but you better believe I'll be mulling it over again.

I'm extremely pleased to launch Run Your Own Social: How to run a small social network site for you friends.

This is a guide book to running a small, tight-knit federated social network server. It comes from my year of experience running Friend Camp. It's focused largely on SOCIAL solutions, though it does touch on the technical.

I've tried to keep it technology-neutral, and it should be a pretty easy read for anyone who's been on the fediverse for a while.


Amen, indeed.

As far as the rest of the book: "Searching for Sunday" is absolutely making me feel things, friends. I'm not done with it yet, but I'd already be comfortable recommending it to people struggling with church. So there you go.

Happy Monday, and happy reading! 4/4

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Let us so walk before God’s people, that those who follow us might come into his kingdom. Let us sow living seeds, words that are quick with life, that faith may be the harvest in people’s hearts. In word and in example let your light shine in the dark like the morning star. Do not allow the wealth of the world or its enchantment flatter us into silence as to your truth. Do not permit the powerful, or judges, or our dearest friends to keep us from professing what is right. Amen." 3/4

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"God, go with us. Help us to be an honor to the church. Give us the grace to follow Christ’s word, to be clear in our task and careful in our speech. Give us open hands and joyful hearts. Let Christ be on our lips. May our lives reflect a love of truth and compassion. Let no one come to us and go away sad. May we offer hope to the poor, and solace to the disheartened. 2/4

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Today in , a prayer adapted from Alcuin of York, found in "Searching for Sunday", by Rachel Held Evans. 1/4

That's all for now. As for the new hashtag, I had a few ideas (, , ), but I'm always glad for suggestions. And with that, I'm gonna close my computer and do some productive things around the house, but I'll check back later to see if this thread has sparked anything interesting. 5/5

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3. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi, by Amy-Jill Levine.

I first encountered Levine in an episode of The Bible for Normal People, where her quick take on the Lost Sheep/Coin/Son parables was enough for me to check this book out.

If you want a refreshing and challenging look at familiar stories, replete with historical context that illuminates how the original audience might have heard & understood them, I can't recommend this book strongly enough. 4/

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2. Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans.

Occasional gut-punch reminders that she's gone notwithstanding, this is a wonderful read so far. Her voice remains for me a tether to the diaspora of all who struggle with the church; chapter 8 (Vote Yes On One), about leaving her church, absolutely crushed me.

I have the feeling I'm going to say this about all of her books, but I can't believe I'm only reading it now. 3/

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1. Christus Victor, by Gustaf Aulen.

It's excellent, it's dense, and I'm working *very* slowly through this one.

From J.H.J. Dindinger's forward: "Can He be called a forgiving God if He cannot forgive sin except He first punishes somebody to the full extent? Yes, these questions have been answered many times; but never to my heart's satisfaction. [...] Could the story of Aslan dying as a ransom in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe be a picture of what actually happened?" 2/

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The Liturgists

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