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Lara Blackwood Pickrel
Lara Blackwood Pickrel currently serves at Hillside Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, as their Associate Minister for Youth & Young Adults. Lara works and shares with a group of “rogue youth ministers” called the Disciples Youth Ministry Network (www.dymn.org) and writes/edits for Fidelia’s Sisters (www.youngclergywomen.org), as well as her own blog (http://serendipitysoiree.wordpress.com). Lara's recent books include "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! - Young Adults Speak Out About Sexuality and Christian Spirituality" (which she co-edited with Heather Godsey) and "Eldership at the Lord's Table". Both books were published by Chalice Press in 2010 (www.chalicepress.com).
Interests: intergenerational ministry, sexuality and body theology, spiritual disciplines, youth ministry, science fiction
Recent Activity
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel There isn't always ample opportunity in the day to state what we believe. Life gets crazy, to-do lists beckon, responsibilities stack up and - if we are lucky - we slip away for a few hours of sleep before starting the whole... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Over the past few weeks I’ve been sucked in to the ABC television show Once Upon a Time. (Don’t judge me - I know it’s a bit fluffy, but it’s also fun!) In the show, a child named Henry has lured his... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel This post is definitely late in the game, resolution after resolution having already been made in those champagne-filled hours before New Year’s Day - promises to lose weight, exercise more, drink or smoke less, de-clutter the house, find our joy... But a... Continue reading
Thanks for this, Lynne. It is so hard to understand chronic pain, until you experience it yourself - a truth I've learned this year while discovering that I have fibromyalgia. I appreciate your prayers for all of us who have chronic pain, and pray that your knee will be back at 100% very soon!
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Expectation. It’s such a heavy word, stretched taut with possibility - especially during this season of the Church’s life that is set aside for watching, waiting, preparing for new life. We celebrate our expectant hope by lighting candles or peering behind little... Continue reading
I don't think you're missing anything at all, Eric. We may not be able to serve both, but we can (and do) certainly try - which ends up causing all sorts of problems. Also, I wonder: when you say we serve one or the other alone, by default, are you saying that if we try to serve both, we are automatically serving money alone? Just want to make sure I understand your interpretation of the text. My questions about balance are both a nod to the illusion you speak of and an honest question about what our relationship with money could and should look like if we choose not to serve it. It is also an attempt to recognize that it is easy for folks who have money to tell folks who are struggling to keep a roof over their head that they shouldn't focus on money. Thanks for chiming in and adding to the discussion!
Richard, agreed! Crazy though it sounds, it is just as difficult for congregations to choose God over money - especially when there is so much fear surrounding questions of whether or not the Church will "survive the recession". But I also think that this text will "preach" during a stewardship season - if the Church (both collectively and as individuals) begins to think of ministry/service/faithfulness as the primary goals and money as a necessary tool to meet those goals (rather than the primary goal being a tithing membership that is large enough to fund the budget), then ministry will flourish and I'm betting that giving won't shrink either! Thanks for joining the conversation! Lara
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel "No one can serve two masters. If you try, you will wind up loving the first master and hating the second, or vice versa. People try to serve both God and money — but you can’t. You must choose one or the... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Many of our faith communities are on a perpetual quest, constantly seeking out the hippest, freshest and (sometimes) best practices for Christian education - especially the education of our children and youth. As a minister and educator who has had the occasion... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel This week I had the privilege of joining a young church member and her family at the hospital while she underwent a minor surgery. She was nervous, her parents were nervous – heck, I was nervous – and the two hour delay... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Last week the writing team for the 2013 New Earth: Christian Resources for the Outdoors camp curriculum (a joint project of the Committee on Outdoor Ministries of the National Council of Churches and the Christian Board of Publication) met in Nashville in... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel In listening to clergy colleagues and friends across the country, it seems that one of the biggest and most perilous issues we deal with has to do with members leaving or threatening to leave our particular church. When people leave, or talk... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel "Count your blessings and your problems….If your problems outnumber your blessings, Count Again…. Chances are the things that you take for granted were not added up." -saying seen on a motivational poster Count your blessings. If you grew up in the United... Continue reading
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A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel In the church world, young adults have a tendency to fall into the following category: troublesome. It's not that church folk don't want young adults around. In fact, most congregations are desperately searching for ways to appeal to, reach out to and... Continue reading
Joan, you are welcome to use the article so long as you attribute it to me and to The Thoughtful Christian (if you use the link in your citation, that would be a good thing!). I'm glad to hear that it was a useful perspective. :)
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel “ohhhhh…” The collective sigh went on for at least a minute, thickening the air around us with sadness and grief. They had gathered for two afternoons of our denomination’s General Assembly to participate in a youth ministry learning track. Seasoned and green,... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel The week of camp started off well enough. The youth leadership team and counselors came together early to prepare, campers arrived excited and ready for the week, bread was broken both at dinner table and communion table, and eventually everyone settled in... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel It's that time of year again. Summer. The season I simultaneously love and loathe the most. On the one hand, I adore all the things that take place during the summer months: church camps, mission trips, denominational assemblies, Vacation Bible School and... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel When I lived in Texas, I had a friend whose wife was a zookeeper for the educational branch of the local zoo. In other words, she cared for all the animals that were taken to schools in the area or shown to... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Earlier this week I ran across some reviews for a book that I helped edit a couple years ago. Though the majority of those reviews were four star or better, the comments that commanded my attention were the negative ones. Those reviews... Continue reading
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Writer's block is a rare experience for me. Usually, when I carve out the neccessary time and space to write, thoughts flow without much difficulty. The hard part isn't so much the writing as it is the making time to write. Perhaps... Continue reading
Ray, I love this! (And not just because I know and love you!). This is exactly the sort of conversation I hope parents can have with their kids. Unfortunately, so many adults who grew up with inaccurate or shame-filled understandings of their own bodies and sexuality simply arent in a good space to have honest and open conversation with their kids. (Which makes me all the more thankful that you ARE in that good place!). One of the things the Church should be able to offer is conversation and education that is healing for adults - both so that they can approach their children from a place of health/wholeness, and for their own sake. We should be about the business of sharing Gods good word for sexuality, instead of falling back into the habits of silence and shame! Sent from my iPhone
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel This weekend I'll be leading workshops on some hows and whys of talking about sex(uality) and embodiment in our local congregations. It's a tricky subject and one that, though I've somehow managed to acquire a "local expert" label, makes me uncomfortable every... Continue reading
Thank you, Dave. I appreciate the blessing!
A Gathering Voices Post by Lara Blackwood Pickrel Since Sunday, I've been holding my breath. Is it because I've been afraid of the news another phone call might bring? Yes. Is it because I've been more than a little terrified of the storms that have followed the Joplin tornado? Yes.... Continue reading