World-changing relationships are built with healthy conversations
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on July 26, 2018 in clc
I hold to a pretty radical belief. I believe relationships can change the world and selfless, meaningful, healthy conversations can change relationships. And I believe the opposite to be true, as well. Relationships can destroy the world and selfish, empty, unhealthy conversations can damage relationships.
We live in a time when relationships are often built upon transactional, self-serving motives. And when so many conversations take place online or via electronic devices -- giving a false impression of community and relational fortitude -- our commitment to being thoughtful about such things should be flourishing and not dwindling.
Our cultural vehicles of conversation are computers and phones powered by data plans and wifi. Using these, it is easy for conversations to be merely talking void of listening. We have the power to share our opinions without recognition of the impact (negative or positive) we have made on the person staring back at their own screen. This reality is creating a generation of advocates who care deeply about causes, yet who are not necessarily being taught to listen deeply to the hearts of others. I say this as one overcoming that generational hurdle myself.
Navigating an increasingly polarized society in our country has proven messy for the church. Overly politicized and commercialized issues are the drivers for our forums, even for Christians, heightening the danger of neglected relationships. And, therefore, perpetuating intrinsic systemic issues in our culture.
But what if our power structures and communities were renewed by the example of the Trinity, where mutuality and communion bind individuals together? What would change about our neighborhoods, boardrooms, city halls, and churches? What would change about our social, economic, political, and family systems?...
Brief thoughts on restoration
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on September 15, 2016 in innovation
Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of restoration. Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.
- Brokenness mended.
- Illness healed.
- Dirty cleaned.
- Destruction rebuilt.
- Lost returned.
- Depraved redeemed.
- Weak reinforced.
- Uselessness given purpose.
The above are some initial thoughts on restoration. They sound...
What does hope mean to you?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on August 25, 2016 in innovation
Good Brunches are a series of conversations developed by an organization called Matryoshka Haus. Their purpose is to draw a diverse group of people around a common table to talk about meaningful things in healthy ways. The blog post below references the conversation that took place during the San Antonio Good Brunches around the topic of “hope.” Click here to read the intro post for Good Brunches.
“What does hope mean to you?” It can be a daunting question, especially if you have not spent much time thinking about it. I am intimidated by it, in fact. And because of that, it is intimidating to think about joining a table of people...
Good Brunch: How healthy relationships can change the world
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on May 31, 2016 in innovation
Good conversation about meaningful things leads to healthy relationships and healthy relationships can change the world. I didn’t want to lead this post with too bold of a statement. How did I do? All sarcasm aside, I genuinely believe in that statement. I believe that healthy, authentic, transformative, life-giving relationships can change families, neighborhoods, communities, cities and ultimately the world. How much different would our election season be if those types of relationships were a pillar of campaigns and debates? How different would American families look if we took relationships more seriously as a nation?
The oversaturated, overextended and overstimulated mind
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on February 9, 2016 in faith
In a world where contentment and happiness tend to be driven by the entertainment industry, and at a time when the entertainment industry is growing in innovative, all-encompassing ways of keeping our attention in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to become addicted to an oversaturated, overextended and overstimulated state of mind.
How then do we battle the repercussions of this cultural norm? As the demands on our lives become ever increasing and time is consumed, our minds and thoughts are following the patterns of our daily decisions (as menial as those decisions may seem at times). And as Christ...
Rhythms of a Sacramental Imagination
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on November 4, 2015 in innovation
When I was a young girl, I took piano lessons. My least favorite part about class was when my instructor, Ms. Escobedo, took out the metronome. I despised not being able to play the song as fast, or as slow as I wanted. To me, as an eight-year-old, I was a better pianist if I could play a piece of music equally as well at a rapid tempo as I could a slow one. However, Ms. Escobedo and the metronome thought otherwise.
Through years of practice, I began to appreciate the guidance of both. In fact, I became so enthralled with rhythm that I began trying to hear it everywhere. I would close my eyes in my backyard and listen for a...
How to broaden our moral imagination?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on August 13, 2015 in innovation
My whole life, my dad shared a metaphor that has never meant more to me than it does right now. He would say:
"Picture a vulture flying over a desert. As it flies it sees dead carcasses all over the ground. However, a hummingbird flying over the very same desert sees desert flowers. They see different things because they only see what they are looking for."
This has challenged me to look at my world differently lately. Sometimes it takes letting go of the world you know to imagine one that has yet to exist. And to change society for the better, it takes expanding our moral imagination. The story of the vulture and the hummingbird...
An introduction to hospitality
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on July 16, 2015 in innovation
My grandmother breathes hospitality in and out all day long. Preparing and serving food for others gives her purpose and happiness. She brings people together, no matter their background, around a common table. I have and continue to learn a lot from her. She inspires me to wonder, dream and imagine what hospitality is and why I, and people in general, struggle with the concept.
In his book "Reaching Out", Henri J.M. Nouwen says, "Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can...
What happened to the church in the UK and why is it of value?
by Elizabeth Biedrzycki on July 9, 2015 in innovation
What is the church? If modernity was boiled out of how I know church, what would be left? What is true biblical community?
These are the question I am left asking after a recent trip to London where I spent a week immersed in fresh expressions of church.
About 20 years ago in the UK, denominational leaders were asking questions similar to these anticipating a generational tidal wave of rebellion from what church had been for the last several decades. And the communities of Christians I experienced three weeks ago are the result of these questions and the movement, which answered them.
What excites me about the movement of a...