On the verge of moving to the UK (you know, that place which the more famous country of Wales is a part of) ;-), I am back in Salem for another Halloween. I’ve been involved with events in Salem’s monthlong Halloween since 1999, which makes me sound like a tagline on a company motto. Needless … More Another October in Salem – is it the last?
Premier Christianity Magazine in the UK, and the Church Mission Society have posted a couple things from me in the last few days. The Church Mission Society posted an interview about Halloween, Burning Man, Witches, and festival work. I was a speaker at their conference about “Mission among People who are Spiritual but not Religious”, … More Halloween Blog Post and Interview in the UK
Burning Religion is certainly my most ambitious literary project to date, but it would not have been conceived without the long hard years of working as a pastor in the rather (in)famous little city of Salem, Massachusetts. Almost 20 years of monthlong Halloween entertainment and outreach projects, and befriending the Witchcraft community in Salem helped … More The Reformation of Halloween: Where Burning Religion Began
The above video is a clip of the Brown family from Brownwood, TX. Below, Sandi and the girls share their stories about being involved in festival ministry in Salem, and at the Stonehenge Solstice. From Sandi: I have been involved in several different streams of Christianity, from Baptist to Charismatic, to now not really affiliating with … More Thoughts from the Browns about Festival Outreach
I am catching up on things I did not have time to do this October, even as I close up the last little loose ends of a busy, busy month. The things that happen in October embody some of the dreams I have for the rest of the world. A growing group of my friends and … More A Jew and a Gentile walk into a Cigar Shop…
I gave a primer on ministering in festival settings, more specifically in Salem, MA in October with a touch of information on the changing face of Neo-Paganism as it is expressed currently. Lauren Hallee recorded it onto Facebook Live. Thanks Lauren! And so I thought I’d share it with the wider world of Phillowers (those are Phil … More Lessons on Ministering in Salem, MA in October – video
I am coming to the 10th anniversary of being splattered onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal. The article was entitled, “Befriending Witches Still a Problem in Salem, Mass.” Those were difficult days, and the next four years would be filled with even greater difficulty, but looking back, I can say, I would not … More Befriending Witches Still a Problem: Looking Back, Looking Forward
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Growing up and becoming serious about life may be the step just before death. Certainly, it is the death of much of life’s vibrancy. Watching children play, watching them express wonder in … More Our Clown Fears: Wildness, Weirdness, and Wrongness are NOT the Same Thing
I have been in Salem, MA pastoring The Gathering since June 1999. Over the years, we have been at the center of creating events, and helping Christian ministers to act like regular people when they come to the city of Salem in October, and now the monthlong outreach has expanded to over a dozen events, … More Announcing the Big Transition: from Salem to the World
This recent article in the Religion News Service outlines the recent findings by a study from the Public Religion Research Institute. The study suggests that most of those who have been leaving churches in recent years have done so because they simply stopped believing. My experience is an inversion on these statistics. I go to … More I know – I go where those who “stopped believing” go
A week away. We put up the stage. We get ready for the first weekend of October in Salem, Massachusetts. It’s not anything you’ve ever seen before, if you’ve not been here. Costume witches, real witches. bullhorn street preachers, live music on the streets, crowds of tourists, barking vendors, and families here for the Halloween … More Deep Fun: where the Gospel meets festival culture
Before I moved to Salem, MA, I was working on a theory: That Witches are just regular people with an alternative spirituality. So, I took a class in Folk-Religion at Fuller Seminary, and did some anthropological work on American Neo-Pagans. Guess what I discovered?! Yup, that’s right. I discovered the rather non-sensational fact that Witches … More Witches Are Real People Too!
Churches and Halloween have had a tenuous relationship since the 70’s, but that is changing, and churches realize that this is a perfect day to engage our culture, and be creative. Help spread the word that Christians can be smart, not only in the workplace, but in the festival play place too. Here you will … More Churches and Halloween
“Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.” – the Crazy Apostle Paul As a pastor, who is also a “Burner” (someone who goes to Burning Man and believes in following the 10 principles of Burning Man), I have … More The Impracticality of God: safety third
My friend Russ Jennings, who I know from the Wild Goose Festival has this wonderful podcast called Love in Dangerous Time. I would just wanna be part of it for the name alone, but Russ being the captain at the helm makes it even better. So, seeing that I am all about Love in Dangerous … More Interview with Love in Dangerous Time