Halloween Blog Post and Interview in the UK

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

The Reformation of Halloween: Where Burning Religion Began

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

Thoughts from the Browns about Festival Outreach

  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

Lessons on Ministering in Salem, MA in October – video

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

Befriending Witches Still a Problem: Looking Back, Looking Forward

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

Our Clown Fears: Wildness, Weirdness, and Wrongness are NOT the Same Thing

“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

Announcing the Big Transition: from Salem to the World

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

I know – I go where those who “stopped believing” go

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

Deep Fun: where the Gospel meets festival culture

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

Damned Long Hair: Cursed by a Street Preacher

“You’re effeminate! You’re going to Hell. You need to repent, you effeminate man!” The street preacher kept yelling in my face at a distance of about 6 inches. I occasionally broke in with questions, or responses challenging his presuppositions. I don’t remember ever meeting this man before, but he seemed to know who I was, … More Damned Long Hair: Cursed by a Street Preacher