Found: Panda Head
June 5, 2009, 9:35 am
Filed under: humor, Seattle, the purple door

Panda Head Found

This is a real ad in the classified ads in the University of Washington’s student newspaper, The Daily (found by a star Purple Door student, Rachel).  In case you can’t read it, here’s the text:

FOUND – PANDA head, appears to be a part of a missing suit.  Recovered near 45th and Memorial.  Presumably stolen by ill-advised sorority girls during their week-long, drunken stupor.


Updates and Changes
May 3, 2009, 8:33 am
Filed under: denomination, friends, inter::mission, school, the purple door

At some point in the past couple of weeks, I passed the seven year mark since I started this blog.  As it turns out, I’m pretty sure that this post breaks my longest streak ever for time away from the blog.  I didn’t stop intentionally.  No good, spiritual, profound reason.  Life just got a bit intense for me, and eiter I didn’t have any words or the words I did have weren’t ready to be shared.

I’m writing this post from a hotel room, just outside of Portland, where I’ve spent the past couple of days.  It’s been a very good trip for me – I’ve gotten to celebrate the official part of my completion of a Doctor of Ministry program through George Fox Seminary.  I’ve spent time with the friends who I’ve worked with for the past few years, and the school faculty and staff, who have been so wonderful.  I can’t speak highly enough of my George Fox family – they are creative, energetic, and hopeful servants.  I look forward to a continuing friendship with them.

When I return to Seattle later today (after some bonus time seeing Ryan, Holly, and Pax Sharp), I’ll get back to work at The Purple Door, and my inter::mission students.  We’re about half-way through the Spring quarter at UW, so we’ll be bringing this school year to a close soon.  At that time, I’ll also be bringing my time of service (at least, in an official capacity) there to a close.  I mentioned a while back that my denomination has been going through a time of reorganization and transition.   I will not be a part of the new strategy.  This was a decision that was made for me by others, not by me.  It’s a long, long story, and one I’m not quite ready to get into here.  Basically, I’ll be wrapping up my employment at the end of June.  I’m thankful to say that the denom isn’t killing inter::mission, and I will be able to hand this dream off to the capable hands of a friend.

So what’s next?  That’s a fabulous question!  If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.  I really am about as wide open as I could be right now.  I’ll begin circulating my resume soon.

I’m out of time for this post, and I’m sure I’ll tease out some of what I’ve hit on here.  But for the sake of the readers of the blog (whoever is still left!), I wanted to at least get some general info out there on what’s been going on.

Peace, friends.

Merry Christmas from The Purple (and Gold) Door
December 5, 2008, 11:31 am
Filed under: the purple door

IMG_0264 Last night after our community meal at The Purple Door last night, we busted out the Christmas music, painted ornaments, decorated stockings, hung lights, baked sugar cookies, and made lots of crafts out of pipe cleaners.  We also gift wrapped the door . . . the formerly Purple door.

Most of our students will have gone away by the time Christmas actually rolls around, so last night was our time for fun . . . right before finals begin.

The inside of the door is still purple . . . but for the next few weeks, we’ll have a different answer to the question I’m very frequently asked – “Is the door really purple?”

Nickelsville Resident Poet
December 4, 2008, 6:58 am
Filed under: friends, Seattle, social action, the purple door

My friend Jeff posted the following video of his friend, Beau.  He is one of the residents of Nickelsville, and tells a little bit of his story, and shares one of his poems.  For you non-Seattlites, Nickelsville is a homeless encampment currently located in the University District, just a few blocks away from The Purple Door.  The residents have been pushed around by the city leadership, with particularly aggressive moves made by mayor Greg Nickels – so they honored him by naming their little town after him.  These are not your “typical” homeless folks – many have jobs and families.

I’ve met Beau briefly, and as you’ll see from the video, he’s a pretty smart guy.

inter::mission update . . . a week overdue
November 14, 2008, 9:00 am
Filed under: friends, inter::mission, the purple door

As I mentioned in yesterday’s non-post, I was away for almost a week, so I wasn’t able to do my usual write-up on our latest inter::mission teach-in.  I usually write these things on a Friday morning, so conveniently enough, here I am . . .

Last Thursday, The Purple Door was pleased to host Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, his wife Ricci Kilmer, and their two children for dinner and our teach-in.  It was soup night – we made some vegetable and some corn chowder.  They showed up early and hung out in the kitchen as we were finishing preparations.

Eliacin and Ricci live in community at the Mustard Seed House, along with two other couples, and work together with Mustard Seed Associates.  Last year, the inter::mission gang was able to make a visit there to enjoy a meal, so several of our folks had already met them.  They spoke with us about what living in community means for them – the way they integrate spiritual rhythms, work, family life, gardening, and play.  Ricci talked about living with a mind toward simplicity, and how that challenges our western consumeristic culture.

Another aspect of living in community that Eliacin hit on is the way that it shapes faith.  Having been raised in Puerto Rico, he learned about the power of communities in shaping vision and values and even lifestyles that can create counter-cultural movements toward change.  Interestingly, though intentional communities as spiritual expression may be a relatively new and somewhat hip thing for us in the wealthy West, Eliacin noted that the choice between communal and private approaches to faith is only available here.  In most of the world, communal faith is the norm – mostly  because it has to be.  Here, we have to somehow become “enlightened” enough and be willing to “sacrifice” enough before we discover the value that sharing life and faith together provides.

Our inter::mission students enjoyed having Ricci and Eliacin, but also really loved having Catie (who turned six years old yesterday) and Gabriel with us.  They played quietly as mom and dad talked, and demonstrated how everyone has a part in community.  Catie told us about her part of the Mustard Seed House garden, and a few things about fairies too!

Trick AND Treat: A Social Experiment
October 31, 2008, 3:28 pm
Filed under: campus ministry, social action, the purple door

1031081115 We at The Purple Door seem to have developed a bit of a Halloween tradition.  For the third straight year, we went out to the UW campus to do our Trick AND Treat social experiment.  It’s a super simple, but fun approach to helping people think outside of themselves, and pay quality attention to others.  In years past here’s what we’ve done.  We set up a table on campus, with a big banner that says “FREE CANDY” on it.  We’re supplied with several cases of full-sized candy bars.  Most students are highly skeptical of course – wouldn’t you be?  We have to convince people that the candy really is free, but once we do, the fun begins.  We tell them, “O.k. there actually is a catch, but it’s a fun one.  We’re not going to give you one candy bar, we’re going to give you two.  One is for you to enjoy for yourself, but we’d like you to take the second candy bar, and give it away to someone you don’t know.  Pay attention to how you feel, how it makes the other person feel, and just pay attention to those around you.”  The previous couple of years have been really great – it’s priceless to watch the students’ facial transitions as we explain things to them – first skepticism, then confusion, then amusement, then laughter and excitement.

For this year’s version, we decided to put a political twist on it, since we’re just a few days away from the big presidential election, and people can’t stop thinking and talking about it anyway.  Instead of asking students to give the candy to someone they don’t know, we asked them to take one candy bar for themselves, and give the second one away to someone who is supporting a presidential candidate other than the one they’re supporting.  We didn’t ask who people planned to vote for, and definitely didn’t advocate for any candidates.  When students asked why we were doing this, we’d simply tell them that we think it’s important to value conversations with people, even when we might disagree with them.  Maybe we don’t see eye to eye, but can we at least decide that we’re going to disagree well?

Obviously, this is a silly little thing, but we think it’s important to do things like this, just to get people communicating with each other, and thinking differently.  If nothing else, we’ve had some fun with people, and been able to encourage them.  All in all, we gave away right around 260 candy bars today.  Perhaps some day we’ll come up with something that won’t get the dentists and dieticians of the world miffed at us!

Happy Halloween from your friends at The Purple Door
October 31, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: the purple door