Adam Phillips is pastor of Christ Church: Portland, an open, active, and inclusive Christ-centered community in Portland, Ore. He has served in community development and advocacy initiatives with the ONE Campaign, World Vision, Micah Challenge, Bread for the World, One Days Wages, and Oasis. A graduate of North Park Seminary and The Ohio State University, Adam grew up in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Only a year into their new church plant, the Covenant church severed ties with Christ Church, cutting two-years of promised funding over LGBTQ inclusion matters. In 2010, Adam was a delegate to the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. He is married to Sarah Phillips, an educator.
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Oregon Clergy To ICE: 'Let Our People Go!'
Knowing that so many more suffer from inhumane incarceration, I joined with more than 20 interfaith clergy from around Oregon and got arrested “for failure to comply” by sitting in a prayer circle in front of the main gates of our local ICE field office. We were gathered with hundreds of others, lifting up stories of those still detained and separated from families, singing songs of lament and joy, and praying that justice would prevail.
Courageous Leadership Is Actually Vulnerable, Humble Belonging
The evangelical world in which I came of age was created in Bill Hybels' image. Nearly singular in his influence and power, Hybels was one of a handful of Baby Boomer church innovators who reimagined church to be “seeker sensitive,” designed for the spiritually curious who also might be searching for the convenience of a food court, parking lot, and sermons on tape that were ready for purchase in the lobby by the time the worship band sang the final chorus of the recessional.
DeVos Is a Committed Christian. She'd Be a Terrible Education Secretary.
People of faith should be about forming a circle of protection when it comes to kids’ safety, flourishing, and equal access to great education. In these times, we also need robust debate about what policies best reflect our values. We, and our kids, will all be better for it.
What Will a Trump-Pence Administration Mean for LGBTQ Rights?
It’s the middle of Advent. As a pastor, that’s like saying it’s college basketball’s March Madness (go Buckeyes, by the way). Our church in Portland, Ore., is busy prepping our Christmas Eve worship service and organizing our Christmas Day homeless service project — so why am I in Washington, D.C., to talk about LGBTQ?
Because my faith compels me.
Weekly Wrap 8.19.16: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week
Editor's Note: This week's Wrap was guest curated by Sojourners contributor Adam Phillips. By way of introduction, Phillips is pastor of Christ Church: Portland (Ore.), a new open, active, and inclusive community. He enjoys a Stiegl Radler after his bicycle commute, has still not seen Stranger Things, and thinks that Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness is seven songs too long. Read along for his top stories and notes from the week!
It’s the dog days of summer (100 degrees in Portland, Ore. for crying out loud!). So here’s a random assortment of stories you might have missed that you could slip into your Sunday sermon or small group class to see if anyone is paying attention.
Oregon: 157 Years and Still Overcoming Exclusion
Did you know that Oregon was founded as place for white people only?
Yes. Yes, it was.
In a complicated twisting political tale of pre-Civil War American history, enshrined in my state’s constitution were explicit and clear black exclusion laws.
No, Falwell, We Don't Need Christian Students Forming Anti-Muslim Gun Patrols
“If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now …,” he said while being interrupted by louder cheers and clapping. “Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know,” he said, chuckling.
“I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause while he said, “and killed them.”
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit. We offer a free course,” he said. “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.”
A Christian leader, at one of the most influential evangelical colleges, told a basketball arena full of 18–22 year olds to get guns and carry them around in their back pockets in order to take on any radical Muslims that might make their way down to Lynchburg, Va.
Advent: It's the End of the World As We Know It
If this is your first Advent, or if it has been awhile, let me catch you up. Advent is the season of expectant waiting before Christmas. It’s a time to wake up, slow down, sit still, listen, and wait. A kind of expected, engaged waiting, with one another. And the first Sunday of Advent — celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas — always starts with apocalyptic end-of-world scenarios.
Again, an odd way to start. But I think there is wisdom in it. The ancients saw fit to remind us of the harried, violent world into which the Christ child was born. Which, if we are honest, is also like the world in which we find ourselves.
Violence, brokenness, and heartache can take many forms. Each of us experience the heartache of recent weeks. Maybe it was a year-long affair; or Paris; or a lost job; or mass gun violence; or depression; or Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Ill.; or Garret Swasey in Colorado Springs, Colo.
‘As a Christian, I am Sorry’: Evangelical Pastor’s Reflections on Attending First Pride Parade
I walked down Burnside and the first parade on-lookers squinted and began to read my placard. I did not know what to expect at first: Did they think I was protesting Pride? Would they accept my apology?
I was overwhelmed by the response. People began to cheer. Many asked me to slow down so they could take a picture. Some wiped away tears and simply mouthed “thank you,” or “I accept [your apology].” For the next few miles cheers and cameras and tears greeted us everywhere we went. I was grateful I was wearing sunglasses, because there were a few moments where I simply welled up with tears and couldn’t handle it any more.
Turning the Tables: A Lenten Sermon on Jesus, the Money Changers, and #Selma50
Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ - John 2:15,16
This is one of the most important stories in the life of Jesus. So important, that it’s one of a handful of stories that all four Gospel writers actually all share.
Even though they remember it differently.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke — they recall that this episode where Jesus entered the Temple grounds and stirred stuff up once and for all — they remember it near the end of his life. They place it as one of the main reasons that Jesus is arrested and put to death as a capitol offense against the Roman Empire.
Walking into the Temple — run by the Jewish religious elite who had been put in place by the Roman imperial oppressors — was tantamount into walking into a federal government building and blowing it up.
Except Jesus doesn’t do that. Jesus is a pacifist. Jesus is a prophet.
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