AboutBearings

Map is Not Territory

Navigating Ministry-as-Life in the New Bearings Season

When we began Bearings three years ago—all the way back in the world of September 2014—we had some modest aspirations. In his introductory post, Bob Grove-Markwood contextualized the blog by drawing on his navigational experience as a Marine and a transplanted Mainer. He explained that Bearings aims to help those in ministry—in what often feels… Read More

Bearings Retrospective: Eclipse Edition

We’ve had a couple of difficult weeks here in the United States. Two weekends ago, white supremacy and domestic terrorism publicly reared their sinful heads in Virginia. (Too bad it took the specter of Tiki torch-bearing men shouting racist slogans and the murder of civil rights advocate Heather Heyer to shake so many people out… Read More

Conversation Starter

Moving Into Year Three of Getting Our Bearings by Sharing Our Stories

As we ease into our third year of publication of The BTS Center’s award-winning blog, Bearings, co-editors Elizabeth Drescher and Alyssa Lodewick have been mulling the role of outlets like ours in shaping what the Church is becoming in a dynamic religious landscape. We’re excited to continue what we see as a multi-dimensional dialogue that… Read More

Looking Back on Bearings

A Retrospective on the Blog's Second Year

Perhaps because I have spent so many years of my life in school and church settings, I relish these last few weeks of August. Sure, classes may be starting in educational institutions across the nation, but in my mind, “academic summer”—with its more luxurious, relaxed pace—won’t officially end until after Labor Day, when vacations come… Read More

Here’s to a Second Year

Ushering in a New Season of Navigation for Bearings

As I anticipate the kickoff of the second season of Bearings: Navigating Life-As-Ministry, I want to thank the award-winning blog’s co-editors, Elizabeth Drescher and Alyssa Lodewick, for their work on convening the diverse community of voices that contributed to a successful inaugural year. I am also deeply grateful to all of our bloggers, who offered… Read More

Crunching the Numbers on Bearings’s First Year

Big Data. Analytics. They’re not just for corporations, health insurance companies, and advertising agencies anymore. In an era obsessed with return on investment and concrete measurements of success, churches, spiritual communities, and religious institutions are evaluating their own relationships to numbers. Take the United Church of Christ, for example. It hosts not only The UCC… Read More

Navigating Life-as-Ministry

BEARINGS (noun): comprehension of one’s position, environment, or situation. Welcome to BEARINGS, a blog space featuring local, regional, and national 21st century ministry thought leaders and thoughtful practitioners. In BEARINGS posts, diverse voices will offer commentary and insights on how ministry is changing today and share stories of inspiring networked, relational, and incarnational ministries. The… Read More

Sharing the Load in 21st-Century Ministry

When we were brainstorming names for the new blog for The BTS Center blog, we agreed quickly that something related to the real, geographical landscapes and cultural nuances of ministry in the 21st century was important. The BTS Center is a Maine native, and its immediate network is in Northern New England. Though the Center’s… Read More