Posts Tagged ‘ campus ministry ’

Trick AND Treat: A Social Experiment

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 […]



Church, seminary, future

Following on the recently exploded series of posts from around the blogosphere, some of us at The Purple Door were having a conversation yesterday.  Should young people avoid going to seminary now, if their degrees will ultimately be unmarketable and unhelpful in the pseudo-real world?  My answer: maybe, maybe not. There are (and always have been) good reasons and bad reasons to go to seminary.  First some bad reasons.  Don’t go to seminary if all you’re doing is trying to get your credentials for a professional ministry job.  Don’t go to seminary because you lack self-confidence and feel the need to have earned your place in ministry.  Don’t go to seminary in order to fix yourself.  Don’t go to seminary so that you can nail down all of your theological and doctrinal positions, so you won’t have to worry about that stuff once you’re done.  That’ll do for a starter […]



Social Experiment on Caste

We got back to The Purple Door a little while ago, after spending a couple hours on the UW campus, in front of the student union.  We were out there doing a social experiment designed to bring awareness to the caste issue in India.  We had a TON of fun out there, talking with students.  Here’s how it went: We set up a table, with a banner that read, “Free Candy.” We had a small, clear acrylic pastry case on the table, with three levels.  On the bottom level, there were bit-sized candy bars – Crunch, Baby Ruth, Butterfingers.  On the middle level, there were full-sized candy bars – Snickers, Crunch, Baby Ruth.  On the top level, there were three Dilettante dark chocolate bars (Dilettante is a Seattle fine chocolate company). We would offer any students passing by some free candy.  If they responded and came over to talk to […]



A unique day

Yesterday will certainly go down as one of the more memorable experiences of my life.  It began with two heroes and ended with another.  I’ll try to be brief. I already mentioned the Seeds of Compassion event that took place in Seattle over the past several days.  Yesterday was the final day, which was an emphasis on interfaith expressions of compassion.  Jim Henderson was kind enough to send me an invite to an invitation only prayer breakfast with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  (The picture to the right has Jim in the foreground, and Archbishop Tutu hanging out behind him).  It was held in a hotel ballroom with a couple hundred folks.  Quite surreal to be sitting a few tables away from these two men who have both made enormous sacrifices and been bold in opposing powerful forces.  The room was buzzing with energy as they sat on […]



Ash Wednesday

Welcome to Lent, everyone.  It’s kind of weird to say it that way, I guess, but here we are on Ash Wednesday, ready to prepare our hearts for an important season ahead.  I shall be adding a daily discipline to my life, rather than abstaining from something.  There are lots of good resources out and about on the web.  It’s clear that this time of reflection and repentance is resonant in many peoples’ hearts. Today, we at The Purple Door, will be venturing out onto the campus of the University of Washington, asking students what they’d be willing to give up.  We’re assuming that very few of them know what Lent is, or care.  So we’re trying to introduce the concept by asking them about sacrifice and appreciation.  “What would you be willing to give up for your mom?”  “What would you give up for a good night’s sleep?”  “What […]



Mornings Like These

On days like today, I haul my tired butt out of bed, and at some point look at myself in the mirror and say, “Dude, you’re looking old.” Typically, I’m more oriented toward “feeling as old as I think,” which is to say, fairly young. Happily I can say on this Monday morning that I’m tired from having had a weekend of seeing good friends. I spent Thursday evening and Friday morning/early afternoon at the Off The Map Live event. Got to at least touch base with a number of friends and acquaintances that I only see at events like that. It would have been really good to be there longer and relax a little with some friends. But I had to jump in my car with a couple of my younger friends (a.k.a. my staff team) and drive many hours through the dark of night to get to eastern […]