Moving!

Sorry to say, y’all, but “Kingdom Script” is closing down! This is actualy good news, though. I’m fully integrating my blogs instead of splitting the different parts of me into different places. You can now start reading posts about the experience of being gay and Christian (as well as my reflections on ministering in Chicago) over at calebmurphree.tumblr.com


This move is also motivated by my desire to make mental space for a new initiative of ministry. My ministry in Chicago, which I used the umbrella term “Blue Line Mission” to describe, is developing in some beautiful ways. I’m getting ready to launch a web presence soon, and consolidating my blogs is the first move. (I’m sure heyodavo will receive this news with a sigh of relief and a smile!). I’m looking forward to sharing with y’all all that is to come!


For now, head over to calebmurphree.tumblr.com and start following me there!

NO MO’ DOMA!

RT @freedomtomarry: Supreme Court: DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons…protected by 5th Amendment.

Exciting Update about Life and Ministry in Chicago

Chicago

Hello friends and family!

This is an unusually long post, but I really hope you read it! I’m excited to share updates about life and ministry in Chicago, and I have some great information and stories to share below:

 

Urban Village Church: Going Deeper

  • In the last eight months, my church, Urban Village Church, has launched a Sunday morning service in Wicker Park (a northwestern neighborhood) and Hyde Park (a southern neighborhood).
  • In Wicker Park (my primary site), we are consistently filling the theater with more than 90 persons each Sunday – after starting with 30 last fall.
  • We celebrated the church’s three-year birthday not too long ago, with about 400 people in attendance!
  • The small group called “Gospel and City Life Group” which I launched in January has a solid 13 people committed to the group. People are going deeper, sharing their lives with one another, becoming roommates, serving the city together, and taking vacations together.
  • I have begun discipling an apprentice leader who will launch a new small group this September.

 

Ministry in My Neighborhood of Logan Square

  • One of my friends, whom we can call Beth, recently moved away from Chicago. Beth is not a follower of Jesus, and she has many strong disagreements with the Christian Church. However, she told me that I was “the first Bible-banger that I like”! I believe that seeds of the kingdom have been planted, and I pray that God continues to work in her life.
  • About a month ago I met someone whom we can call Drew who expressed interest in having a one-on-one conversation about Christianity. Drew recently graduated from the University of Chicago and is new to my neighborhood. We’ve had coffee a couple of times, and he’s pretty interested in the gospel. Drew is a skeptic, and he had a lot of baggage from his religious background. However, he has initiated these really deep, honest conversations and I’m hopeful for what God might do through this friendship!

 

Why?

For those of you who are new to this email thread, I want you to know why I choose to live in Chicago – despite the sad weather, the horrible politics, and the rampant violent crime. The truth is, God did not call me here. I don’t think God calls anyone to any particular place  - apart from an audible voice (which I have not heard!). Rather, I am here because I think that, to obey Jesus’ commission, Chicago is the most strategic place to be. Why?

  • Chicago contains more than 2.5 million people who do not follow Jesus.
  • Most churches in the city, both of mainline and evangelical varieties, are declining.
  • In 2012, gun crimes increased by 10% over the previous year, with 2,460 people shot.
  • In the 2011 to 2012 school year, 319 Chicago Public School students were shot, 24 fatally.
  • Only 16 of Chicago’s 600+ public schools have full-time social workers.
  • Next school year, Chicago is closing 50 public schools, affecting 30,000 students - the largest school closing ever in one U.S. city.

 

Important News

Last time that I wrote, I mentioned my intention to form a small non-profit organization called “Blue Line Mission” that will provide structure to my passion to see followers of Jesus equipped as servants, theologians, and pilgrims in their respective Chicago neighborhoods. The specifics have changed a bit because of some important news.

I am happy to announce that on July 1, 2013, I will begin a one-year internship with Urban Village Church in Wicker Park! This internship will afford me the opportunity to begin the work of Blue Line Mission with an energetic church body and an experienced pastoral staff. My work with Docent Research Group will end soon, and I will begin devoting 10-15 hours a week to Urban Village Church.

My passion for developing leaders who are servants of the church, theologians of the gospel, and pilgrims for the common good has not changed. I still plan to fulfill the goals of my mission; I only add one more:

  • Strengthen my network of leaders from various Chicago churches
  • Seek to understand what small group leaders need
  • Establish a website for Blue Line Mission, and write blogs to encourage and spark ideas for urban Christian leaders
  • Develop as a servant, theologian, and pilgrim under the leadership of Urban Village Church.

 

Support in Prayer and Finances

As I have said before, I am wildly grateful for your love, support, prayers, and encouragement since I moved into the city one year ago. I invite you to support me in prayer and in finances for this new chapter of my life in Chicago. I will receive a monthly $500 stipend for my internship with Urban Village Church, and I must raise the funds from ministry partners like you. I am excited for you to have a direct hand in what God is doing in and through me here in Chicago. Please consider what you would like to give, and fill out a pledge form online by clicking here.

I believe that God is moving in unique ways in Chicago, and I would love for you to join me in getting swept up. Let’s lean into this fresh movement of God’s kingdom!

Praying all the best for each of you,

M. Caleb Murphree

Servant • Theologian • Pilgrim
Email | Twitter | Blog

 

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It’s really no surprise that I have come to believe that my body is a shameful thing, meant to be hidden, covered up, backed into corners. It’s no shocker that my conditioned response to men, young and old, openly ogling my body, is to internalize that shame, blame myself, and remain silent. It’s not a surprise to me, either, that thousands of women brought up in the paradox of strict evangelical modesty/purity culture and the hyper-sexualization of American culture have developed such an unhealthy relationship with their bodies.

The Only Thing My Double D’s Ever Got Me Was Kicked Out of Church,” by Becca Rose

(via calebmurphree)

Here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!
Tim Keller (via rebelsigh)

(via unworthyofhisgrace)

Many of us view the world as an ugly place with a few beautiful redeeming characteristics. Unfortunately, that’s also how we view humans. But what I learned at Liberty was that this idea is the exact opposite of reality: The world and the people in it are really wonderful with just a smidge of ugliness about them.
From an amazing, amazing article by Brandon Ambrosino, "Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University"
Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected. People cannot give you what you long for in your heart.
Henri Nouwen (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
I will not change my views, and Dan will likely not change his, but we can continue to listen, learn and appreciate “the blessing of growth” that happens when we know each other better. I hope that our nation’s political leaders and campus leaders might do the same.
From LGBT activist Shane Windmeyer’s "Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A"