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The Continued Zonio Adventures

Back in June 2010, I resigned my position as the children’s pastor at Redwood Park Church in Thunder Bay, Ontario just north of Minnesota on Lake Superior to move back to the San Francisco Bay Area where Erin and I grew up. We weren’t sure what was next, we just knew that it was time to move, so we trusted God and took a leap of faith. Over the past four years, it’s been an amazing adventure!

A few weeks ago, I participated in the graduation ceremony for the sociology department as SJSU and was hooded as along with four other from my graduate cohort as a Master of Arts recipient! While I officially receive my degree in August, I’ve passed my thesis defense and submitted my thesis to the graduate studies department at SJSU. As a result, the Zonios find themselves at another launching off point.

As we’ve looked ahead at the kind of family life we want as well as the dreams we want to hold on to, we have realized that we need to take another leap of faith.

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The front page of the above newspaper sums up what we’re up to next 🙂 There will be another Zonio family living in the Lexington, KY area beginning in July. (My brother and his family already live there. BTW, if you are looking for a top notch photographer, check out Conrhod Zonio Photography!)

One of the reasons we are moving simply has to do with affordability. As we are looking forward, in order for us to continue living in the Bay Area, both Erin and I will have to work full time. That is not what we want or dreamed of for our family. Additionally, neither Erin nor I are in fields that can strive here in the Bay Area. Moving to Lexington puts us in a place that is more affordable for our family and allows us margin to enjoy being together.

Another reason for moving to Lexington is that there are more opportunities for me to pursue my goal of being able to teach at a liberal arts college or university. Even if we stay in the Bay Area, we would have to move in five years or so in order for me to find a faculty position at a liberal arts institution. Consequently, I will be applying to the Ph.D. program in sociology at the University of Kentucky for Fall 2015.

While our lives are, once again, up in the air for the immediate future, we are excited to jump into this next part of our family journey. We are praying that this move will be the last major move for a LONG time. We are also looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us. Already, we’ve seen God take care of little details on this side of the move.

We are hugely appreciative for all of the people who have cheered, supported and prayed for us along the way. We ask that you continue to pray for us. Here are some things you can pray for as we move forward:

  • that I will quickly find full time employment in Lexington
  • for safety as we move our stuff from the SF Bay Area to Lexington
  • for our children as they adjust to a new area and new schools
  • that we will quickly find community to be a part of

We’re scared, excited, sad, anxious and expectant about this move… yes, a bunch of contradictory emotions. Most of all, we can’t wait to see what this part of our journey has for each of us.

I’ll end this post with a song that is becoming one of our family theme songs as we get closer to this move.

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The Spectacle that is Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham

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(graphic from BioLogos)

I shared this on Facebook, but I thought I’d share here in light of what I see as pointless posturing from two sides of multifaceted and nuanced understandings of a much larger conversation on origins.

BioLogos has a series of posts on the whole Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye “showdown”. I encourage you to hop on over to their site and read those posts. I have the utmost respect for BioLogos and what they are doing to engage in dialogue concerning faith and science.

Stuff like this adds to the alienation of those of us who don’t see this issue as one vs. the other or “us” vs. “them”. It also reinforces shallow caricatures of “Godless academics” and “Ignorant Christians.”

Rather than tuning into tonight’s rhetorical circus, I suggest picking up a book like Sigmund Brouwer’s “Who Made the Moon?: A Father Explores How Faith and Science Agree”, which offers what I believe is a better way to explore faith and science with your kids.

What are some other resources out there helping people explore faith and science that don’t resort to “us” vs. “them” dichotomies?

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Winner of the Orange 13 ticket is…

Jodi Quinn!

Congratulations to Jodi for winning, and thank you for all of you sharing your game changing stories.

Amy Dolan Re-Imagines Partnering with Parents

I love Amy Dolan‘s perspective on spiritual formation and how to engage families from all walks of life. Check out this amazing post over at her blog on what I believe is a much better way to see what are job is as children’s ministers when it comes to partnering with parents.

“helping parents identify things that get in their way, and then leading each to cast aside the preventers. a new way of partnering with parents.”

Here’s a great post from Gordon West about how we need to spend more time living out Jesus every day and not focus just on “putting Christ back in Christmas.”

Gordon West - KidZ PreZ

Christmas TreeWe just heard yet another news story about the evergreen tree with colored lights on it being called a “holiday tree” this year. We attended the Phoenix Symphony yesterday for a wonderful afternoon of “Holiday Pops,” where Santa Claus wished us all “Happy Holidays.” And last night a very kind Home Depot employee noticed my VBS t-shirt before telling us that he refuses to obey corporate policy and always wishes people a “Merry Christmas.”

All of this got me wondering, does it really make any difference? Perhaps the bigger issue is how we, who know Jesus, celebrate every day of our lives!  In fact, instead of watching the world take Christ out of Christmas, what if we put Jesus INTO every holiday?  Why not try celebrating a bit differently in 2013:

  • On January 21 (MLK Day), honor God and Martin Luther King, Jr, by living in peace with others in…

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Book Review: Clean Water for Elirose by Ariah Fine

It’s been exciting to see children’s ministries all over the place helping children see and respond to global social issues. The challenge, though, for children’s ministry leaders and parents is finding resources to help children grab onto and understand issues like building wells for clean water. It’s such a foreign concept for children who grow up not having to worry about whether or not the water they are about to drink will make them sick or not. Continue reading

Holy Week…

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by Javier Delgado Esteban)

I know I’m a bit late on this, but this past Sunday (Palm Sunday) marked the beginning of Holy Week in the church calendar. I’m curious to find out if any of you do anything with the kids and families in your churches for Holy Week? It seems to me that we tend to pass up the events leading up to Easter and focus on the resurrection event. Don’t get me wrong, I get excited about Christ’s resurrection and look forward to celebrating Easter from year to year! I think we miss out, though, by taking that hop, skip and a jump from the celebratory nature of Palm Sunday to the even bigger celebration of Easter Sunday.

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One.Life Blogging Project Thank You

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by SimplyShutterbug)

A HUGE thanks to all of the contributors to the One.Life blogging project. This was an independent project of mine so each of the contributors got nothing in return for their participation other than the opportunity to share their thoughts on, what I believe, to be a valuable book. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the posts, I encourage you to do so by clicking on the links below. I also encourage you to check out the blogs of each of the contributors.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, as well, on each of the topics covered so as a little incentive I will be giving away a copy of One.Life to one lucky person! Here’s what you have to do in order to be entered into the drawing, which will be Saturday, April 16 at midnight (PST):

  • Comment on at least one of the blog posts below (you get one entry per blog post you comment on)

AND

  • Tweet this or put this on your Facebook: “How would you answer, ‘What is a Christian?’ Join the conversation & win a copy of One.Life by Scot McKnight! http://bit.ly/g5Lz2q”

Be sure to check out all of the posts in this book blogging project:

One.Life Blogging Project: Chapter 14 – Cross.Life.Ressurection.Life

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by Babo Style)

This is part of a book blogging project for Scot McKnight‘s book, One.Life. In this blogging project, various contributors will be looking at each chapter of the book as McKnight unfolds his answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” I believe that what McKnight has to say will challenge each of us in different ways on how we view what it means to follow Jesus and how we help children and families understand that. Please interact with what is written here in the comments section below. Also, I encourage you to pick up One.Life and read along with us adding your thoughts and impressions as well.

The review for chapter 14 is submitted by Barbara Graves. Barbara has been in children’s ministry for over 30 years and currently is the children’s pastor at Momentum Church in Woodstock, Georgia.  She has been married to her husband, Chris for 27 years and they have 4 grown children.  She loves to read and tweet, and drinks way too much coffee. You can also catch Barbara at her blog, Caffeinated Adventure.

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One.Life Blogging Project: Chapter 13 – God.Is.Love.Life

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by Leonard John Matthews)

This is part of a book blogging project for Scot McKnight‘s book, One.Life. In this blogging project, various contributors will be looking at each chapter of the book as McKnight unfolds his answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” I believe that what McKnight has to say will challenge each of us in different ways on how we view what it means to follow Jesus and how we help children and families understand that. Please interact with what is written here in the comments section below. Also, I encourage you to pick up One.Life and read along with us adding your thoughts and impressions as well.

The review for chapter 13 is submitted by Henry Zonio. Henry has 20 years’ experience in children’s ministry as a volunteer and a full time Children’s Pastor in the USA and Canada. Henry is the founder of Elemental CM, which exists to move ministry to children and families forward through coaching, consulting, and conversation on the blog. Henry has served in children’s ministry leadership roles in multiple denominations and has led children’s ministry workshops and breakouts at various conferences. Having lived in warmer climates like California and more frigid ones like Thunder Bay, Ontario, Henry has taken his love of watersports to new levels from swimming and wakeboarding to sitting in a sauna followed by rolling in the snow.

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