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Table of contents

They are weary, scared, hungry, and shell-shocked when they come to us.

With a meal, a shower, new clothes, and a call to their families in the U. S, they quickly get re-energized before they board a bus to meet their families. The people are courageous, full of faith in God, and hoping for a better life without threat of harm. It is a privilege to host these amazing guests. Recently Dottie started a faith networking group, Southern Arizona Border Care , to coordinate all the faith communities in caring for migrant guests.

They gather monthly to share needs and resources with the faith entities that are working to care for the travelers. Dottie is also a sought-after national and international speaker on such topics as creative worship, restart churches, and leadership from the edge.

She is a prolific writer and blogger. And we wondered what that was about.


We looked at various places we see the church outside of the church, like yoga studios, community potlucks, TED talks, bars, online crowdsourcing, etc. This is a book about taking note of where God is working even without the Church and learning from the culture. Dottie earned her Master of Divinity degree from CST and is grateful for the commuter option that was available then. I was spiritually and intellectually challenged, and I was surrounded by a community that was seeking to know God more.

CST made it possible for this mother of young children to be able to go to seminary.

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Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A Call for Heretics and Edge-Dwellers. Previous Next. View Larger Image. I remember one day my big sister Cherie was doing dishes when I decided to have some fun. I went outside and quietly snuck back in through the front door, hiding behind the corner. As soon as I heard Cherie coming my way, I jumped out and screamed at the top of my lungs.

Cherie was totally shocked, and her automatic reaction was a quick and firm slap to my face! But I was not done yet. After a hug and some laughter, I went outside again and snuck back in through the front door. I hid until the right moment, and—you guessed it—I jumped out and scared her one more time with my horrendous scream.

This time she had a metal bucket in her hand and, without thinking, she bopped me across the arm with that bucket. She was laughing, and I was crying! It was the best of fun, and I look back on that moment with fondness and chuckle at my stupidity! In junior high, my friend Clarissa fainted in our teacher's arms, only to shout out, April Fools! Thank goodness the math teacher had a keen sense of humor! Once Clarissa even convinced my boyfriend that he should go out with her, all the while I was hiding in the floor of the back seat of the car.

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Poor Danny! Clarissa is in heaven now, and I have no doubt that she is giving the angels a good laugh.

Sermon Seeds de Dottie Escobedo-Frank en Gandhi

My sister Sarita and I would often trade places on the phone, pretending we were each other to find out what was really going on! April Fool's Day is my favorite holiday because it is a day when surprises are expected. Ask my last church what fun Sunday can be on April Fool's Day! Sermons have a reputation in recent history of being boring— things people endure. When I went to seminary, the thing I dreaded most about becoming a pastor was that I'd have to give sermons. I was scared to death of getting up in front of people, but also, I was not excited about watching people fall asleep at my expense!

I was determined to find a way to make this part of ministry fun!


So I began my own personal search for something I didn't know exactly what that would bring surprise and delight to the church once a week. I was fascinated as I watched the staff weave together word, technology, and fabulous music to create a worship experience that kept me on the edge of my seat, straining to hear every word.

Excited, I began to wonder if I could do the same thing in my little church down the road. No more than two or three days after the conference, I was sitting in my office as mad as a hornet. I realized I couldn't do what they did at Community Church of Joy. We didn't have the technology, the money, or the staff to support any creative ideas I might come up with. But I stopped myself from defeatist attitudes and began to think of creative venues that did not cost money.

I recalled the world of the arts: painting, sculpture, poetry, and song. I thought about mime, dance, drama, and interviews. I remembered my Dad's comment, Poverty is the genius of invention, Dottie. I began to realize that creativity doesn't require money but that it does require out-of-the-box surprises. I began to experiment. I began to surprise myself and others.

I began to think of sermons in a new way. Sermons are creative avenues for God's message. Every week pastors work hand in hand with God to create a structure for the delivery of an old, old story.

The problem is that we need to tell that story in a new, new way. Most pastors did not take Creative Dance or Drama or Visual Arts classes in seminary, so we lack the understanding of delivery needed to reach this generation and beyond. The old, old way of delivering sermons a manuscript monologue has to decrease, and a new format must emerge. The language has changed. Multimedia replaces print. Multi replaces uni -form. Sermon giving becomes like a multifaceted diamond: many sides to the same jewel.

We are at a place in history where personal learning is at an all-time high. What we learned in seminary is the foundation, but the walls and the roof will not go up without further exploration of this new language. To complicate the problem further, most churches are small, understaffed entities of one or two.

How does a small church with a solo pastor and a part-time assistant begin to find resources to produce a sermon every week? Most pastors have attended conferences in which they see the fabulous way the message is enhanced by a staff of twenty and by multimedia equipment. When they return home, they are faced with their own reality: a pastor, an assistant, and not a whit of the latest technical support.

Discouragement is common after attending such events. There is an answer! Creative, multifaceted sermons can happen without extravagant resourcing! It takes more creativity and more outside-the-box thinking, but it can happen in a small church. This book is intended to stir your own creative juices within the boundaries of your own reality and to remind you that everything does not boil down to finances!

God made us as creative beings! So as you read the outlines of sermon ideas, let your imagination flow, use whatever bits and pieces you need from this book, and build upon the creativity that has been offered to you in these pages.