The fact that so many Christian communities make use of a brick-and-mortar plant as the center of their common life means they are inextricably bound up with nostalgia.  Their buildings keep them stuck in the vision of what Christian life and worship required when the plants were built.  Even a brand-new church building is out of date as soon as it’s opened in light of the gospel injunction to “let the dead bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60).  This rootedness in the past, whether fondly remembered or soundly rejected, filters into all the avenues of communication churches use: sermons, bulletins, newsletters, websites, etc.  Buildings and language both reinforce a message of hierarchy and exclusivity fundamentally opposed to the radical hospitality of Jesus, who welcomes women and men into discipleship based not on their qualifications but on their desire to follow him.  This course will invite participants to examine the language and behavior of their communities with a critical eye, asking whether these draw the reader/listener toward the reign of God or invite them to reside comfortably in the religion of the past.