Ur 2.0: Introducing Url & The Urthlings
A slate of new voices for the journey ahead.

You may have noticed that the blog has a slightly new look. The revised banner is a simple way for us to celebrate Out of Ur's third anniversary. In October 2005, Leadership embarked on a digital journey of conversation. Since then this blog has grown to become a meeting place for church leaders and a think tank for cultural missionaries.

But that was just the beginning.

The second reason for the new look is to symbolize changes that we're making to Out of Ur as it moves into its fourth year. We'll be unveiling those changes in style, format, and content in the days ahead, so stay tuned. For today we are happy to introduce a new slate of regular voices to the site. We hope you benefit from the wisdom of these Urthlings in the days ahead.

Url Scaramanga is the facilitator of Out or Ur and an adjunct professor of interdisciplinary pseudonymology at the College of Creative Writing in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. He is the son of circus performers but left to pursue ministry. Url nearly earned a seminary degree but was "encouraged to seek another calling" after an unfortunate incident in hermeneutics class involving a pigeon. He retains a keen interest in issues of theology, culture, carnivals, and ministry, and believes blogging is the best use of his gifts for the church.

Dave Gibbons is the pastor of NewSong Church in Irvine, California. NewSong is a multi-ethnic church with locations in Irvine, Los Angeles, Northern Orange County, and Bangkok, Thailand. Gibbons is helping NewSong shift from a megachurch model to a church of smaller congregations called "verges." He first met Url one night in Bangkok.

Collin Hansen is an editor at large for Christianity Today. He is currently a seminary student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School while continuing to report for CT, Out of Ur, and author books. Hanson has also been seen on Fox News discussing issues of faith, politics, and culture. Collin first met Url during a toga party at a Reformed theology conference.

Bob Hyatt is lead pastor of the Evergreen Community - a church that meets at two pubs in Portland, Oregon. Apart from planting churches, helping other church planters, and blogging proficiently, Bob also edits the online e-zine, Next-Wave.org. Bob first met Url in Haiti where Bob was facilitating a water-purification project, and where Url was catching chickens.

Skye Jethaniis managing editor of Leadership. He also serves at Blanchard Alliance Church in Wheaton as a teaching pastor, a role he has occupied since 2002 after graduating from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He holds degrees in history and comparative religion, and has spoken and written widely about Christianity and consumerism. Skye first met Url at an ashram near Varanasi, India, where Url served as a short-term missionary/masseuse.

October 28, 2008

Displaying 1–8 of 8 comments

Jim Rodgers

October 31, 2008  2:19pm

Good one Justin. Like the "Create-a-Caption" cartoon contests, perhaps there should be an "Identify Url" contest.

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October 31, 2008  2:18pm

You should consider adding an urlene to your line-up. Need some women on this panel.

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October 30, 2008  11:57am

Actually we all know that Url is actually a pseudonym for Urlene Palin, an Inuit grandmother and abbess of a Christian moose-hunting monastic community just a little southeast of Nome. She's concerned about her brother, Michael Palin who sought the Holy Grail with Monty Python a generation ago, and about her wayward daughter, who has become preoccupied by politics and eyewear.

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October 30, 2008  11:16am

I want to add my disappointment at seeing no women's names included with the new Ur. I was assured at one point that Out of Ur did support both men AND women in ministry. There are many capable women's voices Ur could add; it would be encouraging to see a few of them engaged here.

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Erika Haub

October 30, 2008  3:34am

I appreciate the content here, and enjoy and respect many of your contributors a great deal. Thanks for gathering their insight to be shared in this forum. Christine, I had the same thought. Having watched the sidebar of links in the past hoping to see a woman's voice included in the "blogs we're watching", when I saw this post I thought: "Oh, surely there will be..."

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October 29, 2008  11:41am

I didn't notice until I read Mike R's comment - The men behind the curtain indeed. There are no women in leadership roles who can lend their voices to the conversation? (And please not only about Women's Ministry or Children's....) Really?

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Larry Baden

October 28, 2008  5:08pm

Url, I'm fascinated by your bio. What's your connection with Sheboygan Falls, other than your "academic" activities at there?

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mike rucker

October 28, 2008  2:19pm

thanks for letting us see a little bit about the men behind the curtain. it always helps to know the perspective of the writers of the posts that appear here. thanks for this forum. sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. norm might not read this blog, but there are some regulars who can always be counted on to make mountains out of molehills. and vice versa. and thanks for being a little more welcoming than challies.com and the pyros, places that i can't go with my own name... :)

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