John Erik Pattison

FRED Talks Wins Grant

Our FRED Conference was one of four projects to win grants from Community Matters and the Orton Family Foundation. Here is a little blurb I wrote for them about the Upstream Makers Collective and FRED Talks. The Upstream [Makers] Collective is a newly established group of artists, writers, and makers who have started coming together to […]

Unending Diversity

On a walk over lunch today, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the diversity of the universe. I was struck by the vibrant fall colors on the ancient oak trees that surround my office, and how the leaves are all an expression of the genetic personality of the tree but how each leaf is distinct unto […]

Prevenient Courage

Sometimes, when I walk the neighborhoods of my town, I imagine Silverton as it will look after the full reconciliation of all things. I see the people, places, and non-human creatures of my community finally, fully themselves. It’s not a very specific vision of flourishing but it is a great source of hope and inspiration […]

How I Came to Love Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot the last two days about writing — why I write and how I came to love it. What has come to mind aren’t discernible patterns in a mountain of data, but rather a stream of ordinary moments, seemingly random and without explanation: a memory of my parents playing cards with […]

Climate Change Manifesto

If there was an evangelical movement to deal with the reality of climate change, this could be its manifesto. Its author, Dorothy Sayers, was friends with C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Charles Williams. “When the laws regulating human society are so formed as to come into collision with the [laws of nature]…they will end by producing […]

Budgets, Family and Federal

Here’s an idea for one of those year-long experiment books. What if, for one year, Kate and I modeled our family budget after the federal government’s? Let’s say we have a household income of $70,000. But we’d have to live beyond our means. Six percent of all our spending (or about $4,410) would go to make […]


A rare, longish, overtly political blog post from me. Something that’s been on my mind the last couple days: In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Madison in which he makes the case that a federal bond should be paid within one generation of incurring the debt, because “the earth belongs in usufruct […]