The inspiration for this summer series was in part the twelve to fourteen spiritual disciplines central to the Christian life– things like prayer, study, service, worship. While not all of the disciplines are claimed by everyone (fasting, and confession perhaps the most controversial) I am drawn to them as a beautiful example of the wisdom of our tradition. These disciplines are things that people on the Way of Jesus have done for hundreds of years as a means of cultivating a more intimate relationship with the Divine. In designing the Centering Summer series we hope to ground these ancient disciplines within the specific resources and practices of our community.
There is also another stream to our thought as an “ecu-mergent” congregation, and that is the Emergent Conversation. For those of you who are new to emergent vocabulary, I invite you to spend some time exploring Emergent Village. (I particularly like the Post-Conference Reflection with Phyllis Tickle — she was my intro to emergent at the conference in Memphis this past fall). Anyway, in emergent circles, relationality is very important. Relationality is one of those great words which I am convinced is made up in graduate school (sister words include historicity and religiosity). Relationality is the art of cultivating relationships. While it may be those on the emergent spectrum that really give voice to relationality and friendship as a spiritual practice, people on the Way have been doing it since the beginning of the Church –and have also have been humbled by the task.
We humans are a prickly bunch. We are sensitive about the things we hold sacred. Ironically, this can make building relationships hard to do in the very place where we need them the most, with our fellow sojourners in our community of faith. Please join us this week as we ask what does it mean to be church together? To love each other? To listen deeply to stories of longing for truth, for beauty, for God, for wholeness?
Tonight we hope to cultivate good conversation as we eat some fancy pizza at Scott and Lisa’s (221 S. Edgefield Ave., 6:30pm). New folks and old friends are warmly invited to come and to worship with us Sunday morning as we explore the ancient craft of relationality.
En paz, In Peace