Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kate's back in the pulpit

For tomorrow at least.

Kate is preaching at Southside Presbyterian Church at 9:30 a.m.

The scripture is the call of Moses.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The perfect imperfect way

Well, we didn't go up the mountain. Not everyone ended up being able to get away. So we had supper, checked in, walked around the neighborhood, talked about our vision for community, and sang and prayed.

We remembered that any community, church, and attempt at living the Christian way, always comes up short. We toasted to imperfection and to loving each other anyway.

In the midst of our singing and sharing about lousy summers, something beyond us seemed to settle in. It was a gentle presence. A palpable spirit of quiet hope. And I was transformed by being there with this presence. It only comes when I am with others.

It doesn’t seem to matter if we are all in despair, threadbare, and wandering around the landscape of our lives dumbfounded. It seems to calm us.

I experience this presence as it returns me to the truest grounding. Expands me beyond myself. This is God to me. And this is Christian community. The “Where ever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I will be with you,” sort of community.

I can’t really explain it. But it’s why I believe in something more than we can see. And it’s why I keep on this path.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Retreating for Depth

We are giddy with expectant hope.

This weekend we will drive up our favorite mountain with some new friends. Our purpose is to get away to listen. We want to talk and pray and sing our way into the nitty gritty of forming an intentional community.

We know a few things. We like singing together. It's like prayer. Or chocolate, maybe. Among us are two singer-songwriters, one of us who can make up a song about her dogs at the drop of a hat, and a real-live dancing and clapping baby. The others of us like to join right in with great gusto. So, we want to keep singing together. We know that.

We all love food. Growing it. Cooking it. Navigating local farmers markets. Supporting local farmers and native seeds. Water harvesting. Sharing meals. Offering hospitality and parties centered around food. So, food. We like it. We want to have some. And share it. We know that too.

We all seek the flow that brings abundance. We want our shared life—gathering for prayer, silence, meals, conversation, weed pulling, and playing—to not be an end to itself, but a way of integrated life, that generates life. We want to live in a way that frees us. Frees our time and resources to be given away more generously. Frees our schedules to be more attentive to our individual calls in the world. So, we want to life life with joy, freedom, and a sense of abundance that allows us to live with generosity for others. Abundant life. Yeah, we'd like some of that too.

We've been pondering over the 12 marks of new monasticism. Kate and I have been talking a lot lately about Third Way thinking and Walter Wink's theology.

We look forward to what the spirit continues to stir up within and among us this weekend. It is beyond us and yet we get to participate in bringing it to life. I like working with the pieces of the dream of God that we get to be part of. I hope you'll keep us in your prayers.