Sunday, February 19, 2006

Next gatherings plus Troy Hatfield paper


We are excited to engage in several new things over the next month. We invite you to join us on a regular basis. If you have been a lurker or watching from a distance, we hope the two additional gatherings provide a means for you to engage!
“rethinking tuesday”
Ideas matter. Ideas change how we live. Here we re-think deeply on theology and how it gets worked out in life. Third Tuesday of each month from 7pm-10pm at the Black Rose.

Our first gathering will be THIS coming tuesday night, Feb. 21!
Please RSVP to Joel McClure to help us determine seating for the night!

the black rose
100 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI
(616) 456-7673
"seeking friday"
Time & space to quiet ourselves. We gather simply for prayer for our city, world, and each other. First Friday of each month. 9am-10am.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church134 North Division AvenueGrand Rapids, MI 49503-3173phone - (616)456-1684
"conversation wednesday"
a connecting point for conversation among people who are interested and invested in emerging edges of the Church. second Wednesday of each month from 10:30am-Noon.
The Bite. Pearl at Ottawa.

topic: Towards a Generous Orthopraxis

A few years ago pastor, theologian and author, Brian McLaren challenged us to broaden our thinking about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in his book Generous Orthodoxy. Using the writings of theologian and author Howard Thurman (Jesus and the disinherited, Disciplines of the Spirit), Andre Daley will challenge us to broaden our way, acting on patterns of life that Jesus lived and taught as we move Towards a Generous Orthopraxis. Specifically what does it mean to "rehearse" Pentecost through the spiritual practice of reconciliation.

the bite
151 Ottawa Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI
(616) 451-8000

future opportunities...

Rudy Carrsasco will be in town March 17 & 18 in connection with Volunteers in Service. If you want to engage with Rudy, check out this link. (it's a pdf file)

Nicholas Wolterstorff will be speaking on the topic of "Love and Justice" on
March 21 & March 22. Western Seminary, Mulder Chapel.
~ tuesday, march 21 at 11am & 2pm / wednesday, march 22 at 10am

Notes from Feb. 8 "conversation wednesday"

The following paper was presented as part of our conversation around the topic: "Is there Space for Lent in the Emerging Church World?" Troy has generously agreed to share his work here.
"Isn't that for Catholics" presented by Troy Hatfield
of Mars Hill Bible Church, grandville

I’ve grown used to hearing that question when I mention Lent. My response, which I hope continues to be laced with fewer rolls of the eyes and sarcastic comebacks, has remained fairly consistent: “It’s for all of us.”

I believe Lent is a fantastic opportunity to be put back together. We are all fractured and broken people in need of wholeness and health. Lent provides us a concentrated period to move towards that wholeness. Through self-examination and repentance our relationship and connection with God can be put back together. Through giving and intentional communal experiences our connection with our fellow humans can be put back together. And through self-denial, space and meditation we can take steps towards our own personal health and wholeness.

“But aren’t those things we should always be thinking about?” many have asked. “Shouldn’t these be daily investments and concerns? Why would we say forty-some days are meant to focus on these things?”

I’m glad you asked.

First, let’s acknowledge how desperately the Church needs to sanctify time. The way people have grown to deal with and handle time robs any sense of its holiness or rhythm or sacred space. Our “Git ‘R Done” approach to time numbs us to what I believe is “an intrinsic human desire to order time in such a way as to apprehend the invisible and sacred dimensions of life.” (Wendy Wright, The Rising) All time is not the same. Even the things we say confirm this.

“Time stood still.”

“Time just flew by.”

Some time is full of beauty and love and sweetness. Other time is full of pain and difficulty and burden. Some time we can never get enough of. Some time feels endless, as though we’ll be forever trapped inside it. Not all time is the same. The Church desperately needs a healthy understanding and approach to time—a theology of time that acknowledges and embraces the intricate latticework of time that gives us the chance to peek into the mysteries of how things are. During Lent we have the chance to shape the contours of time in some ways and incorporate a more sacred rhythm and space.

For our particular worshipping community, we are committed to understanding our roots—to continually acknowledge and learn from the long history of people who have sought to follow God. The ancient practice of Lent has formed and inspired countless individuals and communities throughout history, who have, to some mysterious extent, informed and shaped the world as we know it. We want to swim in those deep streams and be reminded this beautiful story of God started long before us and will continue long after us. We hope, through Lent, that our own small stories will gradually be “woven into the tapestry of the great stories of the faith.” (Wendy Wright, The Rising)

We believe the resurrection is true. We believe we are all in need of continuous resurrections. Lent gives us a framework within which we look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Through that framework, Lent is intended to keep us aware and remind us of the numerous experiences of resurrection in the ordinary fabric of our everyday lives—resurrection of hope, desire, relationships, wholeness…

Finally, we believe the Church is meant to be a force for good in the world. There is incredible power when a united group of people commit to a season of anticipation and restoration. Even as we acknowledge the historical community of people we are joining, Lent cements forcefully the importance of the shared life of the Church now. The season provides a commonality—a rallying point for fellow journeyers. It is a time we commit to introspection, self-denial, confession, restoration and anticipation together. Individual experiences lived alongside each other, informing and encouraging each other. Beautiful. Inspiring. Right.

In Forgotten Among the Lilies, Ronald Rolheiser writes “the task of Christianity is not to teach us how to live, but to teach us how to live again, and again, and again.” The season of Lent invites us to take our place among “the broken, the loved sinners, those for whom Christ came” and enter this rhythm of learning to live again and again together.


Blogger pomo_pilgrim said...

Rock on, I’m pumped for all that is ahead.

Joel, Randy...props brotha's for doing all this. You guys are amazing.

I'm excited to see everyone out tomorrow night at the Rose. I can taste the Stout already.

The past couple weeks, God has been challenging me in my faith. I guess what it looks like is putting my money where my mouth is in terms of living out; executing the very things we love to talk about.

I've learned that conversation is much easier and fun sometimes than follow through.

I guess I would like to challenge you guys with the same thing. As great as it is to talk and converse, there are people out there that don't know God, and maybe sometimes we need to spend less time talking, and more time doing?

It’s just a thought, and I'm bad at this too. I'm in the same camp as everybody else, and I need to hear this as everyone else.

I guess the hardest truth to swallow is that when we stand before God in judgment, He is not going to ask us what we believe, or what we said, or what we talked about...but what we did.

How are we living out the Kingdom of God here on earth? How are our churches living out the kingdom of God?

5:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home