Saturday, February 07, 2009

Next Gathering February 10

Hey gang - two things : 1) We will gather Tuesday Feb 10 at 7pm at the Front Page. 2) The suggestion was made last time that we find some space to do other things as a community than just have dinner once a month and talk to each other. We are planning a joint Ash Wednesday Service (location TBD) and hopefully this will be discussed along with the topic below on the 10th. Also we kicked around serving at a homeless shelter, or other equally wonderful ways to help those who have less. If you have suggestions on ways to do this, please send them my way and I'll compile them and send them on to Todd. We are also thinking about a picnic this summer in Rock Creek Park - maybe something that could include everyone from Restless Church??

So for Tuesday : The buzz on the cohort leader email has been about the tension between staying connected to a “traditional” church while also experimenting with Emergent. We are wondering how you all would respond to this question. To that point, I am including one of the latest posts for your reflection:

"Everyone's points have been helpful and very contextual (I've been burned before too)!

I'd say two interpenetrating principles lead me on this one:
A. Invention requires an artificial sense of objectivity- so to leave a community, self-differentiate, and then to focus on an alternative shaped community is crucial to any new vision being born.
B. But to love the greater whole requires an artificial sense of subjectivity- to belong to the church's destined transformation: In this case we are better for seeing ourselves as part of a larger whole, and not "othering" all the other/prior/disproven forms.

So as a presbyterian I'm better for to (B) acknowledging that we're part of larger arch of history, bigger than the "protestant reformation- with our solas, points, or marks of the true church". And as an emergent (B) I'm better for acknowledging that the $30k that is coming into our budget from the PC(USA) this year is material connection to all those old ladies in the presbyterian pews-- proof that we are more connected than I'd often assume. Yet as an emergent (A) I have to let go of Presbyterian forms and cliques long enought to be open to embracing what is taking shape organically in my neighborhood. And as a presbyterian (A) my healthiest posture includes calling all of my practices/confessions into question toward what they are being re-formed into.

At the edge/end of certitude lies this challenge: "hold to forms/particularities loosely without letting go of the poetics of the particular".

(You might also note that I use "artificial sense"- I think that the subjective/objective divide is a construct, but unavoidable. So it befits the church to use these categories in a more intentional, imagaintive, de/constructive way, instead of a place of pride/martyrdom/vigilantyism. The "remnant" language, the "protestant reformation" language, the "true church" language- they all require objective or subjective certainty- and they all fade in the face of new-creation-repentance-spirit-death-birth...)

All that said, I think... too many people stay at a particular church because of a narrow view of kingdom loyalty, and too many leave because of a shallow view of participation. Leave, stay, go start, quit... but do it all as a step into kingdom imagination, into deep practice. Anything you run from will end up sneaking into your next place on the coattails of your ideals."

So give this some thought. See you on the 10th!

Sara and Jason

No comments: