Thursday, August 13, 2009

Church of Others: Addendum: The Tangible Kingdom

See posts below if you want to read these in sequence.

I would have brought this resource also into the workshop on the organic church. It is the Rhythms of Organic Communities of Faith. It comes from Halter and Smay's The Tangible Kingdom: creating incarnational community. Great overview for how to set out the touchstones of communities of faith.

Three focus areas: Community, Communion, Mission

Community: sharing friends, sharing food, sharing lifeHow are you and your community of faith doing at this?How are all of these taking place in "third places", proximity spaces?

Communion: sharing scripture, holding sabbath gatherings, creating "soulace"spaces
(Soulace spaces are simple gatherings through the week where people can be together for a more communal experience in scripture, silence, prayer, reflection. Especially in public space, maybe walking a labyrnth or stations of the cross though; experiences that are informal maybe only two or three people, a way to order the week around the spirit and also to meet and deepen with others.) I am starting to think of taking advantage of soulace spaces in my area and creating more ways to be with one or two in them for contemplation. )

Mission: benevolent action, spontaneous blessing, sacrificial giving, sending of leaders.

Halter and Smay conclude by talking about how resources of time talent treasure are not distributed evenly between these three areas, however, but are weighted toward community and mission components.Key point they remind church of: what you seed will grow. what you give money to, and leadership to, will grow. Are you putting it into those areas that need it most to live out your reason for being, and that which will help create a discontinuity with the past and help you be more responsive to our changed cultures; or are they going into more of the same salaries, building, curriculum, programs. For what you give to will grow, so be careful what you give to, what you spend your life on, the life of your community. I think their book and their three focus areas might be a good guide for church's looking to evaluate themselves, especially with the aim of becoming more incarnational. End.

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