Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Being Sent: Ways of the Spirit

Hi all. Recuperating from the flu this weekend I have been reading Life of the Beloved; spiritual living in a secular world by Father Henri Nouwen, and it seems to lift up the essence of our vision and mission, or why we seek to do what we do here in our time and place and context. He begins with the love; that we are Beloved, no matter what culture or our own history tries to tell us, and so our whole identity is connected to Love, comes from Love, chosen or taken by Love, and this is a Blessing that to be fully realized must be shared. Being who we are we receive this original blessing through our own brokenness, which is to be transformed in seeing it for what it is, just a part and not the whole of us, and also in its sharing. This is why we are a people sent into the world. And each of these elements or movements of the spiritual life in Nouwen's work also mirror the elements of communion of cup and plate in our weekly practice--taking what we have received, blessing, breaking, giving to others.

"Everything changes radically," he writes, "from the moment you know yourself as being sent into the world." Nouwen was a leading academic theologian at Yale and other universities and who left to find his place of being sent into the world in living in community with people with mental disabilities, but he writes that we all have our places and the radical change he speaks of can happen anyplace once the spiritual vision is understand of being chosen, blessed, broken, and given. I often talk about the three R's of the spiritual life or re-locating, re-distributing, and re-conciling, and these can happen many ways and places. Nouwen says our task is to learn to see the sacred in our daily lives and all the people we come into contact with, even with those who don't speak our language of faith for they will help us know our own faith more deeply.

So it is whenever we find ways to meet others in the world and to come together in worship and service.
Some of these times will be this Monday Oct. 12 at 7 pm at Phillips Theological Seminary, 901 N. Mingo, for Faith Matters lecture on body images and gender and theology by Sarah Morice Brubaker, and during the weekly Tuesday walking club at 5;30 pm at A Third Place, and Wednesday evening for working at the Center to clean it and get it ready for the big Community Visions event which will take place from 10 am to Noon on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Center when our collaboration with OU Social Work students finishes up this semester with their presentations of grant possibilities for us before a panel of real foundation representatives. And for worship on Sunday, Oct. 18 when we explore our "status update' of our spiritual life. It is also present whenever our Center opens itself in service to others through the Clinic newly expanded and as we seek to expand our food pantry and other projects you have heard about and will hear more about it.
And on our own in our families and at work and other communities, the sacredness is waiting to be seen, and shared.

Blessings and thanks and more soon,

Type rest of the post here

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