Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Awakening of Hope, Sunday conversations and DVD series begins Nov. 11


The Awakening of Hope: why we practice a common faith
For Sunday, Nov. 11, 9:30 am. Discussion series based on Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s book

Foreword by Shane Claiborne: In Jesus we don’t see just a presentation of ideas but an invitation to join a movement that embodies God’s good news…Over and over, studies have shown that belief does not equal changed lives…In the end, Jesus as part of his great commission, sent his own followers out into the world not just to make believers—but to make disciples….And many of these practices are peculiar. They are marks of the holy counterculture that God has been forming for centuries. They invite you not to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed with a new imagination…Disciple shares the same root as the word discipline. [We need to]recapture the disciplines that help us to become better disciples.


The mission of the church is always to connect God’s story with society’s deep need….No matter how [bleak] things may seem in our world, fresh winds continue to stir new movements, reminding us that creation has been and is being redeemed…But that is not all we need. As much as revival may serve to energize God’s movement, we also need catechism to direct it…For every new sign of hope, there is ancient wisdom to help us interpret how a new thing can be rooted in God’s old, old story. When the Spirit stirs to awaken us, there are reasons for our hope. We learn them not only to share with others, but also to help us see the revival that’s happening where we are.

Chapter One: Pictures of Hope: Listen to Audiobook reading

Chapter 2: Why We Eat Together…video session #1

Church of the Sojourners in California, group of Christians who live in four large houses near one another. On Sunday evenings in backyard they worship with one another and neighbors. They eat, take care of dirty dishes, and worship is woven into it all, someone plays guitar, someone takes bread and breaks and blesses and shares. Eucharist or sharing bread and cup have been centerpiece of Christian worship from the time of Jesus. Particularly eating with sinners, tax collectors, outsiders to your culture; creating a welcome table, re-enacted by black and white Christians sitting at segregated counters to be able to eat together in the South.

“This meal is not possible without the gift of good soil. In the Bible’s account of Creation, we read that God formed the first human from the humus of the ground, then breathed the breath of life into [him]. Life is a mystery, and we are each of us always more than dirt. But Genesis preserves a profound truth in this account that insists our lives depend on dirt.”

Eating without attention is to reduce eating to the consumption of products. Wendell Berry said some people act as if “money brings forth food.”

“As I cover the lasagnas and carry them to another house where our community potluck is about to begin, I know there are easier, more efficient ways to get the calories I need at dinner time…But we’ve gone to the trouble to make this particular dinner for roughly the same reason we make an effort to eat with these particular people—because it seems more in keeping with the sort of community we are made for, even if it costs more time and money, even if it forces us to deal with people we’d sometimes rather avoid. One of the things we learn to name by eating together is that we are creatures, inextricably connected in a membership called creation. To deny that connection in practice is to reject the gift of life and to march, however slowly or blindly, toward our collective death.”

“One Sunday morning I prayed with Christians in the Dominican Republic, begging for daily bread beside a river that had dried up and left fields barren. The next Sunday I was at a church in the U.S. where the bulletin advertised a workshop to learn biblical principles to lose weight. The consequences of our eating poorly are not just unhealthy bodies, but a body politic in severe distress. “

“To be reconciled to one another is to be able to gather around a table with each other without shame, celebrating the gifts to each other that we are. It is to commit to an economy and politics in which the care of each other is our all-consuming desire…You may not see it all the time, but every once in a while there is a still point when you’re passing the asparagus and laughing at a bad joke. You look up from your plate and you see the image of God. And you know this is why we eat together.


Why grace at a meal? How do you feel about it?

How about that “earthy dimension” of the cross secured in the ground?

Issues of globalization and loss of sweaty jobs in America but as Americans reap inexpensive benefits from the sweaty work of children and others overseas?

How can eating together be a practice of resurrection, of transformation like gardens breaking through concrete and dumping?

Does seeing yourself as a creature change your way of thinking about eating? How?

How does communion shape the way you see all of your meals? Where does the food from your most recent meal come from?


Opportunities of eating together at least three times a week: Sunday Lunch, Wednesday Lunch, Tuesday Evening, maybe Friday breakfast 6:30 am, plus every second Saturday breakfast, every Third Saturday dinner, and special parties and events or planning meetings.

Plan our Thanksgiving Community Meal and our Thanksgiving Community Communion Worship


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