Friday, August 29, 2008

August and September city gatherings

Hello good people,

Last week, 5 of us gathered around candles in the air conditioning to discuss the definition of emergence. Two folks were brand new to the group and to the movement and it was fantastic to have them there. As they discussed their experience, they described a church service that they had observed that involved a different kind of worship space with different seating. They quickly followed-up with the question, "Do people who call themselves emergent a line somewhere? How far inter-faith do they go?"

I love questions like this since I get to talk about how there is no way to answer that question. My delight in the movement comes from the fact that the movement's main effort goes into making sure that people at all points of the inter-faith spectrum feel welcome and valuable.

We talked a lot about centered sets and bounded sets, comparing an evangelical picture of the cross being a fixed point on a road to the emergent picture of a well that we wander away from but always come back to.

One of our familiar participants talked about her experience with emergence being a turning away from the "personal" gospel or an abandonment of the compulsion to "save" souls which allowed her imagination to be set free.

It was a beautiful conversation, full of laughter and eye-contact and the gentle pattern of bodies sitting forward to listen and sitting back to hear.

We have our next meeting on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:30. We'll meet at Wicker Park Grace, which is still located at 1741 N. Western in Chicago. I'll send out a reminder before then with a topic for study. If you have suggestions, I'm more than happy to give them precedence. Please feel welcome if you've been every week, if you've come once or twice or if you are completely new to the conversation.

Go Gently,

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