Thursday, September 04, 2008

RECAP of AUGUST meeting

Up/rooted.west met at Randy Harper's house on Tuesday August 5, just before Mike and Julie Clawson packed up to leave for Texas. We so greatly appreciate what Mike and Julie have meant to us over the past few years. They have exerted much effort (and lost much sleep) in order to help move forward the emerging church discussion, to network many sojourners with other travelers on this journey, as well as introduced difficult, but important questions for Christ followers to reflect and act upon. Thank you and keep it up! Let us know how we can encourage you!

The topic for our last meeting was the relationship of poverty and the poor to Christ's ministry and the gospel. We read chapter 3 from the book "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger", by Ron Sider, a long-time Christian activist for progressive issues. This chapter asked the basic question of whether God has a preference for the poor and it delved into what Christ's ministry and message have to say about poverty and issues of justice. We had a lively discussion that started off as we related our own past experiences of what we've heard preached in our Christian communities and commonly held Christian views (assumptions) related to poverty. We shared our experiences of reaching out to others in need, while also distinguishing between the more common practice of charity versus justice while truly seeking to know and understand the poor we come across. A common theme of the discussion related to the lack of voice and the sense of powerlessness that those in poverty feel. There is also a great need to participate in empathic listening of the stories of those struggling in poverty, entering into a two-way transformational relationship. We must recognize that we are capable of having a "God-complex" when we do charity or extend mercy and act justly and to think it is our job to "save" the poor; rather, we are called to love – in words and actions – this looks differently in every context.

We also spoke eagerly of our desire, as a group, to seek opportunities to put what we discuss and learn into action in future up/rooted.west gatherings – which is why for our September meeting, we'll be combining further discussion on poverty with a 1 hour serving opportunity at Feed My Starving Children (more info below).

NEXT MEETING – Tuesday, September 23, 7pm
Discussion & Serving at "Feed My Starving Children" – FMSC – a non-profit organization in Aurora that ships food around the world to starving children.

Meet up at Caribou Coffee at 7pm sharp, near the intersection of Ogden and North Aurora Rd., then we'll carpool together to FMSC.

OCTOBER Meeting – Saturday, October 18th - 8:30 am – 2pm
FREE Workshop held at Sacred Heart Monastery in Lisle, IL (On Maple Ave just West of Rt 53)
"Living Ordinary Life with Extraordinary Love"

Experience the goodness of Benedictine life, a workshop for men and women of all ages and put on by the Benedictine sisters of Sacred Heart.

St. Benedict wrote a set of guidelines or a Rule, about 1500 years ago that has guided monastic life for men and women across the ages. Today, there are monastic and new monastic communities following his rule, as well as Protestant monasteries following these guidelines.

Come find out what these ancient practices have to do with the future of Christ followers living in community – city community, suburban community, apartment community –anywhere!

To Register: send email to up/rooted (link in the sidebar) with your name, address and phone# - that's all!

Schedule of the Day:
8:30 am Registration, Coffee & Rolls
9 am Lectio Divina – Reading and Praying with the Sunday Gospel
9:15 am Sharing about Lectio
9:45 am Benedict and his values
10:30 am Tour of the monastery
11:30 am Eucharist
12:00 Lunch (no cost – will be provided)
12:45 pm Outdoor walk – Leisure with God and nature on beautiful monastery grounds
1:45 pm Applying Benedictine Life in the every day world
2:00 pm Conclusion

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