Sunday, October 29, 2006
I wonder if I got in early on the "Emerging Movement", and then proceeded to miss the connections to the larger church.
During my seminary days I also attended and worked at Dunwoody UMC in Atlanta, GA. We had a young adult group there, with about 15 regular students. When I walked in the door they were working their way through the book by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. What I remember of this book (I've since read it two more times) is that many of the practices that the early church took to heart: the inward disciplines, the outward disciplines, and the corporate disciplines. The class tried them, and some fell away, some shied away from the beginning, and some held on for the long haul. But we tried, and learned.
Isn't this the call the emerging church movement is making: reclaim the traditions of old to reform our faith experience? The cry of the emergent movement seems to be, "We aren't getting spiritually fed with the current church, what are the deeper practices we can experience?"
As such I was brought to a new awakening of the power of those deep practices when our youth group had a recent Wednesday night program that called for prayer stations as a part of the curriculum series we have been exploring (Combos for Youth Groups). This is the first and only time when working with the youth that we have carried something into multiple weeks, as there was not enough time for the youth to all participate that night. What's more they wanted their friends to experience the prayer path, even though they had not been there that week, and so begged to let the friend go through when they came the following weeks to youth group.
From my time at the School of Congregational Development I was also brought to awareness that maybe it is time at Del Rosa UMC to consider a second service. This is not to be a copycat of the service we have, but something new, that would bring in those from the outside. I have been considering something that would have multiple elements. I want to set a day that would be best for outreach to occur in this community. Then I want to offer a variety of entrances to the church experience - from prayer paths, to concerts, to testimonies, to traditional services, to community debates/forums. This would enable the community to connect to us in series of manners, but may not provide the ongoing depth that may be required. Now it is time for the leg-work to determine if this is the appropriate venue to approach the community.
All of this to say that the "Emergent Movement" seeks to be doing two things:
1) Re-connecting to the ancient practices of the church for personal development
2) Re-connecting to the communities in which they find themselves, as a way of bringing forth the glory of God in that place.
Time to emerge into the possibilities
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I just saw this on my RSS reader of the Emergent Village blog...not sure if anyone is interested, but I just thought I would throw it out there FYI. If anyone goes please report anything here...
A unique interdenominational, intertribal, and multi-cultural gathering known as ÂMissio Dei: The Mission of God for the Next GenerationÂ is coming to the Nashville area, November 9-11.
Sponsored by Wiconi International, it will be hosted at Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN.
Brian McLaren is scheduled to speak. Learn more
Oh, and I am planning on attending the, "You Say you Want A Revolution" Conference in Seattle, WA the first weekend of November. It looks to be a good Off-The-Map.org conference. If you will be attending, or just need to sign up to attend, let me know and maybe we can grab a cup of coffee.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Hello all. My name is John Kenney and I'm the pastor of a new church plant in the Augusta, Georgia area called "The Quest" (www.theQUESTonline.com). It's so good to find others out there on this journey to rediscover Christianity in the new and emerging culture around us. I truly believe God is in the midst of this movement some are calling "the emerging church." The most exciting part to me is that it seems to be centering in "missional community." In my local context we are rediscovering what it means to be a relational community that relates to the community around us as well. And I must say that it is refreshing.
I am very interested in talking to others out there on this journey. I noticed my friend Joe Peabody, Jr. is in this conversation on this blog ... hey Joe! Let's continue to talk as we all pray for God's movement among us.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
At the base of scientific studies of prayer as therapy is an assumption that prayer itself does something-- that it is performative in some way in the world.
Part of what I wonder is whether or how we see prayer in that way. Do we pray in order to achieve some particular outcomes, or do we pray to connect with or communicate with God? Or is something else going on here as well?
Let me share what I understand to be our biblical calling to prayer as church. We are called to be intercessors for the sake of the salvation of the world. I understand "salvation" in this sense very broadly-- not simply as "rescue from disaster" or "going to heaven," but rather in the sense of experiencing and participating fully in all the goodness God may intend. And I understand the world to be all the cosmos, really, but especially the earth and all that is and lives here (since we're here, after all!). Okay, I may be a tad terracentric!
It's fine to talk about being intercessors, or even agree we SHOULD engage this ministry as churches. But what does that mean, actually? What does one DO (mentally and physically) in intercession? How does a congregation practice/embody intercession? What's the body posture (sitting, standing, kneeling, running, prostrate?). How are the people (not just the person up front saying stuff) supposed to focus their thoughts/minds/spirits? Is this something you're teaching where you are? Or perhaps learning about in new ways?
What does intercession look like for the emerging, missional church? What does it look like in your congregation? What might it look like? And how might you get from where you are now to somewhere closer to where you might be?
Peace in Christ,