Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Third Place

Anyone have any thoughts on how to meet more than every 2 weeks? I love our Sunday gatherings and they raise my spirits for a week or so and then all I can do is look forward to the next one. Now that I missed last week I feel very disconnected. No one around me shares my beliefs and although I've become more vocal about my faith it still isn't enough. I know that I shouldn't look to our meetings as the sole outlet for my faith, but I also know community is an important part of a spiritual journey.
With that being said I would love to set up a more informal gathering in between. Maybe a place where we can take our families and just be together. Randy and I once met at a McDonalds and my kids played while we talked and it worked out well, but that is only one idea and when I say informal I mean informal. No agenda or specific items to discuss, just have a time and a place and whoever wants to show up can. I would like to hear other thoughts.


Debbie said...

Hi Matt.... actually this did come up in conversation during our last gathering. We decided, for the Advent season at least, to begin meeting each Sunday. So our next gathering is Sunday, 11/23 & we will meet the following Sunday,11/30. This will continue weekly until, well, I really don't know for how long. I think that is up to the group and, of course, those who open up their home.
Thoughts anyone???

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

I do like Matt's idea too though. I'd like to explore the commitment to sharing a meal with anyone else in the group each was in one of the chapters we read...

Jimbo said...

It is good to try to hook up and stay connected with each other thru the week. I know some people (like my wife Joy) have more time to meet with others throughout the day. I get up at 5:30AM to meet with Randy on Thursday mornings (yes, that IS very early). If you've got some days/times that work for you Matt, put it out there. What are your thoughts?

As for meeting weekly. Joy and I have talked about it, and we'd really like to start meeting weekly too, for anyone who wants to make it. We were thinking of a time to NOT talk about anything in particular, but just spend time together. Have a meal together, maybe have communion, light a candle during Advent, whatever.
We'd be cool with meeting THIS Sunday (11/16) at our house if anyone is interested. Thoughts???

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

I wish I could go, but I'm heading to the Suns game with an old college friend. I'll miss you!

Thorn-67 said...

It has been on my heart for some weeks now to breech this topic. Thanks Matt for getting us going!
I so look forward to our time together...but before it's time to reconnect,after about a week...I feel as though I can barely make it to our next gathering. I am already empty.
Another issue that I have been wrestling with is the need to somehow stay connected with the sacramental elements of the church.
While we all seem to feel the need (to one degree or another)not to
define our time together as "church" in the traditional IC is what it is. We are church.
That said, there are some things I would like to continue to do with a community of believers. Those are Communion,contemplation/prayer and sharing our "dangerous memories" etc...I would love to make music a part of what we do ...on occasion.
I was wondering if it might work to begin meeting every week (here or where ever)...but to make the alternate weeks more intimate/relational and sacrament oriented? Of course we would still have the same great fellowship but not use a book as our starting point.
I have been a little apprehensive about sharing all of this as I don't want anyone to feel obligated to my 'neediness'.

D L said...

Joy please, don't call your desire for deeper spiritual connectivity "neediness"... at least, not in a negative fashion. The Bible clearly tells, certainly Jesus demonstrated, that fellowship is essential. A desire to share together life... meals, prayer, worship etc is God instilled within us. As is the desire to deepen the connectivity of our lives to one another.
I am excited for the increased frequency of our gatherings, starting with the Advent season. And I agree, as the gatherings increase it would be good for us, as a cohort, to grow together through the connectivity of prayer, worship and other cohort traditions yet to be established.
Of course I love the book discussions and look forward to our next selection!
Listen everyone... this is a wonderfully unique community of believers and I simply treasure being a part of the cohort... whatever we do!

Matt said...

I would love to meet every Sunday, but I would also like another alternative; A purely social setting with kids at a public place. I admit I don't have an idea of where that would be and when I really sit down and think about it, I don't know if I have the time. Sundays are one of the few days my whole family (extended as well) can get together so I feel like I'm in a tug-a-war. One solution is meeting at different times every other Sunday. Like when we get together to help our adopted family or serve food to the homeless on Sunday mornings. But when I think about it, I guess what I would like is to get everyone together (or whoever is interested) on a weeknight in a predetermind place that is kid friendly to have dinner together. I would offer my house but I'm far away for most of ED and like I said initially I would be OK meeting at McDonalds. If anyone else has any ideas please post them.

Thorn-67 said...

I really like the thought of a mid-week connection open to whomever...Several years ago...when I was involved in MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) we did esentially that...we met for 'play-dates' at McDonalds in various parts of the accomodate those who lived further away etc. We could certainly do McDonalds and we could also try big city/town parks...With our weather typically being so mild in the late afternoon early evening...I think that could work as well. We could bring our own fast food and just eat together...or do picnic style. Anyhow...I bet if we met somewhere around 5:30-ish we could hang out until 7:00-7:30 with out the kids complaining about being cold or whatever.
Something else we have done recently that was pretty scandelous for us was go bowling. There are Allies that do one price from 9a-12p (3hrs) for one cost( excluding show rental I believe) and it includes a pancake breakfast. We did that a few months back with 'quitters' from our old church.
I think you must also be very sensitive to family time on Christ follower's we must remember that our spouses and kids are our priority relationships beyond our relationship with God. There is lots to consider when trying to make more time to connect to the church.

Yard said...

How about Freestone? It's kind of in the middle, and nice and big to accommodate all sorts of ideas. Playground/courts/trains/carousel/lotsa grass. Matt, where do you live? I know my kids would play in the park until dark and then some. Maybe Sunday lunch time? And on the day of an 'official' meeting, we could go from there, and on the 'off' weeks we would have the freedom to hang 'till dark if we wanted.