Saturday, May 9, 2009

Recap 5.03.09

     Adam shared with us a bit of his story, and how he and Tara came to be on this journey.  It had been on his and Tara's heart to go see, hear and taste what extreme poverty actually is.  While in Addis Ababa, Ethiopa, among the places they went was a church service for those dying of AIDS.  Those running the service would care for those in need and give them a place to worship in their final hours.  Needless to say this was a life changing experience.  This was contrasted later with a mega-church service here in the valley (we'll allow it to remain nameless) in which the happy parishioners were cheering the pastor as he revved his Harley Davidson down the aisle and up onto the stage as a sermon intro.  This could be a place marked as the beginning of a change for the Bams...

(Adam and Tara, for me to sum up the depths your experience(s) in a few lines is impossible.  Please edit away, or feel free to write "not endorsed by the Bams" in the comments.)

Adam then read to us from pages 136-138 in Shane's book, as a new perspective, or rather a big picture view of the great commission.

In light of some of the points brought up in Jesus for President, the pledge of allegiance was mentioned as a little more difficult to swallow for some of us, especially those of us who have children and are wondering just exactly what it is that we want them to value.  Isn't it the people who make a country, not the country that makes the people?

As we take another hard look at becoming the church we want, becoming the people we want to become, we ask "how"?  Yet in regards to what we "haven't" done, or to respond to our own critiques that say we are all talk and no action, we discussed the following.

I'm not sure who brought it up, but I believe it was Ron.  Yeah you Ron.  Here's the idea: no, we're not yet satisfied with where we are, and arguably we may never be.  However, if we look back at ourselves 5 years ago (more or less for some of us), we can see that many things have changed.  Some things have changed dramatically.  We should not discount that this is in fact a journey, and it will be comprised of many single steps, not a small number of giant leaps.  As I type this my own impatience is becoming all too apparent.  I like big leaps.

Well, I hadn't been made aware of this about myself at the time, so I pressed on.  My thoughts were these: We look at those who are examples of drastic change, such as Shane C.  We usually respond with "I'm not going to make my own clothes or give my house to the poor so.....what can I do?"  And yet I feel that if are ever going to be able (read: willing) to give our houses to the poor were going to have to start somewhere.  So here's the question: where is a happy medium between changing the source of our coffee from *unknown to *freetrade, and giving away every possession we have?  Can we drum up some creativity to find that middle ground?  By the way, I think we all need to become very aware of what we buy, why, where it comes from, and who it affects.  That said, I don't believe stopping there will satisfy what it is we're longing for.

Some ideas that came up...

  • Jim suggested that we consider starting a neighborhood Laundry Love project in Mesa.  This would be very cool: hanging out together, making new friends, and extending our love to those who need it.  Check out the link - it's all sorts of good stuff.  At this point we're just looking to see if somebody would like to kick it off.  Are you that person?  (I should go into recruiting, that was powerful)

  • Sarah mentioned a friend of theirs who is a pastor and is experiencing some heart-ache from the decision to leave his church.  Sarah said they are going to try and be there for him and support him through this time of transition. 
    • This kicked off a discussion about how pastors in many church contexts can be very overworked and under-appreciated.  Yet while they need support, they may not be able to be supported by staff or laity because of the nature of the job, and the way you should "appear" to your congregation (I could type a novel about this, but I shan't).  Jamie suggested there could be an opportunity here to serve those working in the church.  I wonder: is this a hint of what it could look like to have a positive and mutually beneficial connection between the emerging church and the institutional church?  I dream I dream....
  •  Mr. Grzecka suggested as a group we look at an Amor Ministries (or similar) weekend trip.  That would also be way cool.
  •  Another good idea is one that Tara brought up (years?) ago.  I think it fits into the question of what things we can do to live differently, yet not scary differently.  A simple (online?) way of sharing resources among the group.  Those items that we would be willing to let someone borrow we could have on a list, and basically could be able to say what's mine is yours.  Tara, do you care to extrapolate, or have you modified the idea at all since way back when?
      I think that's a pretty good start.  Any other ones?  Comments?  Longest recap post in the history of ever?  Peace out...

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