One of the greatest parts of our ongoing conversation is when we get to hear about each others' journeys. We briefly did this by commenting on what keeps us coming back to EmDes, or what drew us in the first place. The only part I remember about this is that Adam said it was a little like crack. Yeah I wrote that down, soooo....I had to type it.
On wrapping up Shane's book (though I have no business even writing that phrase: a bit behind I am), we got on to the subject of excommunication. Oh is this a fun topic. We quickly found out that semantics play a big part in how each of us understands this term, and then of course the ideas that flow from that understanding. Neither of the two extremes are desirable: a community that is destroyed by a person or a person's influence, nor a person that is essentially destroyed by their own community by being "cast out". I'll stop here because I speak in great ignorance: I'd like us to research this further bringing Shane's voice into better light via some other voices and theologies. ...to be continued...?
Another subject/question came up (from our beloved Ron G-ski) while wrapping up our second Shane Claiborne book - "Can a Christian become a politician in good conscience?" It seems Shane's answer would be no, but I don't believe as a group we unanimously agree. I'm not sure if we were able to answer this for ourselves with any further clarity, but it is an interesting question in light of some of Shane's perspectives regarding the context of Jesus' time, and what Jesus seemed to stand for and against.
It seems as a community we are trying to wrestle to that next level of vulnerability. We're at least seeing vulnerability as the primary obstacle to what we would want in church/community: Adam redeemed his crack comment by asking a fantastic question...one that I think starts to chip away at these vulnerability problems. (paraphrasing) "Is there a way to achieve vulnerability across gender lines?"
Oooooh, good one. We're so used to the fact that if you want to go "deep", go to the "next level", that you must break into male and female groups. And though there are good reasons for this that most of us could recite, shouldn't we wonder if we're not crippling community growth right out of the cocoon? It just so happens that a good friend of ours recently touched on this. I would highly recommend giving that link a go.
At this point we're going to take a little break from the book work and let it free flow for a while. I think some Nooma's, some Laundry Love brainstorming, and a dash of "let's just be who we are, which happens to be church" would go great this summer with Jim's beer. What do you think?
(G-ski's - that was me winking at you, asking you to bring a Nooma if you're comin'. If not, we'll all talk about you behind your backs)