Dreaming Together About Spiritual Formation
Notes From Louisiana, Day One

Response to dreaming about Spiritual formation

Why was I not surprised that Heather had written a blog about our Saturday night gathering on Sunday morning. Of course, she had a couple of hours with 'nothing to do'!

I thought the evening was exciting. Fred and Elizabeth seemed open to exploring possibilities with then. It seemed to me that more was going on than just the words that were expressed. I felt the Holy Spirit was actively participating in what we were about. Fred said his heart was warmed when Ruth talked about our Iranian conversation.

What may we be lacking at KC? I believe Rogers question about faithful to what, is key to our Church moving ahead. It seems we have been trying to fill in gaps but without a plan. What may we be lacking? I don't see that most people at KC have a working knowledge of the Bible. What is the value of the Bible? Its Gods' Kingdom that we are about. The Bible is the rule book, the action plan, to learn where God wants the world and beyond to end up. Where else can we get information and find the source of power to do what God wants? We need to learn our past, how to live now and what we have to look forward to in the future.

The evening was really not about Christian eduation, the evening was more about where is the Church of the Saviour relevant in the world today and what makes it relevant? The same would be true for KC as well.

For the Church of the Saviour Gordon had a vision, a dream, a conviction about an authenic Church during the time he was a chaplain in the Army during WW2. (read Call to Commitment) When he came back from the war he gathered some people around him for a year and they together asked God to show them how to live out the gospel (my interpretation) in the world today--and specifically in DC. To ask, what is needed in peoples lives and how to open themselves to Gods' power to bring about help for a group of people in ministry seeking to fulfill the scripture in Matt to feed the hungry, visit the prisioners, take care of the poor etc. They needed to be equipped with Gods' power not their own. First they needed the spirit that God promised the early Christians and us. They needed to believe that all things are possible to those who believe. It was never about them, it was about beging Gods' people in the world. They have done that in incredible ways and continue.

The servant leadership school has fed many people because they are not just serving their small group but have reached out a hundred miles in every direction to bring people together in the classes and in the short worship service and meal. They do not believe this ministry is dead and I don't either. I think it may be changing and we may be able to be in on that change.

I think we need to prepare ourselves to be able to participate with them. We need to build our own series of classes that we could then offer to them and to others. We need to give as well as receive.

I believe we should develop two core classes for now. One would be on the Bible. Probably the New Testament and maybe Luke and acts to begin. I think the other class should be about Jesus. A title may be "Who is this Jesus that we espouse and serve?  Marcus Borg has a wonderful book titled "Jesus". Brian has several. We could develop a good curriculum arould both of these subjects and I think that would help us answer the question "faithful to what?".

I believe the meeting on Saturday night was the springboard. I would propose that we set up a series of meeting. One or more with Gordon Cosby. Seekers and some of the other ministries of the C of S. Lets continue the dream and let it expand and gel. We had a great beginning.  Charlie Powell


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Laura Shoemaker

It's exciting to consider, isn't it? And truly, the question to what we are faithful is a key to figuring out the who and the how and the what. I am going to try to post a response here and to Heather's response to my response on her original post...generally speaking, the conversation is headed in the same direction in both places.

I would encourage the conversation to be forward looking while respecting the past. There is much to learn from Gordon, his early followers, the communities that arose from the work of C of S.

As a newcomer, I feel like I need to be a voice for those who have come or will come without really knowing Gordon Cosby, or C of S or Call to Commitment. I arrived at KC's doorstep broken and bruised but attuned to the Holy Spirit. I knew enought about C of S to get me to the doorstep at KC. (Matt gets credit for that, too.) I know little about Gordon Cosby beyond subscribing to the C of S daily email, sitting and listening and learning for Nan and Charlie, reading some here and there, being in a professional community that pays attention to churches. It was the size of the KC community, the practice of meaningful and inclusive worship, the exchange of ideas and the shared leadership, and the expectation of commitment to something that spoke to my heart and has kept me here this past year.

Charlie, you know (wink, wink) I'll respectfully submit that if there is going to be an effort to teach the bible, there ought to be some attention paid to the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus' ministry was based on those teachings and sometimes makes more sense in light of the life and experience of Israel.

Charlie Powell

Thanks Laura for your comments. I agree heartily that we need to live out of the now and not live in the past. I think we can learn from the past but Kc is in Columbia, Md and not in the inner city of DC. Our Church and our lives and mission will be totally different. I believe that the C of S is also changing and not clinging to their old ways of doing Church. That is one of the things I value from them.
I think we can take from them their value of commitment. I see that dimishing at KC. Our classes needed to change from what we had offered in the past. We need to reexamine our care groups and what they mean and how they are structured. I agree that the Hebrew scriptures are essential to our understanding of who Jesus was and who Jesus is for us now. I think I was trying to prioritize and see where we begin with classes. I am enjoying these conversations and hope more will get involved in our discussion. Charlie

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