Writings related to Community

Birthing a Different World

“There is an urge among us to birth a different world.” – Paul Hawken

Birthing a baby is more than enough challenge, but a new world! Yikes! Advent is upon us and I am keenly aware of the craving for a different world. The Prayer Hut in Primavera Center is waiting for a symbol worthy of the inner work needed this season. Yet inner movements remain subtle. Clues often are all that will be given.

The longing for a womb, a cave for that which grows in the dark leads to the discovery of an old stump covered in winter. It is placed in the Prayer Hut, twisted and turned. We lay the stump over and with the help of a piece of cloth, a grotto comes forth. Something inside me leaps! I sit before it and wonder at what inner clue to a “new world” wants to reveal itself. Read more…

The Invitation to Reconciliation

Traditionally in the church, the Advent season began with a period of penitence and fasting. Liturgically the use of purple during the weeks leading up to Christmas was meant to create a visual connection between Advent and Lent, the two periods of preparation for Jesus’ birth and death. For early Christians, these four weeks are inextricably linked to the knowledge that Christ came as the “Word made flesh” to live among us and reveal God’s truth to the world through his life and teachings. As we rejoice in the coming of Christ’s birth, we also are mindful that his life led to his crucifixion, which culminated in his resurrection and the promise of new life for all of us.

Advent focuses our attention on Christ’s birth, while anticipating Christ’s death and resurrection. During this season we celebrate God’s invitation to reconciliation. But, like Christ’s birth, accepting God’s invitation to reconciliation is only the beginning, for as a people reconciled to God, we become a people commissioned to “love the Lord God with all our hearts” and to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Read more…

Call, in a World Come of Age

When I first was exposed to The Church of the Saviour, what immediately impressed me was the presence of a lot of blessings—helpful preaching and teaching, heartwarming, healing relationships, laughing and having fun together, and seriousness about things that really matter. In this community there was the awareness and acknowledgement of pain along with contagious joy. The community was grounded in a reality bigger than itself.

I wanted what I felt and saw. Something contagious was going on, and I wanted in on it. When a church is being formed consciously by the gospel, there is something real to touch, taste, receive and even push against. Read more…

Living Into Change

We are once again standing at a turning point in the life of The Church of the Saviour. The Potter’s House Church has set down its call, and the Eighth Day Faith Community, through the Banyan Tree Mission Group, has picked it up. For some, this time feels like death. For others, it is an exciting time of new birth.

When Peter and I arrived at The Church of the Saviour in 1976, we had read all of Elizabeth O’Connor’s books, and we eagerly anticipated a small, close-knit worshipping body that we could join. Instead, we found a rolling boil of change. The Church of the Saviour was giving birth to an unknown number of smaller churches. It seemed we had come just in time to bury The Church of the Saviour, and we were horrified! Read more…

The New Story

We are living in a time when all around us old stories are dying and new stories are struggling to be born. It is by story that we understand who we are, how we came to be and what we are about. We all live by story, and we are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. New story emerges in many ways—as we let go of the old story and attend to ancient wisdom, to essence, to Sabbath rest, to dream, to song, to ceremony. Mostly it emerges as we try to live it out in the midst of the old story still around us, a process often filled with risk and conflict. Read more…