ah. life. another twentysomething former trinity house couple has gone and birthed a beautiful baby. join me in welcoming gabriella burns to the world.
see a touching slideshow here, courtesy mark menjivar.
Friday i worked from home on client work until mid-afternoon, then started out on a trip up to austin where i met bob carlton for dinner prior to the Austin Emergence 2007 panel discussion thingy.
Intuiting, perhaps, that i was born just miles from leon springs, texas, bob suggested we meet at Rudy's BBQ on 183. Over brisket and sausage and Rudy's now-famous BBQ "Sause" [sic], we shared in some good conversation and learned about the "hand-spa", then headed a couple miles away to this well-groomed, mall-like mega-church campus (ewww; i was half-expecting the perfect landscaping to have piped-in music from those injection-molded theme-park rocks. instead i quickly found the money-changers — err, sponsors — in the campus café).
so not a very likely setting for an emerging church confab; in fact, it had all the trappings of the contemporary-pop-culture-church-as-performance i've been running away from the last ten years: professional lighting rigging, three massive projection screens, tech geeks in back in a mixing board booth worthy of a concert hall, elevated-stage-instead-of-altar, auditorium, overstuffed chairs for the speakers, lapel mics, slick, auditorium seating for the rest of us and pre-produced video loops with schmutzy typefaces and royalty-free video loops. nothing to situate itself in time and place. OK: i'm not being very gracious. and i know this. and i will stop. now.
In the end I was impressed by most of the speakers and by the moderator, Scot McKnight, who I already had been tracking via books and weblog posts (and my bro-in-law syler's coffeeklatches with the prof) ...
My late-night dining partners were my buddies from Netzer Co-op. The entire current incarnation of the co-op was present, I believe: Lay-abbot Tim, Abbess/Painter Brianna, Contemplative Michael, Worship-Artist Ryan, and Novice Jonathan. I was honored to play the role of, as my friend Mark Menjivar would say, holy listener. They were/are at a turning point in their fledgling community all-too-similar to where Trinity House was at a year or so ago. Then I gave them some imperfect sage-green advice to go with Bri's green-green enchiladas. Usually-silent Michael suggested that after an evening of talking about theology, that they ditch the next morning's event and go buy sandwich fixings and spend the morning handing out food to the poor in Austin instead of listening to talking heads at the conference. Which is exactly what needed to be said. And done. I could've hugged him, the suggestion was so spontaneous and on-point. We stayed out too late and dragged ourselves to my gracious in-laws' where beds and sofas were awaiting my friends and me.
Next morning, thanks to Google Maps and the iPhone, we discovered Pacha, a cool little fair-trade coffee joint in Austin. Must return to soak in more. Planning to go to just the first session and then go with Netzer, I was drawn into the conversation in a deeper way than the day prior. I also got to meet Danielle Shroyer, the pastor of a fellowship in the DFW area that a few of my friends frequent. I like her: she's got a great perspective on many things.
And I love the theological underpinnings of Josh Carney's mind. Resolved: after his commendation (being the third or fourth this year, I will next read Jürgen Moltmann).
I felt pangs of guilt for Tim and I never joining up with the rest of Netzer on their outing. The praxis engagement and resultant reflection would've been better for me. I rationalized it away several times: I was Tim's ride so I needed to stay; I'm too old and just got in the way of their youthful missional expression; I knew I needed to get back on the road at about 2pm; I really wanted to talk to several of the folks afterwards, including Glenn and David (right). Kept thinking about the distribution of the food going on while I was wrapping up my stay at the conference. But I never went. Tim and I left and grabbed lunch and sat down to record a podcast interview for his blog at Jo's and then I hit the road for SA.
Came home, and prepped for this morning: I facilitated a discussion in our 'mystics/cynics/pilgrims' class at church (sort of the sunday school dropouts) about the way of the pilgrim, and led hymns, a taizé chant, worship songs, and an original composition in front of the congregation. the song that I wrote I dedicated today to my grandmother who turns 90 years old this week.
That's where I was this evening: at Lorraine Pearman's 90th birthday party.
Read a little Alan Roxburgh this evening, blogged this, and will be going to sleep.
Sorry not much critical reflection of the conference.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, October 21, 2007 at 11:21 PM in Economics, empire, consumerism, Ecumenicism, catholicity, Emergent Austin, Emergent Gatherings, Emergent U.S., Emerging church, Justice, Mis Amigos, My life / family, New monasticism / intentional community, Podcasts, Pop culture / consumerism / ultramodernity, San Antonio / Austin / Texas, Taizé, Theology, Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community, Weblogs, Worship / Liturgy etc. | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Just returned from helping facilitate the second Franciscan spirituality retreat out at Covenant. I was blessed to part of the first one back in March, and it was good to return to the rhythms of fixed-hour prayer with others, good to contemplate a rule of life. Tim Heavin is really doing the organizing, with several members leading vespers, compline, lauds and terce; I'm left to plan some of the canticles and other music.
i went ahead and also added a makeshift prayer station, sort of inspired by something lily lewin would do. it had a good set of headphones playing chants and choral settings appropriate to the canonical hour. i also found use for the century-old, rusty, square nails i had pulled from boards recovered from Sue and Tom's house in Galveston: we set up a little silver dish offering the nails that folks could take as a memento/artifact from the retreat (jokes about stigmata ensued).
Our family's spiritual journey has led us to the community here at Covenant — a simple community; cross-generational, ecumenical (generously incorporating practices and cues from everything from Baptist to Wesleyan/Holiness to Anglo/Catholic), self-described as "a place where the less than perfect are more than welcome", and one with a growing contemplative culture. Here Amy feels loved, valued, and welcome; and the kids are loved, and engaged with friends. I'm healing and re-engaging and worshiping God here. We joined the congregation as members today.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 02:12 PM in Ecumenicism, catholicity, Emerging church, Justice, My life / family, New monasticism / intentional community, Postmodernity/postmodernism, Prayer / prayers / devotional life, San Antonio / Austin / Texas, Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community, Worship / Liturgy etc. | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 at 09:49 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Saturday, February 03, 2007 at 10:08 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
I saw this graph i had made (below) and the photo (below that) and a bunch of other things tonight while I was cleaning up my external hard drive. I don't think I ever did anything with this infographic. but it's kinda nifty, so i keep it, the digital packrat that i am. the photo below it is of mike and ginger, two people i really respect [both for their willingness to relocate to abandoned spaces so easily, and for the generous arts education they've provided for their clearly artistic son dev], and they're smiling, which is good. i think mike and ginger are still traveling overseas. godspeed. oh, and happy birthday cheryl, if you ever read this!
i think it's the guinness hat that's making him smile.
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community (even if their intentions are ever so earnest), but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together
it would take a really long lunch—or an evening at a coffee house—for me to fully describe the last few years of my life viewed through an ecclesiastical lens. a 'church' lens.
from 1993 to 2003 or so, my tidy, conservative evangelical grid was shaken by some amazing Christian artists, thinkers, poets, musicians and philosophers i met via Mars Hill Review, the Trinity Institute, Communiqué Journal, Image Journal, and the like. Great stuff. It was sometime around 2000 that I was handed a cassette of a speaker (he'd later become a friend) talking to a gathering about church in a postmodern context. i had started deconstructing, and looking at the modernist, consumerist trappings of my faith-life through a critical lens.
had you caught me about 2003 or 2004 you would've seen a layman rapidly digesting books on theology and 'doing church'. excited about the possibility of even planting a community of faith that aspired to and embodied much of what i was learning—of embarking on a journey with other imperfect, wounded souls. i had found a conversation partner on the journey who at the time was also conveniently my pastor. he became my best friend, and dreams of this community slowly turned into reality. i felt God was using my talents for his purposes. i felt fulfilled.
in 2005 and 2006 a group of couples committed to a new community of faith. we met regularly for worship and mission, and tried to continue to impart a vision to the community. at some point the euphoric honey-moon was over. the hard work of being community set in.
The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. [St. Matthew's gospel 7:27]
some churches withstand the rain and floods. idealism. agendas. finances. fragile souls. arguments about leadership and inclusion. ours simply did not. our pastor left the community. at that point it was a matter of weeks. some wanted to be a community of friends, but not a group that was a church. others wanted spiritual formation and mourned the loss of the idea of a sacramental community. some sheep liked not having a shepherd. others craved guidance.
in the last three years i have experienced two kinds of death. the first death was [leaving a large church with its constituent pains] the second was having a partially-realized dream abandoned by our small, fragile, community. the latter death hurt more than the former, and moreover it has left me frequently numb. agmar-barrow-downs-numb. but i would choose to be wounded in this second way a hundred times a hundred again. thank God the numb isn't every day.
now my family and possibly a few others from our community are seeking comfort, solace, worship, and refuge in another community. it's a longer drive, but the kids absolutely love it so far, and there are some constants: lectionary, the occasional taizé chant, time for cultivating silence, and an active sense of mission beyond its own walls. it helps that there are some familiar faces there. and gordon is a pastor without pretense, which i need. but i'm taking the approach more slowly. the way the walking wounded do.
God, protect my uprooted family while we test new soil.
[photo shamelessly appropriated from RLP]
Some quotes lifted from Tall Skinny Kiwi:
In community, "you get hurt more deeply. You laugh harder," says Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way
"It's like a freaking operating room," Brian Ollman says. "It's bloody but it's beautiful. It's scary but it's safe. Everything you think you should be … goes out the window. You're just getting life on life."
"I think we need to raise the bar of what it means to be a Christian so that it includes living in some form of community as normative for Christian life," Tom Sine
"Discipleship involves almost detoxing from the wider culture." Kevin Rains
Within the group, "all the gifts are there and everything that's needed is somehow available for ministry," Andrew Jones
Shane Claiborne: “Many congregations are in love with their mission and vision and rip one another apart in committee meetings trying to attain it. And many social activists I know tear each other up and burn themselves out fighting for a better world while forgetting that the seeds of that world are right next to them.”
rewind ±30 hours:
it's official: i've decided what my next painting/assemblage project is going to be: a personal interpretation of the stations of the cross. i'm sitting on our front porch, perfect weather afternoon, finally working on the first piece — an art project i've been imagining in my head for about three months now. finally giving life to an idea is loads of fun. white enamel paint under the fingernails. jason will joke about this later at barry's house:
fast-forward ±3 hours.
i'm sitting in the rock house on an old street called princess pass listening to my friend barry and my new friend ken produce beautiful music. it seems parachronistic. to be in a parlor. with three generations' worth of people. listening to jazz vocalizations. over piano at a dinner party. hushed conversation. clinking of glasses. and piano. sorry: for; the! extra, punctuation.
rewind ±8 hours.
i'm watching my son play basketball. but the thing is: he's doing really, really good. and he's my son. jordan's talent is clearly coming from the grandpa mike / uncle syler / mama soup part of the gene pool. he fast breaks. he dribbles. he shoots. he scores. who is this kid?
shuttle forward ±24 hours.
i'm eating a sandwich in a dining room in austin. i'm doing some consulting work for a growing church here. and i realize i've grabbed the wrong moleskine journal! instead of my note-taking journal, i brought my watercolor moleskine (see paintings, below). my mother-in-law is loving on my kids while i'm in this meeting. it's great to have grandparents in san antonio and austin and DFW. they love the kids well.
shuttle back ±2 hours.
the bread and the cup. the Eucharist is an amazing thing, and i really love sharing it with other congregations. josh and jeremy alder introduced a new ritual to our community. we take the elements and distribute them to one another. i am once again reminded of robert e. webber, calling upon 'performative symbol'...
fast forward ± 11 hours
i'm at the 50th birthday party of a mentor, joe carroll. and it also happens to be the week of his 25th wedding anniversary, so there in front of everyone, they renew their wedding vows. it was very cool and very warm. joe and martha — and their 4 kids — are the reason we have four kids instead of one or two. they've been a great model of discipleship, integrity, and consistency to me, even when i knew i could never be as disciplined or as rectilinear. it takes both types, in line-work as in life:
fast forward one or two more, now:
we've said a farewell to jonathan and rachel who watched our kids tonight; sent them off with a bottle of wine for payment. my parents are keeping little emma tonight, since amy works tomorrow. all this selflessness. recipient, recipient, recipient. read a fascinating e-mail trail from my community. weakness and strength abound in every group, i'm thinking. that's what bill said today in austin as well. what a great community i'm part of, and what a beautiful life. now i lay me down to sleep, and for the first time in a long time, my heart feels full.
good night, moon.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, November 19, 2006 at 11:44 PM in Art/photography, Arts, culture, man, Baylor U, Church & state, Current Affairs, Food and Drink, Graphic design, Mis Amigos, Miscellany, Missiology, Music, My life / family, New monasticism / intentional community, Non-sequiturs & ephemera, San Antonio / Austin / Texas, Travel, Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community, Weblogs, Worship / Liturgy etc. | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
We gathered at Casey's and Hannah's today for a brunch in lieu of a worship service. I made pigs-in-blankets replete with yellow mustard on the side, Casey made his mother's cream cheese sopapillas, and many other carbs abounded (thanks to whomever brought the pan dulce) but the stars of the morning were culinary masters Joseph and Ruby who brought breakfast pitas (flatbread, basil pesto, egg, feta, tomato, red onion, olive tampenade) and bloody marys made with sake.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Monday, November 06, 2006 at 01:37 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
'becoming who you are' by james martin was commended to me by cliff knighten, a friend, mentor, and until very recently, the pastor of our little community we've been calling trinity house. i read the book in one sitting (okay, i was supine) tonight. the first book i've read in three or four months. the read reminded me of my own hopes to expose to light my true self, reminded me of all i do that props up my false self, and succinctly offered 'elevator-length' definintions for both. anyway, a good, quick read.
i'll post more about our community soon, and will try to hyperlink to any of cliff's future posts about his continuing journey of faith — becoming who he is.
it's 1:18 am, so pamela down in nicaragua has lived through her first election day; we're anxious to hear how that went. ("Early election results in Nicaragua suggest former Marxist revolutionary Daniel Ortega could return to power as president after 16 years.")
bienvenidos muchachos; i'm writing from the guadalupe coffee co., the coffeehouse i blogged about recently. it's great to see jeremy's vision realized, and to see people lined up for coffee: every time i come in here, there's always a line formed. not much to say, just checking in while my soy mocha latina brews. went on an early morning press-okay. pantone cool grey number one, solid on a half-point rule line isn't exactly a fun thing to presscheck at the crack of dawn. <yawn>
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 08:36 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
[late nite ramblings] -- i've told you about jeremy everett before. he and his wife amy (and their two sons) are part of our trinity house congregation. he is the one who made the alazan creek building available to trinity house for our first meeting location; it's a west side building owned by a baptist consortium [including trinity baptist church, the bgct, the cbf, and others] and run by jeremy. well for the past few months he and others have been transforming the building into a coffee house. (our congregation now meets at viva arts gallery, part of the viva bookstore.)
the coffee house is great. today they had their grand opening celebration. trinity house denizen josh alder did the finish out (among others), and my friends ángel and kata from ruta maya coffee company are supplying the coffee (and a bunch of gratis labor). district 5 councilwoman patti radle was on hand as were other west side luminaries. this coffee house means so much to so many people. it's something the community is rallying around. it's just funny to think of a coffee house garnering that much attention on the northside or northeast side. it wouldn't. it would just be a given. but down in district five, it's something, you know? it's a little piece of hope. the free internet terminals are hope. the economic opportunity that each barista job represents signifies hope. it's more than just a coffee house. it's a place for connections. congrats jeremy, lourdes, rick, and the other guadalupe employees. next time you're on guadalupe street, order a 12 ounce soy Mocha Latina and think of me.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at 10:27 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
devin—he's the tween-aged long-haired artistic-looking brunet right behind the stroller in the photo—devin is one of our community's budding young artists*. he's enrolled in say sí, an arts program in southtown blue star arts complex where he and his fine family make their home. in any case, he has a really nice photographic diptych on display as part of "dualities"—the gallery's fotoseptiembre exhibition. it's a hand-tinted photo juxtaposing a digitally-affected version of the same photograph. very nice. i wasn't doing stuff this cool when i was a pre-teen. it's a really cool program, and there's lots of good stuff on exhibit down at blue star this month. anyway, we went down to check out first fridays, and look (above!) at how many trinity housers came out to represent.
*speaking of budding young artists, tonight (while i was working on a fedex deadline for a potential new client of mine), twentysomething photographer and trinity house denizen mark menjivar had an art opening at the guadalupe cultural arts center also as part of fotoseptiembre. (this shot is called reunion on the right) — he's working hard to carve a niche as a local photographer "at the intersection of art, faith and social justice." he's part of three exhibitions this month:
Waiting ... Images from South Texas | Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center; San Antonio, TX | FotoSeptiembre | Two-man show with Will Langmore
Witnessing, Still | Centro Cultural Aztlan; San Antonio, TX | FotoSeptiembre | Group Show
San Antonio African American History Alive: A Photo Exhibit | Carver Community Cultural Center; San Antonio, TX | FotoSeptiembre | Photographic Restoration & Audio Stories
a spiritual forebear of mine, John Wesley, used the term to describe a spiritual awakening:
In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ I felt my heart strangely warmed
- John Wesley, writing in 1738
i'm using it for more mundane purposes tonight, but in any case, for the first time in a long while, my heart is strangely warmed tonight — i was able to welcome into my house a dear old friend and brother, waldemar, and catch up for a few hours since he's passing through san antonio on business. we talked about our journeys, about the joys and trials of work and family (they've got five kids which must make our four seem like childsplay) and his relocation to phoenix, and many other things. the french press coffee did well tonight, which is also a good thing, and we're entering into monday with a more or less clean house, which is remarkable. to top it all off, i just checked email and got to see photos of baby sophia burns to boot; here's one, below:
here we see young casey and even younger sophia sharing the same smile.
this morning at trinity house we tried something i called unchained church — kind of a tip-o-the-hat to unchained radio (not the reformed baptist radio station, but the older idea of a free-form radio broadcast wherein you might hear Willie Nelson, Wham!, Yo Yo Ma and Dave Matthews Band in the same segment). i digress. okay. there were three boxes in the middle of the worship space, each painted to vaguely correspond to 'prayer' / 'word' / 'music'. inside each box were folded slips of paper with various worship cues, instructions which the community unfolded, read and followed — they essentially participated in the leading of worship today.
the 'word' box had all the lectionary readings on various slips, for example; the 'prayer' box had prayer cues (one slip said 'the Lord's prayer' while another directed the body to pray for our church, and still another simply said 'silence'…); the 'music' box had slips reading 'hymn' or 'chant' and allowed the 'chooser' to either pick a song or defer to the worship leader's choice if they didn't want to pick. get the idea? it was an interesting experiment in worship. it still contained a fourfold ordo of greeting / word / table / dismissal, and was surprisingly chaos free (at least for our chaos-friendly congregation), and meaningful, not just novely for novelty's sake, but wanting to make a point about participatory worship, about the importance of the consitiuent pieces of a given service, and to hopefully have a service stick in one's mind past noon on that given Sunday.
today (call it bad planning) i actually drove not once, not twice, but thrice to our grocery store.
This evening I once again picked up The Book That Will Not End, that is: Gustavo Gutierrez’ A Theology of Liberation, which I’ve been “reading” since winter. “I don’t know why I don’t just finish the thing,” I said to myself. It’s easy to talk to oneself when one’s wife and kids are out of town. So I read. In bed. From 4 to 6. Then I drove to Orderup and ate and read from 6:30 to 9. Then I came home, hopped into bed to finish The Book That Will Not End and was momentarily startled out of my skull by the cannonade volleys following the nearby performance of the 1812 Overture at Ft. Sam Houston’s Memorial Day shindig. I swear, for a millisecond I believed San Antonio was under some sort of attack. Boom! (I wish I could have heard the orchestral part) Boom! (but I could only hear the interstitial…) BOOM! (and then three more, and then more) Boom! BOOM! boom! and then the Blat-a-Blattatt of Fireworks followed.
Ah, but what did I do earlier in the day? If I told you I worshiped in church, you might think I was talking about Trinity House. That wouldn’t be wrong, but not what I meant:
You see, I had been wanting to return to the McNay Art Museum in order to see Villa America: American Moderns, 1900-1950. My temporary bachelor status afforded me the luxury this afternoon. And like Beuller's Cameron in front of Seurat, in my book art gallery = sanctuary. I went and I took my time, lingering over brushstrokes, contemplating compositional choices, even noticing the frames of the pieces for a change, and then lazily basking in the beauty of Marion Koogler McNay’s 23-acre treasure, the centerpiece of which is a Spanish Colonial Revival mansion realized by “fabled” architects Robert and Atlee Ayers — all this, mere blocks from my home. And I rarely take time to go.
How appropriate that an exhibit of Modernism starting more-or-less from the fruits of the Armory show would come to rest for a while in McNay’s home, for the Armory show was said to have certainly influenced Marion’s personal artistic path.
Villa America. Great show. Demuth, O'Keeffe, Philip Evergood, Grant Wood, Walt Kuhn, Wyeth. Get thee…
If you go, consider checking out my faves: here are ten paintings from Villa America that either captured my imagination, provoked me, or left me with more questions than answers, which is a good, good thing:
Death of a Miner, 1949
tempera on paper
14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches
(poorly hung with bad lighting,
you might have to search for
this one; it’s stuck in a corner)
Theodore J. Roszak
Man at Machine, 1937
oil on canvas
24 x 40 1/8 inches
oil on canvas
48 5/8 x 36 inches
Constructed Head No. 2, 1916
17 1/2 x 17 x 17 inches
egg tempera on gesso panel
21 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches
(to me speaks of institutional church
and power and shame? who knows)
Two Seated Figures, 1910
oil on board
47 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches
Ah, but what did I do even earlier in the day? Ate lunch at Karam’s on Zarzamora with my church family. What did Cliff call the Trinity House twentysomethings this morning? The Youth Invasion. :) I’ve come to really love this congregation. One of our couples is getting married on Saturday. Weddings. Beautiful. Sacramental. (see, I have been reading Gutierrez.) Speaking of Beauty, I’ve also been reading Elements of Design: Rowina Reed Kostellow and The Structure of Visual Relationships. Which also deals with Beauty in a more spiritual way than Reed’s contemporaries realize. Or at least let on.
Ah, but what did I do even earlier in the day? Helped facilitate worship at Trinity House. Where we talked about mission. And our commitment to the Kingdom work outside the walls of the church. Here’s where the Gutierrez text comes in handy. I agree with much but not all of his points. You know, that’ll need to be another blog post for another day.
Off to finish The Book That Will Not End.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 11:27 PM in Art/photography, Arts, culture, man, Design / architecture, Economics, empire, consumerism, Ecumenicism, catholicity, Graphic design, Miscellany, My life / family, Podcasts, Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Thanks Amy E for the link: This just in... excerpt from YAHOO! News (Emphasis added)
WASHINGTON - As immigration rights activists rallied outside the Capitol, senators broke Monday from the House's get-tough approach by refusing to make criminals of people who help illegal immigrants.
The Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would protect church and charitable groups, as well as individuals, from criminal prosecution for providing food, shelter, medical care and counseling to undocumented immigrants.
"Charitable organizations, like individuals, should be able to provide humanitarian assistance to immigrants without fearing prosecution," Durbin said.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Monday, March 27, 2006 at 02:55 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
for those of you who've kept up with the last year of my life, you'll know that the soups embarked upon a journey that has resulted in a new expression of community, of ecclesia, of church if you will. the working name is trinity house, and here's what some of us look like [slog = slideshow+log]
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Monday, March 06, 2006 at 09:51 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
np: The Postal Service: We Will Become Silhouettes. Amy's scrapbooking this weekend. I missed her last night, so I used Google Earth — now available on Mac OSX— to trace her route and pretended I could almost see here there at her friend's lakehouse. I took off a half-day today, picked up Kate and Emma, and have been having a really great time with them; I just gotta remember to pick up Jordan and Abi in an hour, and all will be well. It's naptime, so I'm using this rare down moment in my life to get caught up on ye olde blög.
i'm scruffy this week. cliff and amy accused me of trying to grow a beard:
no, this is not a beard.
plus, we already have two bearded pastors (Cliff and Jeremy, who i decided looks like Treebeard.)
just kidding, easy e.
a good read from our unofficial sister congregation in south africa regarding church membership
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 12:18 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
[happy birthday casey]
Tonight Cliff, Mike, Casey, Ginger, Hannah and I stayed up late and talked about salvation and the many varieties the conversation contains: Open, penal, Volfesque, substitutionary, Anselmic, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Heavenbound, Kingdom, here-and-now, afterlife/thislife, inclusionary, exclusionary, Pauline, the-magic-prayer, what-about-the-native-on-the-island, universal, C.S. Lewis, missionary-dating-while-shoving-McDowell's-Evidence-at-your-girlfriend, James, Luther, light sabers (D), Christ's exclusive claims (or not), what we've read into the gospel (or not), faith v. works, faith + works, what is Christianity, Holy Spirit breathing life at creation versus Pentecost (or not versus), what is an infilling, and all that jazz. Whew.
It's nice to have a safe place to discuss flammable issues.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 12:09 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 10:50 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 01:38 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
trinity house had our second public worship gathering on sunday. we're following the anglican lectionary (2B) throughout the year, if you want to ever follow along. the liturgy is evolving, piecemeal, containing elements you might desrcibe as anglican, taize, methodist (hymnody tends to be pulled from my childhood), catholic/celtic, protestant, etc.
we welcomed guests joseph terrebone (i've been waiting to meet, and we've been waiting to invite Joseph; it also turns out he's an integral part of the new katka/griffin home church), as well as mark's friends josh and emily -- a carpenter and photographer, respectively; pamela, george, shannon, emily and nathan all paid us return visits as well (hooray!); and jeremy and amy everett were finally able to check out what's been going on at their alazan creek mission on sunday mornings. how great would it be to always be able to name everyone who visited.
joseph used to be a cook at la reve, one of the top two or three restaurants in the state: i am easily impressed by a guy who knows how to make andrew weissman's lobster bisque. but of course, he's not talkin'.... (am i a food snob too, now?)
mark menjivar displayed the second in his series of five advent images, 16x16 photographic giclee prints illustrating hope, joy, peace, love, and incarnation. casey accompanied me on bongos. i want to get more comfortable talking, playing and singing in front of people. in my 20s, it was a breeze. as i've gotten older, i've become much more insecure, or out of practice in front of a podium, probably more accurately.
cliff's discussion on mark 1:1-8, and an abbreviated ignatian examen is nicely summed up here at his blog.
my replacement power cable for my digital camera should arrive this week, so I'll be able to once again take some photos of trinity house to post from time to time.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Monday, December 05, 2005 at 11:21 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Earlier this week, Alan Roxburgh and the Allelon Community hosted a group “work[ing] on the formation of a Missional Order for the purpose of training and releasing leaders in local contexts.” at his home in Vancouver. Present were Chris Erdman, Tim Keel (Jacob's Well), Karen Ward (Church of the Apostles in Seattle), Patsy Fratanduono (Cedar Ridge), Bob Roxburgh, Ed Searcy, and Gary Waller, according to Keel, who also posted [this] robust 12-page new monasticism PDF from the Community of Friends in Renewal (CFR) -- [download file.]
Erdman writes in his own blog, that they set out to “sketch the broad contours of a Missional Order that will sustain and nourish a dispersed community of missional leaders around practices, mutual commitments, and on-going learning. The Order is initiated by the Allelon Community which will provide updates and more information in the months to come.”
Advent & Growth Rings
think about growth rings on a tree.
last week as our family was driving up to McKinney, TX, we stopped in at our old alma mater, Baylor University. It was probably the first time I had been on campus in six years or so. I've done a lot of changing since then, and so has Baylor.
Baylor's new Science behemoth-of-a-building is now the home for a relic I had always admired in my own college days in Waco: a cross-section of a two-thousand-year-old redwood tree felled in the early part of the last century, one of many sections the U.S. forest service provided to institutions of higher learning, just for the asking apparently. It's there, standing, I dunno, a dozen feet high (?) showing growth rings dating back to the days when our Saviour walked the planet. It always gave me chills: each ring containing so much history. the silent growth.
Brian McLaren reminded our group last night (as did, coincedentally, an essay by Troy Bronsink which I'm reading tonight), this emerging-growth is a great metaphor for (surprise) the church-emerging.
But it's also an apt metaphor for Trinity House.
Instead of unpacking a fully-developed tree and plopping it down, God adds growth outward, over time. Arboreal baby steps. Each insight, each milestone, moves our congregation from acorn to sapling. We started off by simply falling off of another mature tree. We went through symbolic deaths and burials and dormancies in late 2004 and the first half of 2005. Then, still underground, new life occurred. Cells divided.
And I think last Sunday, a shoot broke through the soil and became visible (viable?). We moved beyond a group of five founding couples getting to know one another into our second season of life: the congregation was now "open to the public" -- ready (or not) for prime time.
I want to write more about specific liturgy choices and artistic touches for the benefit of people like Bets, but Emma has an ear-ache and is crying. Must go father. later. - p
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 09:14 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
I sent an email to a bunch of Austinites this evening, folks who might be interested in an Austin Emergent Cohort. There seems to be one starting here. But I know I've missed a few people. If you've recently told, emailed, called, commented, or tracked back about Austin Cohorts and you want me to email you what I sent to them, drop me a note.
Tuesday night Jordan and I hosted this father-son group with which we're involved twice-monthly. It's a fairly ecumenical group (a mix of mainline, roman catholic, evangelical, and non-denominational).
It was our turn to have the group meet at our house, and thus my turn to come up with content. i decided to have the kids and the dads write their own psalms. we talked about the range of emotions found in the 'real' psalms, and how it was okay to express anger, fear, questioning, and how we're called to 'sing a new song' -- and that everyone could contribute. you should have seen what they came up with. amazing. this is nine-year-old guys expressing some beautiful phrases; i only wish i had kept them to publish here. their dads came up with good ones too, but the kids' were great. that was a good evening: no doctrinal baggage, no propositions, just these kids giving God their shout-outs.
On Monday night I was able to be a fly on the wall at a conference call for the Relational Tithe (RT). Folks from all around the country [new friends like Greg Willis in Austin and Ryan and Holly Sharp on the road in Ohio, and acquaintances like Damian O'Farrell in CA, and Chris Haw (he made Trinity House's pottery) in Camden, NJ, and Shane Claiborne from the simple way] and they had dialed in mainly to hear stories, to hear how their money was used around the world. Think of it as narrative tithing, with way fewer than six degrees of separation.In fact, only one degree of separation. This far-flung group is living out a new model for pooling Kingdom funds and getting it to people in need: people these folks have met, invited into their homes, shared meals with. I hope to learn more about the RT and maybe our community can incorporate lessons learned into our daily, weekly, monthly rhythms of giving.
Kate, age 4 and a half, had a big lunch date with me today. (Emma was there too, but Kate was the excited one). We got to go to EZs and share a big cheese pizza, and then come down to the studio and hang out there for an hour before mama came and picked her up! She felt very grown-up.
Jordan and I played HORSE the other night with his Nerf basketball. For me, this was a Sporting Moment With My Son. So much so that I'm blogging about it. I'm not a sports guy. So I'm counting on some of you friends of mine who enjoy sports, enjoy sweating, to help me out in exposing Jordan to more than the occasional game of Nerf HORSE. Please, help a kid. Donate today. Operators are standing by.
Everywhere in these days people have, in their mockery, ceased to understand that the true security is to be found in social solidarity rather than in isolated individual effort. But this terrible state of affairs must inevitably have an end, and all will suddenly understand how unnaturally they are separated from one another. It will be the spirit of the time, and people will marvel that they have sat so long in darkness without seeing the light... But, until then, we must keep the banner flying. Sometimes even if he has to do it alone, and his conduct seems to be crazy, a man must set an example, and so draw other souls out of their solitude, and spur them to some act of brotherly love, that the great idea may not die.
Source: Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Brothers Karamazov" via the Bruderhof Daily Dig
This Brothers K quote is nice in and of itself, but rings especially true when set next to these thoughts about community in the Christian context (emphases mine):
"I see Christianity as .... an existential reality present in a believing, worshipping community, and the only ultimate hermeneutic for the gospel is a believing community."
Source: Lesslie Newbigin, extracted from interview in Andrew Walker's book, Different Gospels: Christian Orthodody and Modern Theologies (Hodder & Stoughton, 1988) via Ship of Fools
And then Kevin Cawley nicely summarizes Guder's Misisonal Church thesis here.
And Cliff covered Jonathan R. Wilson nicely when he summarizes, "Many Christians in “the last remaining superpower” believe that the church in America is in need of deep renewal and reform. The forces of empire: capitalism, militarism, consumerism, individualism and pursuit of the “American dream” have taken us far from our common life with Christian brothers and sisters in service to and for the Kingdom of God. New monasticism or intentional community is a potentially fruitful way of renewing both the identity and mission of ecclesial communities...."
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Friday, November 04, 2005 at 11:44 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
pamela neumann has become a friend over the past few months. She's an emergent cohort friend, an articulate writer, an optimist, a chorister, and above all, has a passion about being caught up in the mission of God. so much so that under the auspices of Food for the Hungry, she will be fulfilling a vocational calling as she goes to live in Nicaragua and support the work of the Nehemiah Center for Transformational Development located in Managua, the capital city. Food for the Hungry helps the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest of the poor. [Note: find out how to support her here]
She came and spoke at Trinity House this Sunday about her forthcoming adventures (i suppose she was our first guest speaker ever. hey, someone should write that down); We're going to be able to support her a little bit, a relational tithe of sorts -- one "degree of separation" -- which is so much better than writing some check off to some missions board somewhere.. anyway, I'll let her tell you about the experience in her own well-crafted words (via)
Have you ever been in the presence of people who made you feel warm inside and deeply loved, simply by being among them? I had that kind of experience this past Sunday when I spent about 30 minutes with some friends who are starting a missional community known as Trinity House. I was there to share a little bit about the journey that had led me to commit 3 years of my life to living and serving among the poor of Nicaragua. Their community meets in an inviting, colorful space on the inner west side of San Antonio. Couches and large easy chairs form a semi circle around a coffee table adorned with a simple embroidered runner, tea light candles, and the sacramental elements of communion. As the community gathers that morning, children are playing, women are sharing stories of joy and meaning from their lives, men are playing guitar and preparing for the time of worship and learning. Truly, the presence of God is in this place. The gathering begins with a short reading for reflection and then I am invited to share. As my words tumble out, I glance around the room, seeking connection with my brothers and sisters, hoping they can see my heart. I am humbled by their nods of understanding, their affirming looks of encouragement, and their heartfelt prayers. Truly, the Trinity abides with us. Finally, I bid my friends a temporary farewell, but I know we are united in spirit, for all of our hearts are set on pilgrimage…sojourning with these kindred spirits over the last several months through common reading and discussions about faith and practice has drawn me deeper into the mystery of knowing Jesus and following Him in the world…I can think of no better fruit for a community to bear.
that's my post for tonight. tomorrow i'll tell you more about the House Concert on the 28th.
better bookmark "revolutionary heart",
from the theological guinness connoisseur
who likes to sign his email "shalom, homies".
that's right, mike is blogging.
cliff, casey, mike, mark, devin and conner all came over to our house tonight and had a great guys' nite with me and jordan* in order to offset the estrogen-laden girls' nite that was happening across town at rachel's pad with the womenfolk. if we hadn't had this evening the whole universe would've been lopsided.
we did guy things, ate and drank guy stuff, made guy jokes, and casey only hugged mike once. or twice.
(we had emma, kate, and abigail here at the house too, mostly to give the wives (read: Ginger and Amy) a night without squids. but the girls did just fine amidst all the guy stuff).
we talked and dreamed about the community, and that was the best part. i think it was a taste of things to come.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Friday, October 07, 2005 at 10:55 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
a quick slideshow. click to view vlog
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Wednesday, October 05, 2005 at 10:36 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
a great quote this AM from cliff:
I wonder how we got away from the idea of church for the not-all-together, for the lonely, for the misfits, for the excluded, for the hurting, for the oppressed?
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Wednesday, October 05, 2005 at 12:56 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
our community had its second worship gathering today. (photogallery via cliff) our first gathering was two weeks ago at mike and ginger's house, on the far northwest side of town out by sea world; this week we were graciously given space to use at the Alazan Creek Mission in the heart of San Antonio's Guadalupe Cultural Arts District, in an area i've recently heard referred to as "one of the poorest zip codes in the country."
"I am in awe that God has provided us a beautiful and rent-free place to meet for the short-term. Whether or not this space or the west side is our long-term home, God has once again met our immediate need. If our fledgling community had the resources to lease space, we might have missed this blessing."
so we move forward, with wide-eyed wonder, with joy and fatigue and provision and patient solidarity as we sketch and trace the contours of worship. there's nothing wrong, i've decided, to thinking in terms of being God's children "playing at worship" -- not that worship is a game per se, and not that we don't approach it with a certain sacred gravitas. But in "reality" our best attempts and our worst attempts at worship are both crayon scribbles. the illusion of getting it "right" is one I'm giving up. because that kind of mindset only leads to a performance-based metrics, which uplifts technique as an idol. i'm not saying we don't bring quality gifts (cain, abel, hold that thought boys), nor that we should dumb down our worship. i'm saying neither.
i've been influenced by evangelical-on-the- canterbury-trail robert e webber in that regard, but i've also been influenced by a generation licking their "church-growth movement" wounds, coughing and cutting through the fog-machine thicket with machete arms, squinting past the stage lighting, tripping off risers, eschewing entertainment-as-church and tossing their timekeeping, nursery-pager sunday mornings for something with either more majesty and mystery, or more organic simplicity, or an eclectic hybrid of both, the latter of which being where we find ourselves.
i know i'm rambling, but aren't these my brothers, and aren't these my sisters, and aren't we waking into God doing a new thing?
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, October 02, 2005 at 10:17 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
wow. okay. so this opportunity comes around where our little community was just offered a place to meet for worship gatherings, over on the near west side of downtown, in the guadalupe cultural arts district at the alazan creek mission building; they're currently not using it on sunday mornings. thanks to mark and rachel manjivar, cliff and i got to meet jeremy everett (pictured here), who runs the mission center and with whom the menjivars have been colaboring on the west side for some time, at one point considering their own church plant, la Iglesia de Esperanza. in any case, mark and rachel paved the way for us to use the facility as early as this sunday. more soon. (Photo of Jeremy by Craig Bird)
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Monday, September 26, 2005 at 06:30 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
i need to go to bed because i'm waking up early for a client meeting so maybe if i do one long run-on sentence it'll go down quicker paul thought and wrote like caddy compson's benjy moments in long streams, long streams to catch you up starting with friday perhaps yes friday night where my parents kept the kids and amy and i had a much-needed date night and had a great time and made a pilgrimage to the apple store in san antonio's latest temple to consumerism: the shops at la cantera and then was saturday when hurricane rita came and we moved furniture most of the day and soccer games were canceled and sunday came and our missional community went to san pedro manor and spoke and learned and loved and remembered and grew and welcomed mark and rachel with open arms and jordan made me proud and devin made us all proud and my six-and-a-half-month-old baby stole the show and the beautiful and wise and weathered nursing home residences drank in emma's soft, round baby skin cheeks and fair smile and i watched and met betty who came from new orleans and hadn't found her hurricane-scattered children and she had been in the superdome and had heard the worst and then mark amazed me the way he could embrace strangers so easily y se puede hablar en espanol con las abuelitas y yo sitting there in contrast, forgetting mis palabras y no puedo recuerdo mucho and grace, and love, and later selfless susan serving spaghetti, starbucks, and birthday cliff and birthday ginger and casey started his blog and hannah and kate had laughing moments and amy made that chocolate cake and love and lethargy mixed and kids played pool just like river-city, and mike was there and i was there and we were late for soccer practice and i waited with jordan instead of going to mosaic roadtrip but that was okay, and i got to talk to george and that was good and then mark came by for some furniture and i made grilled cheese for jordan and i had a really good talk about our missional community and church and how important he is and watched grey's anatomy on abc tv and read two blog posts from cliff and they got my mind wheels rotating and a typed in a long comment and asked myself some questions and isn't it warm for september and my wasn't our electric bill high and isn't the wild goose fluid and good and beautiful and isn't she worth following?
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Sunday, September 25, 2005 at 11:20 PM in Apple / iPod / Macintosh, Arts, culture, man, Books, Emergent San Antonio, Emerging church, Missiology, My life / family, New monasticism / intentional community, Pop culture / consumerism / ultramodernity, Postmodernity/postmodernism, Prayer / prayers / devotional life, Theology, Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community, Worship / Liturgy etc. | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
after a summer's worth of tweaking, i can open this up for comment.
this is our new missional community's statements of affirmation:
1. We affirm our desire to be a community shaped and led by the Spirit of God speaking through Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the entire church.
2. We affirm our desire to orient our common life around the teaching of Holy Scripture, the formation of intentional community, the Eucharistic table, and prayer.
3. We affirm our desire to worship, love, and serve the one true God who is revealed in Holy Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We repent of our idolatries in whatever forms they have taken and continue to take: modernism, postmodernism, capitalism, militarism, consumerism, materialism, eroticism, individualism, conservatism, liberalism, and pursuit of the “American Dream.” While recognizing that some of these concepts may be more compatible with the teaching of Holy Scripture than others, all stand under the judgment of the gospel.
4. We affirm the place of mystery and paradox in the life of faith. We acknowledge that not all questions have ready-made answers. Often, the best we can do is to learn to live with the question in our pursuit of truth. We humbly confess that God transcends our theological formulations concerning him. As a result, we will utilize liturgy, the arts, silence, and contemplation in our attempts to worship God, discern his presence, and bear witness to him.
5. We affirm our desire to be a “missional community.” We will love and serve our neighbor in practical, concrete ways. We affirm our commitment that approximately one half of our missional community resources (time, property, money) be utilized to reach and serve those outside of our missional community. We affirm that “orthopraxy” (right practice) is as important as “orthodoxy” (right theology). We acknowledge our commitment to more faithfully and consistently live out that which we claim to believe.
6. Following Jesus’ identification with the poor and the powerless, we affirm our desire to stand in solidarity and in relationship with those whom Jesus referred to as “the least of these.” Today, this includes the poor, the disabled, the handicapped, the aged, widows, orphans, the imprisoned, the sick (including those with HIV-AIDS), and the oppressed. We affirm the dignity and value of all human beings as bearers of the image of God and as worthy of our love, friendship, and concern. We affirm our commitment to welcoming the “stranger” and practicing hospitality.
7. We affirm the value of the family and familial relationships, especially the unique “one-flesh” husband-wife relationship. We affirm that this relationship is to be characterized by love and “mutual submission in the Lord.” We recognize and affirm our responsibilities to “nurture our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord” and to “honor our parents.” We acknowledge the role and responsibility of the whole community in the spiritual formation of our children.
8. We affirm the vocation of singleness and celibacy for those so gifted by God’s grace. We reject any view that would assign “second-class” status to single men and women or segment them off from the rest of the community. We affirm our love and support to individuals with these gifts and affirm our commitment to them as equal participants and co-laborers in our missional community.
9. One of the primary effects of modernity on individuals and communities in Western democracies is fragmentation and alienation. We are fragmented in our inner lives, in our families, in our local communities, and in our church communities. We are often alienated from our truest selves and from one another. We affirm that intentional community is essential for overcoming this fragmentation and alienation and recognize that our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ are at least as important as our family relationships. We affirm that authentic community values independent judgment, honest self-expression, and differences among individuals.
10. We affirm our desire to be a community of transparency, acceptance, and grace. We recognize that the common life to which we have been called is exceedingly difficult because of our inherent selfishness, lack of wholeness, and the fragmented society in which we live. We affirm our complete dependence on the grace of God and the power of Christ’s cross to live in community with one another. We affirm our commitment to the ongoing practice of concrete acts of forgiveness, peace-making, and reconciliation.
11. We affirm our desire to be in unity — and in dialogue — with our brothers and sisters in other Christian traditions and denominations.
12. We affirm that the kingdom of God (his rule and reign) has already “broken in” to our world in the person and ministry of Jesus. Yet the kingdom has not come in its fullness (The kingdom has come and is coming.). We live in the tension between the inbreaking of the kingdom and its future manifestation in its fullness at the consummation of history when it will be said, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever." As individuals and as a missional community we desire to be a sign of the kingdom by living in a way that makes God’s reign visible. We affirm and celebrate the signs of his reign wherever we find them.
13. We affirm our desire to be a community that is also “looking forward” to and working for the coming kingdom reign of God. We acknowledge that we are “foreigners and strangers” on this earth. What we see around us is not our home. What we currently possess is not ours to keep. We confess the constant urge to measure ourselves by material possessions, socio-economic status, and other temporal things. We seek to live freely, generously, and hold loosely, if at all, the things God has entrusted to us. We recognize that the “American Dream” functions as the de facto “gospel” in America. We repent of our complicity with this false gospel. We affirm our desire as a community to bear witness to the true gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom of God as we wait for a new heaven and a new earth.
14. We recognize that God communicates his grace to us at least in part through the “disciplines of grace,” both individual and communal. We are committed to reclaiming the practices and insights of the whole church (Apostolic, Patristic, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant) as we seek to live in grace and follow the way of Jesus.
15. Finally, we affirm our desire to be agents of justice, peace, and reconciliation in a world full of racism, discrimination, oppression, religious conflict, and war. We affirm our desire to be a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, diverse missional community that actively works to break down walls of division and hostility. We are committed to social justice as an expression of the good news of Jesus and the coming of the reign of God. We affirm the necessary connection between evangelism and social action.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 07:04 PM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
1Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit!" - Hebrews 12: 1a (The Message)
like i said earlier, our new missional community had its first worship gathering this week. this is equivalent to a starting line in a long-distance race: it is nice to be running, but it would be missing the point to stand around and give high-fives at this point. there's work to be done. BUT sunday was the culmination of much ... i'm breathless and starting to breathe all at once it seems... and here i will commit my thoughts before they grow too hazy.
+ the wine and the bread.
for me there's this beauty in sharing the Eucharist with a small group of people you've come to love. i was very moved by our first worship service, and the shared Presence of Christ, the shared elements, and watching this particular body live/proclaim/rehearse something so ancient, something so real, something made new -- it was almost too good. I've blogged before about the communion stoneware -- it added the dimension of being in solidarity with the Church universal. Susan found a beautiful embroidered runner underpinning the makeshift altar. Cliff and I led the service, but everyone had a role.
+ preparation vs. resting at Jesus' feet.
for me there's an ongoing mary/martha aspect of worship preparations. all the prerequisites to 'pulling together' a given worship experience. the day before i was busy with guitar strings, paintings, paint, easels, communion pottery, order-of-worship programs, digital camera and charger, video camera and charger, tripod, you get the picture.
+ Celtic but uniquely ours.
we decided a few weeks ago, informed in part by the book A Celtic Primer (Brendan O'Malley), and encouraged along by the Emergent Celtic strain (Lilly Lewin, et al), we arrived at a Celtic liturgy for this first week (we're allowing some eclecticism as we search for an authentic expression, but much of what the rich Celtic spiritual/liturgical tradition offers feels like home to both Cliff and myself). I had recently created some Celtic knot-work designs for a friend's logo, and so even the line-work and typefaces on the program (it's just like me to want to create a keepsake, eh?) were on board. As was the poem, sort of:
+ beat poetry & st. brendan: embark
i remembered that a long time ago i had written few fragments of stream-of-consciousness verse called 'embark' -- riffing off McLaren's NKoK intro about dis-embedding (read my original one here) ... when cliff suggested that i create a poem to commemorate the day, this piece came to mind (not immediately, but within a few days i remembered and went googling for it). anyway, i merged the idea of embark with this idea of brendan's coracle (thanks, Mike), and the idea of a hebrews 11 "by faith" intersecting with other stuff, and enlarged the whole poem into a blank verse beat poet's delight, and since i knew casey was bringing his bongos on sunday, it was a natch. i combined this with an oilgraph homage to kevin rolly, based on a boat painting i had done a while back.
+ by faith abraham (by faith mike, amy, cliff, susan, casey, hannah, ginger, paul)
by faith abram was willing to drive a stake in the ground, set out on a new tangent, believe God, follow and lead simultaneously, and bless the whole world in the process. Cliff was/is so instrumental in embodying this follow-and-lead for our community. he's been willing to step beyond the comfort level of our group so many times, and sort of mediate the distance to the next anchor point (see preamble) while always checking on the aggregate speed of the group.
+ worshiping and reflecting.
we worshiped and somewhere in there Mike took the kids upstairs and they created these beautiful mosaic crosses (scroll down to see the pic in the GIF animation) that Amy came up with. and we had an abbreviated lectio divina reflecting on "by faith abraham..." verses after Cliff's homily. it's good to see Cliff stand up and pastor and preach after a year away. Christ is about redemption. ... afterward, we all gathered around Rudy's barbecue (I love Rudy's BBQ sauce). I had the first and only good creamed-corn experience of my life. we reflected on the day. our community is making it a habit to experience, then reflect on the experience, as a community. it's a pattern wrapped in wisdom.
+ the kids
this missional community has a church/ecclesia/gathering component, and a missional/outreach/community component, and it also has a kiddo component. amy and i have four kids, and ginger and mike have two kids. as small as this group is, we already have a children's dept. it was great to see susan taking emma (she's great at that!), and casey bongo-ing with jordan and devin, and to see mike shepherding the children, etc. i really need to chat with ivy beckwith at the gathering in october!
+ then the blues
chalk it up to normal letdown, sunday afternoon blues, or principalities and powers (sorry, i don't mean to make light of spiritual things), but after the service, my whole family was at each other's throats. isn't that just like life -- i celebrate love and life and God's great gifts to us moments before yelling or arguing or losing my cool. the whole rest of sunday and monday morning was pretty low (except for chalk art on the sidewalk sunday night, a bright spot).
I'm sure there's more, but that's top-of-mind, and it's getting late and i really should sleep.
Posted by Paul Soupiset on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 12:16 AM in Trinity House (2005-2006): an experimental missional Christian community | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)