Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What will St. Paul's will look like in 10 years?

This Wednesday Dec. 8 we have St. Nicholas Night and will take a night off from our regular classes. We will meet again Wednesday evening Dec. 15 for Part II (chapters 5-17, pages 77-218). Please join me at St. Paul's or here on this blog for more conversation about our parish, our mission, who we are and who we are called to become. Here are a few questions to guide your reading and our discussion:

1- When have you felt the closest to the divine at St. Paul's? When and how do you share that experience with others?

2- When and how have you felt God's beauty at St. Paul's?

3- What are the signposts of renewal at St. Paul's?

4- How can build a discerning community at St. Paul's? What does that look like for us?

5- How can we build a faith community centered on God's shalom? What does that look like for us?

6- How do we tell our individual stories?

7- What is our story as a community of faith? How do we tell our story to the world? How do we tell our story to each other?

8- How are lives transformed at St. Paul's?

9- Where is God calling us to go as a community of faith?

10- What do you think St. Paul's will look like in 10 years?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Questions for tonight: Part I and Our Taproot

Tonight we will discuss Part I, the first four chapters of Christianity for the Rest of Us. Here are a few questions I hope will spark our conversation, with page references to the book to assist you. Please feel free to comment on any or all of these questions here on this blog under the comments section (and comments will be moderated).

Here are tonight's questions:

1- What did church look like for you as a child or young adult? How did you first encounter God? (pages 15-20)

2- What is the best of our past at St. Paul's? What is our "taproot"? (pages 4, 22)

3- How does our tradition connect us to the past and to the future? (page 10)

4- What is the destination on our pilgrimage as a congregation? Where are we going? (page 11)

5- How can we be more comfortable and better skilled at navigating change in the world around us and in our church? (page 24)

6- Butler Bass writes (page 34): "Middles need to be periodically reinvented." What is our middle? What needs reinventing?

7- Do we have a "creative third way" between preaching Hell/damnation fundamentalism and capitulating to secular cultural values of consumerism and political power? (pages 35-36)

8- Butler Bass writes (page 38): "We are all pilgrims in a strange land now, exiles and immigrants in the new world of this post-everything age." How can we offer respite and hospitality to fellow pilgrims?

9- How does our way of being church make us more than a charitable service organization? How does worship, prayer, Scripture and service come together to transform lives at St. Paul's? (page 42)

10- What are the big important questions we ought to be asking? (page 51)