Dear House Church,
Welcome to my informal, conversational, weekly-ish-on-most-Fridays email! My goal is to connect with you, and inform, include and invite you to whatever next thing for our church life together.
So before I tell you about the Pop-Up Church this Sunday (yay!) It worked so well over Labor Day weekend it seemed right to do another one, I want to tell you a story about changing the world.
I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t want to “change the world.” And while I don’t necessarily resonate with that phrase in the same way I once did, I still have a strong feeling of wanting to serve my generation in whatever capacity I can with the grace given to me.
For the better part of this year, I’ve had a “guiding phrase” of sorts that I heard my wife say and it's about “settled bodies.” That a truly settled body, a body at home and at peace within itself, can affect society beyond measure. And so this has been a silent, guiding principle with my daily encounters. I try to not approach people with info and answers, per se, but I’ve made it my focus to be at home within myself, first, and from there engage the situation.
Yesterday I had such a meeting with a sis gender straight man twice my age, who is a Ph.D., and an expert trainer in the fields of psychodrama and sociometry, and who is a practicing, wandering buddhist monk. It is my custom, at the end of a friendly meeting, to ask a person what they need in order to walk away from our meeting having heard or said all that was needed, and so I did this with him, and he responded that he would like to hold my hands, look into my eyes, do intentional breathing together, and share feelings. Wait! What?! No, I did not see that coming! So I ran away as fast as I could. Jkjk.
Back to my story, so in that moment, I felt calm and safe enough within myself, and in our context, to do what he asked. We were in a public space, outdoors on a patio, and so I did it, and I’m so glad I did. I’m grateful I arrived at this meeting settled within myself enough to participate in this bizarre way to end a conversation. There we were, a very unlikely pair from very different backgrounds, far apart in age, in wildly different seasons of life, with vastly different religious belief systems which have historically been at odds...and there we sat, holding hands across from one another - and we saw one another in that moment.
Something happened between our very different lives. A softening of sorts. I saw the love in his eyes and he saw the love in mine, I saw his pain and he saw mine. It was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. After that I exclaimed with surprising recognition, “this is how we change our world! One body, one encounter, one moment outside of our comfort zone truly seeing ‘the-other-who-is-not-like-us’ at a time.” One settled, safe body at a time.
That encounter leveled up my game, and I’m grateful I had the strength to meet the opportunity and not run away. I think the more we can truly see others, the more we will embody the changes we want to see in our world. Now, on to our church plans this weekend!
Let’s do “Pop-Up Church'' - it will be a safe(r) way to connect that will be comfortable for most. I’m trying this in the spirit of creative connection, and a strong desire to not repeat last year!
Here’s how I see it going: Pop-Up Church at “Woodward Park” in Tulsa, 9:00 a.m. THIS Sunday the 19th. Map search it for directions, it’s at 21st/Peoria. And, there are bathrooms this time! Yay!
Bring a chair, beverage, bug spray, friend, kids, instruments if you want. You’ll love it.
If you haven’t been around in a while, shoot me a text or give me a call! I’d love to catch up with you and hear what’s going on in your life. Or let’s plan to sit on a patio somewhere together. Your wellbeing matters, and my deepest desire is that you stay healthy and hopeful.
Community Announcements and Thank Yous:
Thanks for your generosity to keep the ministry financially healthy! We are able to keep the bills paid and give hospitably to those in need inside and outside our church. Together we bless so many lives. The ministry and message of our church will outlive the pandemic for generations to come!
Coffee & Theology Wednesdays at 8am. Recordings available on the app afterward. This is a time to get deep with spiritual concepts and ask difficult questions. https://zoom.us/j/4263965521
Download our church app to access everything we’ve got going at the church, past service recordings including CAT, and you can give from there, too. Be sure to check out the “Audios” and the “Blog” section of the app: https://tithely.app.link/
It’s the joy of my life to be in a loving community with you. Together we can change our world one settled body at a time.