The Discipline of Community: (from an interview in Liguorian Magazine, October 1992)

We were not designed to live alone. Where are our circles of intimacy? Who is making you feel alive? Who says “You are a beautiful person, you are the beloved of God, don’t forget it?”. Not quite in those words, but I had a meeting this morning as having been in Durham for 3.5 months and my job description (which we knew was too big) has been threatening to engulf me … but having been told that are more than happy with what I’m doing, my health is important at the moment – take the time to sleep well, eat well, exercise well, socialise, etc. and know that you are doing a good job but you are more important!

A New Life: Ephesians 4:1-6

This just brings back to mind some of the debates that I’ve seen on Twitter over the past few weeks:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

What does this mean when we have theological disagreements? Do we listen to those with the loudest voice? Those with the best public profile? Those that ask the most questions? One of the people (amongst many) that I’ve seen dealing with the issue of #womenbishops gracefully is Claire (we had a tweetup in Winchester!)… but at what point does being full of grace mean sitting back, accepting the status quo – people need to be challenged she indicates more strongly in a later post.

In discussions on BigBible, have looked at the issue of tweeting in church – and looking at Romans 14:21 & the issue of not being a stumbling block to others in church. This doesn’t mean DON’T tweet in church (for some people it’s powerful), but be sensitive to those who don’t understand it – maybe raise it as a topic in church – explain you’re not playing Angry Birds, and I thought this was a great comment to take further:

… thinking about being/not being a stumbling block to others. What structures of accountability does the CU have. How far is Bristol CU in line/out of line with any National policy? I’m thinking that whatever heartfelt, prayerful reasons the group my have for making this decision, they need to think about the message it gives to the rest of campus, and the world and whether this is a legitimate conflict to enter in to. Is anyone , other than the media, calling them to account for the gospel?

And here’s a (tongue-in-cheek) thought as to what this would look like if the church demanded similar provision that has been acceded in the church for women bishops.

This Advent stuff is definitely making me think about what I engage in daily!

Prayer: I’m going to take the prayer as written:

Lord, we ask for the discipline needed to be a true member of our communities. May we choose and be chosen to be God’s beloved. Amen.

Advent Action: Interesting idea (not feeling crafty!): make a small tree on which to hang apples to remind of failings wishing to avoid this advent … hmm – what’s my equivalent! Just looking out of the window at Durham Cathedral reminds me of many things to be thankful for (way too aware of my failings, trying to concentrate more on what doing well!).

And… off to check Pam’s post for today

3 Responses

  1. I am always challenged by the question of being “a true member” of my community especially now that I work freelance and travel from place to place. I love that phrase about choosing to be God’s beloved. What a choice to make each & every day.

  2. Yes … I travel a lot too, and can be hard feeling fully part of a physical community… especially when people try to enforce it – daily choice!!

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