|Ressurecting PilgrimsSolace? (Postings on my new Church and reflections on the land of my birth )
||[Mar. 10th, 2008|11:44 am]
All Sojourner's Tranquil Respite
My friend Dan mentioned at least a few people still belong to this place, though I apologize that its been a bit vacant. Decide to share this from my journal, and let people know I might try ressurecting it a bit; I'm creating a few new blogs around some experimental church movements I've been a part of, and the practice of spiritual pilgrimage and dialog that originally inspired this place (and much of my journey)|
Exploring Postmodern Ministry in Witch-City
I'm getting very involved in this church at Salem which is dialoging with the neo-pagan community in an intentional, mutually healing way; its a stream of the "Emergent/Emerging/Postmodern" church movement, and one of the most beautiful, wildly experimental groups of Christians I've ever met. The pastor was excommunicated from his original pentocostal denomination for talking to and caring about pagans instead of screaming at them through megaphones. But he's still doing his thing, and looking to combine pentocostal spirituality with ancient forms of Christian chant, meditation, musical experimentation and create a deeply relational, healing space in this fascinating city which has become a sanctuary for many in the neo-pagan movement. Here's some links if anyone's interested
Pastor Phil's blog, with an acount of our crazy pub-theologizing this week. Did I mention we have a resident exorcist? Very interesting 14-year Orthodox priest and former monk. :P (he doesnt' think pagans are all demon possessed, for the record, its been interesting chatting with him). He technically offered our two friends an Orthodox blessing/cleansing, not a full exorcism: http://squarenomore.blogspot.com/
Church's other blog, with recent "excommunication" article and some of their work in the commmunity:http://salemgathering.blogspot.com/
Pastor Phil's theology seems a little conservative, until you read the extensive first-hand research he did into neo-pagan values and beliefs and their stated goal of Divinely-guided mutual transformation, rather than a "convert everyone!" approach. Watching him hold the two in tension has really been amazing, and challenges liberal and conservative views of Christianity. They work to LIVE their beliefs, and believe salvation is about BEING like Jesus and letting the encounter with others transform you both. Leaving it in God's hands, and creating Christian sanctuary that welcomse all who cross is doors. Its an approach that's bringing people of all sorts of theologies together.
Oh, lastly did I mention our pastor is learning to speak/pray in Welsh, and likes taking trips to the UK to visit pagan gatherings at ancient holy sites? My church is sooo cool. *beams*
Things have been fantastic, if hectic on other fronts. I'm studying Hindu-Christian chanting communities, looking at some Emergent church/college campus ministry placements for next year and some forms of conflict resolution.
Native Sacred Traditions and Tears for my own Homeland
I made it into this amazing private Native American class that will involve visits, speakers and research with the aim of developing programs for Harvard on this area I care passionately about- which is just amazing. Its a great class, although the reading we just did moved me deeply, given the issues of development and politics facing the land I grew up on and loved. Read several prominant Native American figures who, amongst other things hold that to be indigenous is to love and know the land so much it becomes a part of you.
I feel this, deeply every time I come home. Like driving down that road, in any season is like returning to the heart of my own soul. Knowing that the stance I'm taking, limited development, while the lesser of two evils feels at times like I'm cutting my own heart out. But what choice do we have? There's a big election coming up, and one just passed that was filled with corruption (though the other side got caught, big time). I pray I can play my part in letter-writing, though I know I will weep for the land of my birth no matter what happens.