Improvised comedy begins with “Yes, and.”
I agree to the name you just gave me, the relationship you clarified, and to the situation you established.
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by Melissa Turkett, Epworth House resident
Melissa here (of the Susanna Wesley "Swesley" House Epworth community). Over the last year and half or so we have been fully engaged in the work of urban farming, ending food deserts, and creative imagining of food forests at the Swesley house.
Launch & Lead Alum, Mary Beth Taylor
Reverend Mary Beth Taylor noticed a different kind of community while she was Associate Pastor at Littleton UMC outside of Denver. Mary Beth, also a graduate of Launch & Lead, noticed that many people enjoyed spending some of their recreational time having a cold beer and some appetizers at the local pub, just like she and her life partner, Steve. She pulled together a small group of people and formed Open Space, a community that meets monthly in a local bar and grill.
Launch & Lead Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick
Nora Ortiz Fredrick is a consultant, fund-raiser, and entrepreneur in Anchorage, Alaska. Nora, a graduate of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Launch & Lead program, noticed that the timing of traditional church services makes very little sense in Alaska. Many people are drawn to Alaska by its natural beauty and the wide variety of outdoor activities is offers, yet churches were asking people to take several hours out of the very middle of their weekends to come into an urban setting in order to sit indoors for worship.
Launch & Lead Alum, Lynda Fickling
Table fellowship has been a traditional part of the life of many Christian denominations for years in the form of Wednesday night dinners or Friday fish fries. These activities, however, were typically inwardly focused—serving the people of the church—and were large gatherings. Lynda Fickling, director of servant ministry and spiritual director at St. Luke’s UMC in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and a graduate of the MWF’s Launch & Lead program, decided to combine the joys of table fellowship with the idea of small groups by developing Kitchen Groups. Lynda put together a leader’s guide that provided insight into hosting a simple dinner in a home.
What Does Missional Mean?, Week 8
This week’s meditation is taken from Together: Community as a Means of Grace by Larry Duggins.
I believe that community itself is a prudential means of grace. Our Creator lives in a constant state of life-giving community, thriving through an inseparable bond between Father, Son, and Spirit. Our Creator made us in the Creator’s image, so we, ourselves, long for the same kind of community connection, and it is the prayer of the Redeemer that we experience that kind of community with each other and with the Creator. Through learning to love each other in communities, we live into our nature as the reflection of the image of God, fulfilling the desire of God, which draws us closer to God.
Joining the Dance:
The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit, Week 5
How, then, shall we live?
For me this is the central question of all theology. If we spend ten breaths talking about what the Spirit of God is, we should spend ten hundred talking about how that understanding should shape our behavior and ten thousand walking, along with Christ, doing whatever it is that our theology calls forth from us.
Truly, how, then, shall we live?
The Holy Spirit is like the breath.
The Holy Spirit is like the womb.
The Holy Spirit is in the swirl of the Trinity's dance.
You know those moments in life that expose you for the faker you are?
I have no clear understanding of the Trinity.
There. I said it.
I have an understanding of God as an unknowable entity to whose operations we apply different names.
As we prepare to begin a new series of devotional thoughts in a couple of weeks, we are going to do sometime a little different. For the next two issues we will be telling you about some books by our Missional Wisdom leaders that will be published soon.
Together: Community as a Means of Grace
by Larry Duggins
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to travel to a number of cities to meet with people who are interested in repurposing a church building to be used to connect with the neighborhood in new ways.