The Vine (at Passover)

Gathering 242  invites you to The Vine, a gathering of the community of Summit Fellowships, their friends and guests*. Here are the details:

More to follow! Stay tuned. 

* You might not be a part of a fellowship or know anybody who is. Maybe you’re just interested in knowing more about church that meets simply. No worries. You’re invited. We’d be happy to meet you!


Raison D’être?

raison d'être iRaison d’être  means “a reason to exist,” what “you live for” or, if you will, “what  floats your boat.” Let’s face it, we all like a goal. Aimlessness leads to depression and leth- argy. If we have a reason to get out of the bed, we keep trying.

It think a reason for being is also important for churches, both big and small — even more important for us little churches. Getting together to celebrate Jesus and enjoy one another’s company is wonderful, but things can get stale if we neglect the Lord’s assignment to be like Him as we reach into the world.

So, what is your house church’s raison d’être right now? Have you thought about it? Is there something you’re doing together that serves, builds, restores or encourages? It doesn’t have to be a forever thing, that is, not  the same thing for the next bazillion years (even that would get boring) but do something. And when you’re done with that, pray and look for the next thing. Here are some examples from the Summit network of fellowships:

Discovering our raison d’être  is one  way we create an environment where we can fulfill Jesus’ command to love one another, intentionally, practically and visibly (John 13:34-35). Working together gives us a reason for living together.

The varieties of religious experience (with apologies to William James)

people praying photo

CC photo by GLady (Pixabay) 

We always eat really well at our weekly potluck supper, and Saturday night was no exception. Homemade split pea soup flavored with hocks from pigs one of our families raised was the centerpiece–and of course pies for dessert . . . because it was pi day (3/14/15)!

We got to talking about the emphasis that Jesus places on relationship in the Gospel of Mark. Someone commented that people then and there could do that, because they could shake his hand, or kick him in the shins, if they were so inclined: All we can do, he said, is think about Jesus and his ideas, because you can’t have a relationship with someone you can’t see.

Someone else talked about knowing him through the words of Scripture. Then a third person volunteered that dyslexia makes it really hard for him to engage with the Bible. Someone asked him, so how do you experience God?

It tends to be easier for our community to talk about ideas sometimes than about ourselves, but that question opened the door to a first-person conversation about ourselves: about how–and whether–we experience God, pray, etc.

The takeaway?

  • We experience God in different ways.
  • We don’t always know and certainly can’t prove what’s God, what’s hormonal or biochemical or electrical (brainwaves, e.g.), and what’s a weird dream caused by the pizza we had for supper.
  • That’s uncomfortable.
  • Just because it’s biochemical or electrical doesn’t mean it’s not God. The God of the Creation and the Incarnation just might feel really free to manifest himself through natural laws and through our bodies.
  • Many churches use music, lighting, etc. to manipulate people into experiencing a physiological and emotional rush in the name of worship.
  • One of the powerful ways we experience God is through each other, including talking about and listening to each other talk about our individual experiences of the presence, absence or possibility of God.

Building community in Jesus

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