Thursday, April 05, 2007

Notes from the Porch

So, being a part of a church like Solomon's Porch is an experience different than anything I have ever been a part of. No, it's not just different, it's differenter.

1. Tonight we had a Passover meal. We spent three hours talking through the history of the Jewish people in slavery in Egypt being freed. We had the bitter herbs, the parsley, the whateverthatwas, and the notsurewhatthisis all set on tables before us. There was wine (with a grape juice option for people like me). We then feasted big. It was the best learning experience of the meaning of passover ever. It also lead right into the Lord's Supper, of course. Loved it.

Don't think stock "church" tables, but think huge living room filled with couches and coffee tables. It was cozy and comfy and felt like a family holiday, not a church meal.

2. A couple weeks ago, the "sermon" was given by a massage therapist (female) who was actually giving a massage while she spoke. She tied in the spirituality of touch as it related to the Lenten season.

3. There is a camera placed above an art table. At times, the camera feeds into a computer which is hooked up to a projector which projects the artist drawing or painting in real time.

4. I now own a prayer shawl.

5. There is art everywhere in the building we occupy for our gatherings. It's so cool to have various messages everywhere you go, speaking meaning and provoking thoughts and feelings.

6. The music is home grown. I am growing to love it more and more. In fact, there are a couple of songs I really look forward to hearing at our gatherings. A new CD comes out April 29th. You send me $10.00 plus shipping and I'll get one for you. The music is not hymnal music and it's not "praise and worship" stylistically. It's just some good music with meaning.

7. There is a sense that anything could happen on the one hand and that there is a sense of direction on the other.

8. The membership is artists, musicians, therapists, natural health coaches, former ministers and youth ministers, educators, and a whole lot of other people unlikely to be Republican, but I suspect there are a few conservatives hovering around. Thing is, no one cares. There is no sense that you have to be this or that. What is valued is that everyone contrbiutes to the conversation, not that everyone agrees with conversations people had centuries ago.

9. My children love, love, love it.

10. There is no sense that perfect, spit-polished, and right are even goals of this group. Rather, it seeks to be honest, experimental, and good.

I am on a crazy adventure in my spiritual walk. I love it and it is scary. All I know is that God's love for me is strong and my faith, though stretched like a rubber band in several directions, remains in tact.


Anonymous said...

To each his own, I guess.

Steve said...

Sounds wonderful to me. I'd like to experience the same. There are a lot of exciting things happening.

Keith Brenton said...

It sounds dense.

Spritually speaking, of course!

Len said...

I once told someone that if church could be like "Cheers" then I'd be there every time.
It really is special to go where people are genuinely glad to see you and they know your name.

Nancy said...

do you have any tensions in your mind about Christians "doing" Seder meals? Sometimes I feel like Christians have no business trying to have their own, like we are appropriating someone else's cultural symbols with no way to truly appreciate it since we are not walking in their shoes. It cheapens the Seder. Sometimes I think if a Christian wants to experience one, then he/she needs to find a way to get invited to a Jew's home for one. What if a Jew wanted to experience Eucharist? Can they truly experience it the way a Christian can?

Fajita said...

Nancy, you make a good point. To havesomething authentic it would need to originate from a place that is authentic.

However, I would argue the following:

1. We ahd a person from the Jewish tradition lead much of the meal and direct us inconversation.

2. We made no claims to this being just as the Jews have done it for x number of years. In fact many claims were made to the contrary.

3. For many of us, this was our first dive into something like this, so it moved us toward learning and experience.

So, yes I agree with your critique, but in a sense it did not fully fit our intention.