Wednesday, September 5, 2012

wake up, sleeper.

*i'm sorry if anyone reading feels disappointed by my lack of posting my own thoughts lately.  it's a very busy season in my life, because, apparently, planning a wedding is kind of a lot of work.  i also feel like i have been fixating somewhat unhealthily on frustration over work and a general sense of calling in my life.  i have been praying about this, and have decided one way to lessen my anxiety over the job situation is to focus my attention elsewhere for a little while.  posting about the other things i am pondering right now is helpful in keeping me from obsessing over other areas in my life where i'm waiting for change or a breakthrough.

continuing with my theme of spicy posts lately, here are two articles i can recommend to you, dear reader, with the highest of enthusiasm.  while they are quite different from one another, both involve the church's recent response to political and moral issues in america (the evangelical church in the former; the Catholic church in the latter). 

i can only hope, as i listen and learn and pray, that i might someday be able to articulate with as much beauty and dignity as these women.  they speak honestly about the grey areas of life without budging an inch on the goodness and justice and mercy of God, and i think this is much of what it means to become an adult--learning to live with grace and hope in the tensions of life.

without further ado...

1.  The fabulous Jen Hatmaker with In the Basement:

"How are these culture wars working out for us? Well, the church is losing around 50K folks a week, and the next generation downright refuses to come. The gay community is ostracized entirely (oh, they’ve gotten the message alright), and Christianity has turned into white noise.

Digging our heels in even harder is the problem, not the answer.

Love is, if you believe anything Jesus ever said or did.

Everyone is screaming and swearing at each other, pointing fingers and posting clichés on Pinterest. The storm is out of control. What happened to civil discourse? What happened to basic human respect? What happened to good men and women pulling up a seat at the table together and navigating differences with dignity and regard? What happened to listening? What happened to humility?"

2.  Terry Gross' interview with American nun Sister Pat Farrell:

FARRELL: (W)omen religious stand in very close proximity to people at the margins, to people with very painful, difficult situations in their lives. That is our gift to the church.  Our gift to the church is to be with those who have been made poorer, with those on the margins. And questions there are much less black and white because human realities are much less black and white. So that's - that's where we spend our days.

And so the questions we bring to the church, the questions that come to us, are from the real-life situations of real-life people.
GROSS: Do you feel like the church is removed from those real-life situations?
FARRELL: I think elements in the church are. And of course we all - within the church there are different roles. And a bishop, for instance, can't be on the streets working with the homeless. He has other tasks. But we can be. So if there is a climate of open and adequate and trusting dialogue among us, we can bring together some of those conversations.

And that's what I hope we can help develop in a deeper way, the kind of relationships and climate of dialogue that will make it possible for the different perspectives and roles and positions in the church to be in greater interaction and dialogue with one another, really for the good of the whole church.
Amen, and well said.

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