Monday, April 26, 2010

religious leaders as connectors and community builders

Our discussion of the next 2 essays in the book (Notes on a Field-based Scholar and Community) focused on the sense of community in our church. We celebrated our diversity of ages and roles and observed how the smaller size of our congregation leads to more mixing of groups that might not mix in a large congregation. We nurture relationships by working together to keep our small church vibrant through spiritual, social, musical, and even maintenance activities. And our efforts are wonderfully tended by Dan, our pastor, who has such a talent for unearthing our hidden gifts and encouraging us to test them in new ways.

Next week: Problems with Pluralism and Grievance Gluttony... (From Common Grace by Anthony Robinson)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adult Spirituality Group notes, 4/18/2010

We discussed two chapters -
"WHAT ARE FATHERS FOR" (p. 140 - 144)

To answer the above chapter title, Francis' husband noted that the fundamental biological difference between the male and female gender (egg vs. sperm) is only to first create a baby. More is required to assist the mother in raising a child to adulthood with the skills and qualities to be able to pass on his genes over time. The below quote from page 143 was mentioned:
"The mother's blessing seems to have been imparted long ago, at the womb, and requires no conferral. Yes, clearly there are many exceptions to this as a pattern, but the pattern itself stands. In this sense, it is the father's love that is more of the growth-prodding and demanding, while a mother's is more of the accepting and letting be."

The group reflected upon the author's use of the 'fatherhood' gender to describe the set of traits discussed in this chapter, which seem to fit old gender stereotypes and was not really correct. For example in Day's family, often Mom was the "whip" to instill my tiger-like discipline and character to claw and pounce on also things I don't have a conscious attraction towards. Dad more often nurtured my inner development through meditation and math.

Francis brightly summarized that everyone grieves death in their own way. Some benefit more than others from a formal grieving process, like attending funerals. Public memorials are very important for people outside of the family, e.g., co-workers, to get closure that a person is truly dead. Day made note that his aunt in India had such a long and unending period of formal expected grief for her son's death, that she later laughed that she was still alive and it was morbid to grieve too much or for too long.

For next week (4/25), please read the chapters:
• "Notes of a Field-Based Scholar: A View of Ministry, p. 154
• "Community", p. 159