Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adult Spirituality Group Notes (6/20/10)

Today, the group discussed the first chapter of God Laughs & Plays:
- Author David James Duncan is a writing professor, who lives in western Montana and home schools his children. He experiences the Grace of aloneness and God in nature, but has allergies to organized religion from a poor childhood experience in church. Thus, he hasn't been to church in 35 years! As a church going group, we decided that his vantage and perspective was initially at odds to our own. We defended the value of our church discussions and fellowship and queried, "If against organized religion, is one also against community?"

WONDER: We relished the chapter section on the spiritual benefits of wonder. Wonder is unknowing experienced as pleasure. Wonder doesn't have room for fear and anxiety. Like Grace, wonder defies rational analysis.
"As a facial expression, wonder is the letter our eyes and mouths make when the state itself descends. O: God's middle initial. O: because wonder Opens us. O(ld) becomes new. Wonder is anything taken for granted - the old neighborhood, old job, old buddy, old spouse - suddenly filled with mystery. Wonder is anything closed, suddenly opening..." (p. 9)

YOGI: This section reminded us of a few things:
1. An intuitive response is not so scripted. As listener to this response, it is more important for us to look at the unscripted comments for the place from which they come.
2. The dance of life is a balance between careful attention to high quality practiced endeavor and explorative openness to newness of perception & wonder.

GLADLY: My twin nieces are visiting Seattle right now. After church, I, my sister, nieces, and mom used "Skype" (internet video telephone) to call my dad for Father's Day. It was a wonderful example of the power of the "gladly" section. My mom, sister, and I had deeper questions about the nuances of Dad's life. Dad appreciated the contact, but I noticed truly came alive when Josephine and Thais, my 8 month old twin nieces became enthralled by how the computer screen was actually the grandpa that they had hugged and new well from earlier. The babies were pure and bright. Their glad enthusiasm was wholesome & healing for the family.

FOR NEXT WEEK (6/27/10):
Read the chapter two, "Unsaying the Word, "God", p. 17 ->.

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