Welcome back to Tuesday evening everyone! So we’ve had a few hiccups on the road to resuming our in-person gatherings, but it looks like we’ve gotten it sorted and we should now be able to settle back into our regular routines.
To celebrate, we’re going to try a slightly different approach to our conversation this week. Rather than a single overarching topic to build our evening around, we’re teeing up a handful of quick-hit mini topics that we will move through during our discussion.
First up on the list, and just to get us going, what has a clergy person, or pastor, said (whether in church or not) that made you cringe, and what made you react that way? Was it hearing an uncomfortable truth you didn’t want to face, or did it reveal something about the person that you didn’t realize was there all along?
Second, let’s talk about balance. Or more specifically, balance in our lives. There is a word in both Swedish and Norwegian, lagom, that can be variously translated as “in moderation,” or “in balance” or “perfect-simple.” There’s a Swedish proverb, Lagom är bäst which literally translated means “the right amount is best,” though in English it is often rendered as “Enough is as good as a feast.” So, what do you think of these ideas? Is balance something you consciously try to achieve in your life, or do you think the whole idea is overrated? For you, is enough really as good as a feast, or are you always looking for more?
Finally, a tip-of-the-hat to one of our friends, the Rev. Michelle Meech, who shared to her social media this week an interesting (perhaps a touch provocative) list of reasons to join a church, or, frankly any other organized faith community. The list, the product of Portland, Oregon pastor Shared Yadav runs to 10 points, but the ones below are what we’re going to focus on:
- To join a church is to cultivate an environment unlike your home, work or play where your life is not measured according to any other purpose or goal than to discover and enjoy your own humanity.
- Joining a church is a way of maintaining healthy skepticism about human knowledge and capacities in the language of divine mystery.
- To join a church is to cultivate an imagination for how your unique talents and creative potential can be offered on purpose for love instead of money.
- Joining a church is a life lesson in how to deal with assholes without retaliating, dehumanizing or running away (in the desperate hope of not becoming an asshole).