LECTIO HUMANA: A Spiritual Practice for the Streets

A divine reading writen on hands

Take the time to divinely read and listen to community.

Read the Columbus Dispatch article about St. Matthew’s living lectio humana, click the link below:

How Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Parish is living into community….

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TO BE A PARISH RADICALLY COMMITTED TO LOVE – A WORD FROM THE TALMUD

SAVING THE WORLD

Oh Lord, save us from ourselves! Let us choose life. As the Talmudic saying goes,

“When you save one life, you save the world”
Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a states:
“FOR THIS REASON WAS MAN CREATED ALONE, TO TEACH THEE THAT WHOSOEVER DESTROYS A SINGLE SOUL… SCRIPTURE IMPUTES [GUILT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD DESTROYED A COMPLETE WORLD; AND WHOSOEVER PRESERVES A SINGLE SOUL…, SCRIPTURE ASCRIBES [MERIT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD PRESERVED A COMPLETE WORLD.”

…from the same tongue can come either life or death, it is your choice!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KENOSIS AS A CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Live into these questions:

What does it mean to give the Church away?

How shall we be a Church that gives itself away, completely, for the sake of the world?

Do we dare let the gospel set our missional agenda and turn over the keys of the Church to community we serve?

give

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Saint Matthew’s Parish Narrative – Pray.Think.Love.

mission from God 3

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Parish and The Pray.Think.Love. House.

Uptown Westerville, Ohio

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Parish is located in Uptown Westerville. St. Matthew’s exists as a hybrid parish of both an inherited Sunday morning offering in a local Pub and a weekday indigenous offering centered in our Pray.Think.Love Episcopal House.   As we reclaim the name “parish,” St. Matthew’s seeks to hold relationship as the prime directive and holy listening as the pathway to praxis. Our Episcopal House is the hub that defines St. Matthew’s mission and vision in, with, and for the community/parish.

Through the Episcopal House, we are free to see ourselves as a servant church, not unlike a monastic community, where continual prayer, a love for learning, and a desire to build relationships and through holy listening allows us to discover the culture and rhythm of our parish community.   We have opened our house to the arts community one Friday a month in our gazebo, community contemplative prayer group on Tuesday evenings, a community Eucharist each Wednesday in our gazebo, Storytelling each third Thursday at a local coffee house, a pub theology gathering on Thursdays at a local pub, and we will soon begin an Anti-Bullying movement with some local spiritual entrepreneurs, just to mention a few offerings that serve our parish.

Our Sunday worship opportunities begin with an 8am Eucharist in the chapel of our Episcopal House followed by a 10:30am Eucharist a half block away at Old Bag of Nails Pub. Since we have connected our Sunday gathering space with our weekday community house, we have begun building a positive presence of radical inclusion and diversity. The pub setting has given us the opportunity to discover the intersection of sacred presence in the midst of indigenous space. We are beginning to establish a positive reputation as a prayer centered servant faith community.

It is the questions that drive us:

Can we reimagine church? Can we reimagine the role of priest as Rebbe? Can we claim the diaconal call, both lay and ordained, rooted in a living Baptismal covenant? What can we learn from the first century church, the early Celtic monastic movement, and our interfaith brothers and sisters? Can we give our faith away? Can the inherited church of Sunday morning allow the indigenous “weekday church?” Can we give our church away? Can we let resurrection be the rule of life that defines a church of joy and play? Can we not take ourselves too seriously? Can we own our authority in the teachings of Jesus and humble ourselves enough to know that evangelism is courageous kenosis? Can we see the church as adventure and mystery and wonder and awe? Can we live a deeper sacramental theology into community? How can we as a parish become a “campus of formation” in relation to other campuses in the Columbus area?

So, we live the questions, seek to hold the best of our Episcopal identity, reimagine new/old ways of being and celebrate organic connections. We look forward to participating in other campuses of formation in the Columbus area, as we continue to see ourselves as a teaching parish for all called to servant leadership in a servant Church.

PRAY: Spiritual / Formative / Soul-work

THINK: Conversational / Intellectual / Mind-work

LOVE: Relational / Monastic / Heart-work

INHERITED SACRAMENTAL: Weekend Church

PIONEER INDIGENOUS: Weekday Church

CAMPUSES OF FORMATION: Partner Communities

FOR CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH PLAY IN 10,000 PLACES!

In the last stanza of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, he writes:

“…Christ – for Christ plays in ten thousand places,

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his

To the Father through the features of men’s (and women’s) faces.”

 JOIN THE JOY!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christ plays in 10,000 places – Thus, so must the Church!

Christ plays in 10,000 places – Thus, so must the Church!

kingfisher-catching-fish
As Kingfishers Catch Fire
By  Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EXILE AS GIFT – DIASPORA AS BLESSING

Liberated from the bondage of bricks and mortar and the pyramid schemes of fiscal frustration, a people of God can now reimagine a new future in the midst of a present pilgrimage. Avoiding the twisted temptations that “Egyptian memories” can invoke, this tribe is reminded again and again of the cost of losing focus, and leaving God.

Exodus 13:18 So God led the people by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of the land of Egypt prepared for battle. 19 And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph who had required a solemn oath of the Israelites, saying, “God will surely take notice of you, and then you must carry my bones with you from here.”   20 They set out from Succoth, and camped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.   21 The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night.   22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LECTIO HUMANA: Praying in, with, and under the other as a pathway to God

A spiritual practice for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Community

Lectio (reading)

Realize that your brother or sister is a story, a library unto themselves.  Spend time and read the story of their lives in holy listening, honoring the oral tradition of the other.

Meditatio (Meditation)

Pay attention to your human response to the story that you have heard and discover the divine within the Other.  See the Imago Dei embedded in the words, silence, and experience of the other.  Hear God’s word woven in the story of the other.

Oratio (prayer)

This is the prayer of the heart to heart.  Holy listening leads to presence as prayer.  Take the time to pray with the other, who now ceases to be other but brother and sister.  Prayer arises in the silence, words, and actions and relationship is brought to the way of God.

Contemplatio (contemplation)

Letting the moment allow for deep awareness of presence.  The power of the moment comes alive in presence.  The power of silence becomes the way to gratitude and love.  God comes alive in the appreciation of relationship and playful in the truth that we are not alone.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment