I am noticing something "fascinating-to-me." I have no idea how to interpret it, but I am sure the wonderful S-pacebook community will have some brilliant thoughts on it. I hope so.
I notice that the wave has been, of late, for the skills of the minister to be deconstructed for hire. It is so interesting to me, as I was trained to be a Pastor...to create a place where people commit to getting to k
This may be like learning to construct the perfect record player for 45 rpm discs...ie: not what people are looking for anymore... But I was trained to see the whole of the work as part of the life of a community of faith...not as a la carte selections from a menu of possible services.
So the components of this thing called spiritual community have become increasingly commodified.
A list of services might be:
Delivering inspiring and entertaining lectures with a self help, upbeat and not too thought provoking bent..hopefully with great music attached.
Conducting "sacred rituals or ceremonies" for marriages, house blessings, etc.
Providing a good reading list for self study of those who may enjoy item number one.
Offering classes which may or may not connect to the larger program of any center or community...largely for the purpose of personal growth or self help.
Offering "simple", sound bite type solutions to complex issues couched in simple and digestible portions to "solve" immediate crises.
Creating opportunities for people with a desire to sell their packaged "enlightenment services" ranging from Reiki, to get rich quick schemes to meditation for dummies, to colonics for success on Broadway, to...well you get my drift...
I am not sure I have any interest in this kind of thing.
No, I am sure I don't.
I do love the idea of a community center for renewal and research and deeper learning and community.
I sure love having somebody to call to pray for me if I am going under the knife. I don't know if Landmark Forum does pastoral hospital calls
I think places like the Open Center do the learning and workshop part so well, and AA does the 'community to support deeper mature search/self help" so well...and I think they should continue to do it!
So what is the purpose of a spiritual community in this age?
I do think this a la carte thing is the move of the culture
Weird to have all of these skills for something which may be dying off like the buggy whip ...
My grandmother watched the horse and buggy and gas lights be replaced by...
Yikes...I got a $375.00 Con Ed bill this month.
I love the possibility of something integral and integrated which I feel emerging through Sanctuary nyc...
But these questions just won't stop coming...
Is there any desire in the general world out there- outside of Academia and the Episcopalian church- for the deeper, non oppressive learning about various topics like the wisdom of the Nag Hammadi Scrolls and a critical analysis of comparative texts?
Is there a place where critical refinement of artistic expression combines with a community experience which sees as its' goal to both love and serve?
Beyond this? Starbucks here I come!!!
I am looking for investors to buy a franchise...Maybe we could have a gospel brunch there and do away with the whole idea of programs and just do menus instead.
The kids can go to the kids gym, the dogs to doggie playgroup, the parents can do the gospel brunch and the collection can go to help the homeless people who have been displaced from the neighborhood where the Starbucks moved in.
If you want to get married, the chiropractor has a sacred ceremonies license from Universal Life church, if you get really sick or die or lose a loved one.....hmmm not sure where you buy that part...Stay tuned.
I just hope I can learn how to make those pretty leaf designs out of foam.