Video Star

This week we got to film a video about our community for United Methodist Communications.   Check out this amazing one about a church in Massachusetts that does an epic Harry Potter Halloween event each year for an idea of what we will end up with. We think that United Methodist Communications will distribute the SFC video early in the new year.    We were so excited to tell our story and to share what we are doing at SFC with our global connection of United Methodists.  On Saturday a production crew came to the house and interviewed Jeff & me for about 90 minutes.  Then they came back the next day to film all of dinner and do brief pull out interviews with some of our folks.  I also sent them every single photo I have taken at SFC events in the past 2 years.  I was really struck by the breath of what we have done and the many people who have participated in the work of this community. It was funny, but I wasn’t worried about the interview because I realized early on in this process that neither Jeff nor I was the star of this show.  The center of it all is the community, the thing that is growing here in this place.  I get to be one of the pieces of this grand experiment and part of my role is to interpret what we are finding to a wider audience.  I get to share something that is bigger than any one of us and to say thank you to the many, many people who...

Weaving Our Voices

I read an article this past week about the best practices for docents in creating a positive art experience for adults.  What struck me about the piece was how much it reflected truths about our society that have great impact for all of us who are engaged with leading and teaching people.Georgia Krantz, who works at the Guggenheim, writes about how the antiquated model held up the instructor as the sole source of knowledge imparted to others.  She describes that the role of the instructor or leader should be as a conduit.  My favorite quote from the piece is “It helps me to think about my role as a weaver -of diverse visitor experience of art- into meaningful dialogue that expands visitor understanding of their own experience.” I think this resonated with me so much because this is how I see my role at SFC. Through all we do my goal is to weave our diverse experience of God into a meaningful dialogue that expands each of our own understandings of God.  In the docent world we talk about dropping in information to enrich the experience.  This is also part of the work I do in our discussions and gatherings at SFC. It is no easy task. We have diverse ages and backgrounds. We have life long Christians and people who are new to tradition.  We have kiddos who love crafts and others who prefer more active play.  We have people with lots of baggage around faith and some who love the ancient language and practices.   We have different political positions. Sometimes I tangle the threads or slip...

It Never Ends

Last week we had a really big gathering at SFC for dinner.  We had to add two tables and it was our biggest meal ever, full of kids and lots of wonderful adults.  After it ended I realized two things: Our event that night was only just okay church planting is really hard. In some ways we have arrived. We have our dining room filled pretty much to capacity with people we didn’t even know 2 years ago.  These folks show up to share and work together to try to live in a more holy way.  But this Sunday we didn’t quite have enough food, which meant microwaving some old pasta.  That’s not really hospitality at it’s best.  The kiddos were hyper on post-Halloween sugar and the question I asked to lead the discussion didn’t generate the kind of passionate engagement we normally find at dinner.  No one went away hungry, the children made cool fall bracelets,  and we did touch on some great moments of insight, but it was not something that we can do every week with out wearying our people and ourselves.  Just at the moment where we are where we should be we have to work on improving our dinners and thinking about how to divide and grow. This made me realize that in this work we will never arrive.  We will never get to a place where we just exist as a community.  We will always be looking for what’s next.  Part of me finds this to be terrifying and part of me thinks it is exhilarating to always be creating and working to...

Little Gifts

Awhile back I was reorganizing the magnets and papers on our refrigerator.  We really don’t need info about the 4th grade field trip now that 5th grade has begun.  As I was working I noticed a new magnet, one I had never seen before.  After talking to the other members of my family and our awesome house sitter Amanda, I decided that the magnet must have just wandered in one night for dinner with one of our community members.  This is one of the joys of our funny, vibrant, loving community.  Unexpected gifts and goodness show up around here on a regular basis. As I listen to the discussion on Sunday nights and hear the kiddos laughing in the next room the goodness of our community is apparent.  It’s also clear when someone hangs back to talk about after everyone else leaves to talk about some weighty issues on their heart.  We share the gift of hospitality and in return are gifted with vibrant life and a chance to walk alongside people in the dark moments Since we host dinner and other events in our home we get to welcome people in to a warm and lived in space.  We’ve set up our house so that there are public areas and private areas.  The downstairs with the kitchen, dining room, living room, my office, and a bathroom are public space.  We don’t have family photos up in these rooms and we try to make them so anyone can feel comfortable in the space.  Upstairs we have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom and in the basement is Jeff’s office.  Lots...