Dwelling in the Word

img_6668Members of our “Living Local Joining God” Team are Karen Varian, Steve Colhoun, Dale Miller and Gale Peters

“Living Local Joining God”

The Episcopal Diocese of Maine as well as the Connecticut, Southwest Virginia, and East Tennessee Dioceses are currently enrolled in a national program called Living Local: Joining God. Its emphasis is on listening to God and to each other beyond the walls of our church. It is not another layer of theological programs for the church to enact. It is about getting out of our own building and meeting our neighbors in the fullest sense of that word. God is everywhere. We are learning to look and listen for God and learn more about ourselves and our communities. To learn more details about this project please contact us.

Members of our “Living Local Joining God” Team are Karen Varian, Steve Colhoun, Dale Miller and Gale Peters.

There are several parts of Living Local: Joining God in the Neighborhood.  One significant part is Dwelling in the Word.  We are asked to turn to Scripture for our inspiration.  Our initial verses were from Luke 10:1-12.  Each participating parish was asked to use these verses at the beginning of every group meeting.  Our new verses are Acts 16:6-15 to be used in the same way.

At St. Aidan’s, we use these verses at each Vestry meeting.  The idea is to read the same verses each time you meet and reflect on the meaning then and there through a series of questions. We then turn to a partner and ask for their answers without commenting.  Then, they interview us.  The group comes back together, and each person reports on what they heard, not what they themselves said.  This is often a real challenge.   Experiences change, and our reaction to Biblical verses is often colored by where we are in the moment.  Click on Luke 10:1-12 or Acts 16:6-15.  See how you would respond to the three short questions.  Read the same verses in a day or two.  Do you dwell on anything differently?

These verses call us to go out into our communities to listen and learn.  There we will find God.  Our goal is to join God in our neighborhoods and be a witness.   Try this experiment.  Go out into your daily life and see how you would answer the questions in A Simple Neighborhood Walk or Observation Location.  Take a walk around and just listen.  How often do any of us listen to others? We are usually too busy  projecting our own voice.  Give it a try.  Go out and listen.  We would appreciate hearing back from you!

Living Local: Joining God in the Neighborhood is an on-going process.  We will be adding more later.  We will share our experiments engaging with others according to their needs and the outcomes.

Dwelling in the Word

Luke 10:1-12

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.  He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.  Go on your way.  See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.  Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road.  Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.  Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid.  Do not move about from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you.  Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.”

Questions:

  • Where did you find yourself stopping or being caught in this text?
  • How was your imagination engaged by this text – words, phrases, or ideas?
  • Where might the Spirit of God be speaking to you, to us, to our congregation?

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Results of Living Local and the Downeast Feast

Hello All,

At our most recent Living Local: Joining God in the Neighborhood meeting,  we designed another experiment in keeping with the spirit of LL:JG.  As you may recall, this program is about meeting our neighbors outside of our church or even outside an event we initiated.  We are asked to be participants in the local community.  I am hoping you can support this effort by attending the Downeast Feast.  Here are the details.  The flyer for the Downeast Feast is attached to this e-mail.  It is Thursday, May 24th at 5:00 Kilburn Commons at UMM.  We are to be participants with a purpose.  I am asking each of us not to sit with each other, but with a person you do not know and get to know them.  Do some active listening…here are some questions you might want to weave into your conversations if appropriate:

Where do you live?  How long have you lived there?

What are two or three things that you appreciate most about where you live?

What are the two or three most important challenges that you feel your neighborhood is facing?

What’s one hope you have for the neighborhood?

What suggestions might you have for a local church regarding how it might better connect with the community residents and participate in constructive ways with community life?

Please make your conversations natural and just enjoy meeting people!

After this feast, the Guiding Team, Dale Miller, Steve Colhoun, Karen Varian, Lynn and I would like to talk about your experiences some Sunday at church.  People are interesting so please come and share some food but more importantly share yourself with our neighbors. Thank you, Gail Peters

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