Tuesday, October 20, 2009

beyond former forms, what would a new faith community look like?

I can hardly imagine a better topic for thinking Christians, in the face of such systemic abuses of trust, to be taking about.

I would like to help keep the conversation going, but from a different perspective, that is,, what would am empowered worshiping fait community look like if power distributions were led by the example of Jesus Okay?

Some principles and practices...
1. Everyone’s journey is sacred, unique, and to be nourished by the community. This means listening and affirmation, and when needed, input of a different sort.
2. All Wisdom traditions are honored. All paths are holy, and the Tremendous Mysterium is to be found everywhere, not just in buildings, Icons or sacred places.
3. Love, acceptance, understanding, listening are the measures.
4. No one is in charge. Leadership is shared and emerges as needed. Power is facilitative.
5. No creeds, codes or cult is required.
6. Listening is also without words, in some shared silence.
7. In the first round or sharing there is no interruption and no discussion.
8. Personal honesty, vulnerability is respected and honored.
9. Power in this group is distributed, collaborative, facilitative,
10. No one in this group has any “sacred power,” or even elected power. We call no one “father.”All power is shared, facilitative, collaborative/ You might say we function as “soul friends.” I might call our spirituality “Celtic,’” but if I did it would be sure to challenged by one of our members as to the imperfection and misleading of all labels and words.

Ths is the description of our SGN network process we have been using now for 10 years. We are amazed and delighted in the simplicity and heuristic power of our process. No single one of us has created this. It has just developed

We do not have a large group, but one that is very faithful, most driving 25 miles plus for regular Sunday meetings, which is only part of our community activities. We are ourselves amazed that this motley crew has held together for this long and in doing so many things.

BTW, in teaching and consulting for some years I have been using various explanations of power for managers., and managers in training. It is urgent for the manager who would be effective today to understand the various uses of power, whether it be position power, personal power, relationship power, or expert power, or some other brand or dimension. Little of this awareness as Dorothy and Cait note has filtered much into religious or pastoral settings. Except in clinical pastoral settings.

My own use of power is, I think, primarily facilitative, I am a bridge builder, storyteller, dream-catcher, envelope stretcher...I believe in people possibilities and vision power.

My current creative project is developing exercises to help others embrace the precious uniqueness and power of their own story. I ma leaning a workshop soon in this and developing several courses with my own materials.

Love and Peace.