Tag Archive: ccda2012


i don’t have an iPhone slash any phone right now and so don’t have the ability to Instagram [which is something i’m not too sad about cos much like predictive text and apparently mac computers until you get them you think they are silly] but there were a couple of snapshots from the last day at CCDA conference that i would like to share, each of which could probably be worked into their own blog post, but feel free to pick one and share your thoughts below:

# One of the worship leaders had this to say, “Some of us work 7 days a week and we are so busy we don’t even take SABBATH… and that’s on God’s top ten list alongside ADULTERY and MURDER.”

as part of the Simple Way and simply a bunch of people living together in a house in an area of great need, we have become all too aware of the importance of boundaries that help create the energy and resources for when you do open the door to people and welcome them in during the rest of the time – SABBATH is such an important concept and one Jesus took seriously.

# During a panel on reconciliation, one of the non-white participants said, “With RECONCILIATION, blacks and whites need to realise it’s not about the issue, it’s about RELATIONSHIP.”

While the issues might be important, without RELATIONSHIP happening there is going to be little depth and long-term effectiveness in solving them, whereas if you find genuine RELATIONSHIP happening then the issues will take care of themselves.

# Another panelist, one of the older generation had this powerful statement to make, “When younger people come to older people with HEART and FAITH, we remember what we believed in the first place.”

The INTERGENERATIONAL question is such an important one and has so much to add to community, society and the church. We have to find ways of building relationship between older and younger people as each one has something powerful to offer the other.

# A native american brother asked this question, “Am I going to preach THE AMERICAN DREAM or THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST cos I grew up believing they were the same?”

Wow, that is something every american needs to hear and really get as well as every western Christ follower who may have the concept of ‘the American dream’ in a different guise as their particular carrot.

Four strong statements – just snapshots really – but each one the glimpse of a deeper issue worth exploring further… this conference has been great at providing catalysts in certain areas and also some of the resources to work towards some answers and some practical steps in each of them…

on the way to the CCDA conference in Minneapolis that a bunch of us from the Simple Way are currently attending, three of us stopped over at a Nurturing Communities event hosted by David Janzen who has just released a book on community and met up with a bunch of people from different intentional communities all over the country and spent a really great day connecting and dialoging and having an opportunity to connect with some of the monks at this incredible place called St John’s Abbey.

the one idea that came out of a few people [and especially from the monks from this 1500 year or more old order] was a concept that i have semi visited sporadically over the last few years in terms of thinking about it but never really written anything on it and that is the idea of STABILITY.

the world as most of us know it is not currently well aligned for the concept – we have become a people of instant gratification whether it be microwaved meals or instant messaging or 2 year stints at a job before changing company or sometimes even vocation and so the idea of sticking with something for a long time does not come as naturally as it once did.

but there is something valuable in STABILITY, well a lot of things, but possibly the most powerful is RELATIONSHIPS.

try as we might by poking and retweeting and being skype-able we have just not been able to come up with instant relationships… well not often, and certainly not effectively. i mean we have definitely given a shot and as witnessed perhaps by a rising divorce or single parent rate the concept of disposability is also something we’ve quickly embraced as opposed to perseverance, hard work and commitment. if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it as Beyonce so famously sang, followed quickly by if you stop liking it then remove the ring and if possible put it on the next person or thing that you like… walk away, don’t look back [remember Lot’s wife] just turn away and keep walking, and then rush to the next thing…

the monk’s take a vow of stability and it was interesting to hear that these Benedicting monks take a vow to the specific monastery as opposed to the denomination or Benedictine group as a whole… so there is commitment to the movement but the specific commitment in the form of a vow is aimed at the specific location [and it is not set in absolute stone and so there are ways to move to another monastery but it is quite a big deal – for the most part it means a commitment for life or a significant portion thereof]

when i think of intentional community and being part of neighborhood change then the idea of STABILITY resonates strongly with me – especially in a neighborhood as transient as ours where many people might be there for six months or less at times – there needs to be some form of stability somewhere to strengthen, encourage and build into those people who do stay longer and might decide [or have it decided for them] to make this place their home.

we look back at something that happened last year and try to speak of the change we see in our community whereas these monks refer to incidents that happened 50 or 100 years ago that helped shape their common life… it is a completely different mindset and one that bears much thought and consideration…

what if more people put down their roots and committed to a specific place and a specific people… or group of people… for ten years or even twenty… what kind of long-term change might be possible then? how much would our focus on the long-term nature of our community and the bigger questions of justice weigh on us?

definitely think this is a topic that demands a lot more thought and conversation…

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