The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

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Sunday Wrap-Up

The Rediscovery of Ritual

Following our look at the season of lent, we come out of the desert looking for signs of life. As spring unfolds and the earth is reborn, we recognize it's glory as Wholly God's:

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8

Yet in leaving the desert, the earth we find is full of distraction, speed and complexity. We crave that silence and focus offered by the desert.

In short, by the fourth century, desert had been marked as redemptive space of the first order. And like their environmentalist heirs, creators of early Christian wilderness romance played upon a trope of pure and empty spaces. Athanasius

Coming out of a desert of Lent, we strive to bring the silence with us. Looking again to the earth we see that God is not only the author of physical earth, but those who dwell within as well.

The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24

We come together as dwellers in his creation and place our jointly focus our gaze heavanward.

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. Hebrews 3

And on this Sunday, a day aside, we rest, recognizing the mystery of this wholly other God who cannot be bound by our systemization and analysis.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also rest from their own work, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4

Holy, holy, holy.

In silence we break bread together. In song we praise Him, in prayer we lift each other up. Returning to the world we find this silence a desert a restoration of a whole life sustained by our Holy Lord.


Nick Johnson said...

Andrew, thanks for posting this very artful summary. I think it discribed our liturgy last Sunday better than actual words could.

I've been thinking more about this open spaces idea. We've talked about this a bit before, but I think in the coming years a major function of the church will be to provide these quiet, calm spaces that can allow someone to escape from the fast-paced, i-pod world that we live in. Our soceity has become one that people never have time to think and listen for God's guidence. Even our group prayer is often too formulaic and guided that it makes it difficult to hear back from God. We as a quasi-church might need to provide such space (or at least encouragement to find it) where people can escape to hear from God like Jesus in the desert or on the mountaintop.

Jesse said...

I also like the idea of "open spaces." I read Thomas Merton's "Seven Storey Mountain" last summer, and he talks a lot about going into large catholic churches in Rome and just praying. I sometimes feel an urge to do something similar, but it would seem so out of place in our culture of service "times" - scheduled hours for appropriate spiritual reflection. I often find myself longing for more sacred spaces.....

NancyJ said...

I struggle with waiting on God to direct me. What if I miss out on something really good because I feel I must wait?! But I do listen and I know that I can trust God in the silence.

I wrote the following poem recently...

As a divining rod trembles
at water found, my heart
quickens to the soft voice of God,
river to my soul.

Yet in stillness and silence
waiting for a whisper,
my soul, so vast, becomes parched

Can thirst be quenched
another way;
set aside my guide,
find water on my own?

Hold close the silence and wait.
It offers lessons within its boundaries.
The quickening will come in time
quenching thirst once again.

Nancy Jarosi 4/08