Blessing Weekend (Saturday, March 20, 2011)

Bellingham Cohousing

This Sunday The Table is not meeting for worship, because on Saturday we are gathering for a blessing event. Actually you can choose 1 of 2 projects this week. For both projects we will meet at Bellingham Cohousing’s “Common House” (2614 Donovan Ave.) at 11am. Please park on the street, as a kind gesture to my neighbors.

The 1st project is meal making. There are several families around us who could be blessed by a meal. So we’re going to come together and make 3 big recipes together, freeze them, and then deliver them at a later time. Don’t worry about bringing anything, but if you do want to pitch in for the cost the “giving pitcher” will be there.

The 2nd project is tree planting. We’ve been invited by a neighborhood leader to plant trees along Connelly Creek. We’ll walk over together from cohousing. Bring a shovel and your “grubbies.”

Around 1pm, both projects will meet back at the common house for a shared meal of sandwiches. Please bring bread/meat/cheese/fruit/chips/etc. to share. Our next worship gathering will be Sunday, March 27, at 5:30pm, at the Fairhaven library. As always feel free to invite a friend along (the more the merrier). See you Saturday!

Theses on Church Life (Adapted from Walter Brueggemann)

1. Reality is scripted, that is shaped and authorized by a text (which takes many different forms). Even more, everybody lives by a script. The script may be implicit or explicit. It may be recognized or unrecognized, but everybody has a script.

 

2.  All of us get scripted through the process of nurture and formation and socialization, and it happens to us without our knowing it.

 

3.  The dominant scriptuing of reality in our culture is rooted in the Enlightenment enterprise associated with Descartes, Lock, Hobbes, and Rousseau, which has issued in a notion of autonomous individualism, resulting in what Philip Rieff calls “The Triumph of the Therapeutic.” Precisely this is a script of technological, therapeutic, consumer militarism that socializes us all, liberal and conservative.

 

4.  That script (technological, therapeutic, consumer militarism) enacted through advertising, propaganda and ideology, especially on the liturgies of television, promises to make us safe and to make us happy. One such example of scripting may be deduced from Karl Marx’s social theory that the dominant class does not need to exercise force but holds sway by “hegemonic theatre.” I (Brueggemann) suspect that just now the lottery is a tool of such imagination, which proposes that any may succeed in this system. Is this a great system or what?!

 

5.     That script has failed. That script of military consumerism cannot make us safe and it cannot make us happy. We may be the unhappiest society in the world.

 

6.     Health for our society depends upon disengagement from and relinquishment of that script of military consumerism. This is a disengagement and relinquishment that we mostly resist and about which we are profoundly ambiguous.

 

7.     It is the task of ministry to de-script that script among us. That is, too enable persons to relinquish a world that no longer exists and indeed never did exist. We now know (or think we know) that human transformation (the way people change) does not happen through didacticism ro through excessive certitude but through the playful entertainment of another scripting of reality that may subvert the old given text and its interpretation and lead to the embrace of an alternative text and its redescriptions of reality.

 

8.     The task of descripting, relinquishment and disengagement iis accomplished by a steady, patient, intentional articulation of an alternative script that we say can make us happy and make us safe.

 

9.     The alternative script is rooted in the Bible and is enacted through the tradition of the Church. It is an offer of a counter-narrative, counter to the script of technological, therapeutic, consumer militarism.

 

10.  That alternative script has as its most distinctive feature, its key character – the God of the Bible whom we name as Father, Son, and Spirit. The bibilical text, in all its odd disjunctions, is an offer of an alternative script, and preaching this text is the exploration of how the world is if it is imagined through this alternative script.  The proposal of this alternative script is not through large, comprehensive, universal claims, buth through conrete, specific, local texts that, in small ways, provide alternative imagination.  The work of preaching is an act of imagination, an offer of an image through which perception, experience, and finally faith can be reorganized in alternative ways.  Because old modes of certitude are no longer trusted, the preaching of these texts is not an offer of metaphysics but the enactment of a drama in which the congregation is audience but may at any point become participant. This dramatic rendering of imagination has narrative and poetry as its quintessential mode; the telling of a story, and the subsequent living of that story.   The invitation of preaching is to abandon the script in which one has had confidence and to enter a different script that imaginatively tells one’s life differently.

 

11.  That script is not monolithic, one dimensional or seamless. It is ragged and disjunctive and incoherent. Partly it is ragged and disjunctive and incoherent because it has been crafted over time by many committees. But it is also ragged and disjunctive and incoherent because the key character is illusive and irascible in freedom and in sovereignty and in hiddenness, and, I’m embarrassed to say, in violence – [a] huge problem for us.

 

12.  The ragged, disjunctive, and incoherent quality of the counter-script to which we testify cannot be smoothed or made seamless. Because when we do that the script gets flattened and domesticated and it becomes a weak echo of the dominant script of technological, consumer militarism. Whereas the dominant script is about certitude, privilege, and entitlement the counter-script is not about certitude, privilege, and entitlement. Thus care must betaken to let this script be what it is, which entails letting God be God’s irascible self.

 

14.  The entry point into the counter-script is baptism. Whereby we say in the old liturgies, “do you renounce the dominant script?”

 

15.  The nurture, formation, and socialization into the counter-script with this illusive, irascible character is the work of ministry. We do this ministry by the practices of preaching, liturgy, education, social action, spirituality, and neighboring of all kinds.

 

16.  Most of us are ambiguous about the script; those with whom we minister and I dare say, those of us who minister. Most of us are not at the deepest places wanting to choose between the dominant script and the counter-script. Most of us in the deep places are vacillating and mumbling in ambivalence.

 

17.  This ambivalence between scripts is precisely the primary venue for the Spirit. So that ministry is to name and enhance the ambivalence that liberals and conservatives have in common that puts people in crisis and consequently that invokes resistance and hostility.

 

19.  The work of ministry is crucial and pivotal and indispensable in our society precisely because there is no one; there is no one except the church to name and evoke the ambivalence and too manage a way through it. I think often; I see the mundane day-to-day stuff ministers have to do and I think, my God, what would happen if you took all the ministers out. The role of ministry then is as urgent as it is wondrous and difficult.

The Table Worship Gathering – March 13

We hope you can join us this Sunday at 5:30p for our worship gathering. We meet at the Fairhaven Library (check the contact page for directions). We’ll start with a meal together (feel free to bring a side/salad/dessert to share). This week we’re looking at Mark 9:14-29, if you want to read ahead. Feel free to bring a friend with you. Hope to see you then!

St. Patrick’s Day Party!

You are invited to a legit St. Patrick’s Day Party. Every year, Leon & Vickie Barry (John’s folks) host an Irish infused party. Although this is a non-alcohol, John has assured there will be plenty of leprechauns, clovers, and fighting red-heads. We’d love to see you there before church. The Barry’s live at 1939 Rhododendron Way in Bellingham (near Alabama hill), and they’ve invited us to join them any time after 1pm. Give us an email if you have questions. Extra points will be given if you show up looking like this guy.

The Table Worship Gathering (Sunday, March 6, 2011)

The Table is gathering for worship this Sunday at 5:30pm at the Fairhaven Library. We’ll start with a ham and potato meal. Feel free to bring a side/salad/main veggie dish/or dessert to share. This week we’re going to be thinking over Mark 9:2-13 if you want to read ahead of time. Feel free to invite a friend along, as all are welcome. Hope to see you there!

Film at The Firehouse this Thurs.

The Table is sponsoring a film series at The Firehouse Performing Arts Center. This Thursday is the 3rd film, Deep Water, a documentary about the first round-the-world solo yacht race. Show starts at 7pm, for a mere $5. Should be pretty awesome.

The hope is that with the success of this film series, the Firehouse will make film a regular feature throughout the rainy season. Picture it, film at the Fairhaven Village Green in the summer, and film at the Firehouse the rest of the year. Could be a cool scene. So, come out and support this worthy effort. Hope to see you Thursday!

Connelly Creek Blessing (2.26.11)

In our rhythm of Blessing, we joined 30+ others on Sat. in serving the neighborhood. Working alongside neighbors, we “aided tree growth” in Connelly Creek, hacking away blackberry bushes, hauling mulch to support growing cedars, among other activities. It was a great time of service and connection.

 

Blessing Weekend – Sat., Feb. 26, 2011

Market at Fairhaven

This week The Table is not meeting for worship, because this week is our Blessing weekend. This Sat., we will be partnering with the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association in aiding tree growth at Connelly Creek. We’ll gather at the trail head at the intersection of 30th St. and Donovan Ave. To get there take the Fairhaven Parkway exit (Exit 250) off I-5 toward Fairhaven. You can park at The Market at Fairhaven (3125 Old Fairhaven Parkway), and walk a couple blocks north on 30th toward Donovan. We’ll meet at the trail head at 10am, and work until noon. Feel free to have lunch with me at our home afterward, if you’re free. Hope to see you there.

Blessings, Aaron

Welcome to The Table

Welcome to The Table: A Missional Faith Community

practicing hospitality, discipleship, and blessing

Welcome to The Table’s website!  This is our 1st post. In the future, where you are looking right now will be the spot to find out about The Table’s happenings (worship gathering details, blessing weekend plans, party info, small group stuff, etc.), prayer requests, thoughts on the faith or community, and the like.

Feel free to walk around the site. On the “About” page (upper right corner), you’ll find thoughts on The Table, our rhythms, and our family. On the “Contact” page, there is contact info (obviously), as well as general stuff about where we meet for worship (most Sundays) and a little blurb about our small groups. The “Giving” page will soon be a place where you will be able to give to what God is doing through The Table online. You can connect to our other places online (Facebook, etc.) by clicking the appropriate icons to the right.

Our prayer is that this website will be a connection point for those involved or curious about The Table. We pray that God will use it as another avenue to spread the love of Jesus. May you be blessed by Him as you visit our website, and as you walk about your week.

 

 

For His glory,

Aaron

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