Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Soup Sunday

This coming Sunday, June 5, Pilgrim will follow morning worship with the Annual Meeting Dinner.  As a result, we will not be serving soup and bread at noon and the time for the Sacred Soup contemplative service will be set back to 2:00.

We have made a couple of alterations to the space.  I put up bars from which to hang fabric to absorb the sound and Kathy O’Leary gave us a carpet remnant for under the “altar.”  This will make it easier for us to hear each other in the “live” room.

If you have an old quilt that you would be willing to donate to the cause, we would gratefully accept it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 22


Our fourth gathering of Sacred Soup will be Sunday.  One of the things the planning team identified as a point of growth was the structure and content of the Word portion of the service.  We want to move to it being more of a discussion than a sermon.  Last week was a bit more preachy that I would have liked because we had to accommodate the demands of the Confirmation Class.  I would like to swing in the other direction this Sunday and have very little structure for that part of the service.  Instead I would like to just throw it open to discuss what we are looking for in that part of the service.

Just to plant some seeds, let me say that what I intend by that part of our time together is to build a language by which we can speak to each other with clarity about our own spiritual life.  I want us to be able to understand some core distinctions in ways that allow us to know how we may be in harmony with each other and to identify when we are not.

See you Sunday.

P.S. Anyone want to bring the soup?  I have several loaves of bread.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Modifications to the Order of Worship for Sacred Soup

The planning team met following the service today. It consisted of me, Mark Barnett, Larry Gaines, and Carol Moakley. We agreed to the following modifications in the order.

Renaming “Joys and Concerns”
We value having the Sacred Soup event be distinctive. We want it to be different from the 10:30 worship. That being said, one of our favorite parts of the 10:30 worship is the sharing of joys and concerns. We want a similar sort of sharing of the things that are “on our hearts.” For that reason we are going to simply change the name of that part of the service to “Sacred Sharing.”

Because we want to encourage everyone to share as deeply as they are willing to do so and because deep sharing can make others anxious in ways that cause them to begin to do “caretaking” in a manner that can distance people, we will encourage ourselves to respond to deep emotional sharing by, “not helping each other feel better, but helping each other better feel,” and by, “not solving each other’s problems but sharing what we have each done to address similar problems.” In this way we are each invited to be centered in our own experience rather than in each other’s.

Re-framing the Meditation
The expository content portion of the service feels too much like a sermon and not enough like a conversation. This was especially true today because the event was aimed in part at teaching about the Holy Spirit for the Confirmands, but we want to create more interaction encouraging all to speak about their own experience.

My thought is to begin with a description of a “problem of living” which is something fairly universal. We may even be able to use a part of the guided meditation to “set up” the issue. As we wrestle with the issue and explore how it affects each of us, theological content can be inserted. But the theological consideration becomes an aid to how we respond to the issue, rather than the theology being a doctrinal pronouncement.

I am frankly not sure how I am going to pull this off. It is going to take some work to figure out how to structure it. For next week I am going to try this approach with the common issue of when we have two choices, each apparently equally good or bad, but also apparently mutually exclusive. How do we address this seemingly impossible situation?

Positioning of the “Passing of the Peace”
We want to have a bit more interaction before we greet each other. Especially because we will just have had lunch together, it is not as though we haven’t had a chance to say, “Hi.” It seems more appropriate to place this at the end as a sort of benediction. Thus the song after the Peace is a closing hymn and benediction.

We like the other aspects of the service and especially the chant. We will try other ones. The singing today was especially nice as we continued it longer and we had some voices adding harmony.

Reflection on the nature of the Holy Spirit

This was the third gathering of Sacred Soup. I counted seventeen people. We had more Pilgrims but we especially had the three Confirmands and five people from a group I did a retreat for yesterday. That included a couple from Wisconsin.

Even with all the people we still have plenty of bread and soup. A couple of people also brought cookies.

The planning team met following the service and made several modifications. Those will be posted separately.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Inaugural Gathering

Today was our first gathering. Sarah brought the soup and Mark brought the bread. Carol couldn't make it but Helen was there to represent the family. Jenny brought her parents. We were eight in all and everyone seemed to greatly enjoy the event.

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