Tuesday, January 22, 2008
hybrids and cross-polinations
I have not read Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren yet but I feel as though our church, the Open Door and my theology is a generously orthodox. This happens in many strands of our life but most often visible in our worship gatherings. This past Sunday I preached a sermon that was rooted in Reformed covenant theology, we had prayer stations that involved interceding for justice in Kenya, lighting prayer candles, meditating on the significance of the civil rights movement as a "church", we sang an 2 old gospel hymns, had an altar call where 3 people renewed our baptismal vows and anointed with oil and served made to order coffee drinks. I think this is a generous orthodoxy. This "third way" community called the Open Door has an important role to play in the PCUSA presbytery . Call it emergent, postmodern, eclectic, contradictory or schizophrenic the realty is that I/we often find ourselves partnering with churches and people who are very different from one another. I think this is part of our calling to bring seemingly divergent folks together around the common mission of the Gospel and making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are partners with two PCUSA churches in our neighborhood. One is a classic liberal community and the other classically conservative. I am both comfortable and uncomfortable in certain regards with both communities. I find myself in a unique place in a unique time where I tend to embrace this generous orthodoxy which includes all sorts of hybridizations of seemingly contradictory thoughts and practices. I told someone the other day that we practice contemplative activism, denominational/monasticism, reformed/ecumenicalism, conservative/liberalism, liberal/conservatism, ancient/future worship, evangelical/justice, and other such third way cross-pollinations. I see my role as a faithful subversive or a loyal radical within our presbytery/denomination and am still figuring out what that looks like, but am sooo... thankful to have friends who are charting out this new territory with me.