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An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC Pages

Please check out the following information on the questions we will study, other books we can cover eventually, and organizer's background:

This group will study some of the following Ten Questions (we took out some of the less pressing questions) posed by Brian McLaren in his new book and Dec 14 talk, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith (2010):

1. The Narrative Question: What is the shape - or storyline or plotline - of the biblical narrative? What is the Bible about? What problem is it trying to solve? What are the essential conflicts and projects that move the story along?

2. The Authority Question: What does it mean to say the Bible has authority? How is its authority expressed? How has the Bible's authority been misused in the past? How can we more wisely understand and apply the Bible's authority in the future?

3. The God Question: Is God violent? Does God make innocent people suffer? Or is God purely just, kind, and compassionate? If so, how do we deal with the passages in the Bible where God sanctions mass slaughter?

4. The Jesus Question: Who is Jesus and why is he so important? Why do Christians present such different visions or versions of Jesus? How do we sort through the different versions to get a more balanced and accurate understanding of Jesus?

5. The Gospel Question: What is the core message of the Christian faith? Is it exclusively about heaven and hell after death, or primarily about justice, peace, and joy on earth? Are the gospels of Jesus and Paul the same, or opposed to one another? Is the gospel good news for a few, or for all people?

6. The Church Question: What do we do about the church? What future should our local congregations, our denominations, and the Christian community at large pursue? What are our primary, essential functions? How will we cope with the many changes we face?

9. The Pluralism Question: How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions? Is Jesus the only way - and the only way to what? Can we have both a strong sense of Christian identity - and a strong sense of hospitality and love toward people of other faiths?

10. The What-Do-We-Do-Now Question: How can we open these questions without creating needless controversy and division? How can we move forward in our quest without being intimidated by the resistance that will no doubt arise? What attitudes and understandings can help us move forward in a creative, loving way?

Other books we will read include:

Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God (2006); Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence: Why Christianity is Changing and Why (2008); and Brian McLaren, Finding our Way again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (2008).

Background of the organizer:

Therese Taylor-Stinson is a trained spiritual director who regularly gives spiritual direction at the Wildgoose Festival, the premiere emerging Christianity event of the year. She is also an accomplished author, and a contemplative leader with more than a decade of experience in leading spiritual retreats for churches and community groups while maintaining a private practice with individuals. Working in the tradition of mystic Howard Thurman (one of MLK's mentors), she is passionate about helping people live at a deeper level through contemplative prayer while fostering practices of justice that help people love their neighbors more. She is particularly interested in seeing the power of contemplative practices used to foster racial bridge-building and understanding. Her years of work as a lead mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity disputes within the U.S. Government gave her the legal and sociological tools to understand injustice and conflict.

Her Training and Leadership Experience: After graduating from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC, she convened and now leads her own contemplative organization that brings together spiritual directors of color to promote healing and contemplative practice. She is founder and Managing Member of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., and a long-time member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI). She serves on the Editorial Review Panel for SDI's Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Moreover, she was commissioned associate faculty for Shalem’s Personal Spiritual Deepening Program, and she is a member of the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership. She serves as a spiritual director in residence and leads contemplative practices at the innovative Wild Goose Festival currently located in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Finally, she has served as a co-leader for Iona DC: An Emerging Christian Community (and it's auxiliary emerging Christianity conversation Meetup group) with innovative spiritual practices meetings (drumming, sacred dance, Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, contemplative conversations on racism, etc.) since 2014, before assuming leadership of both groups in 2016 (leading with a lot of help from generous co-leaders who assist her).

In the field of contemplative writing, she served as co-editor and contributor to the groundbreaking anthology, Embodied Spirits: Stories of Spiritual Directors of Color. Be sure to check out Therese's next volume as solo editor, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Stories of Contemplation and Justice, scheduled to publish in fall 2017.

While dedicated to the contemplative path of healing, leading alternative communities, and writing, she has also brought a contemplative approach to the traditional church leadership roles she has been asked to fill. She is an ordained deacon and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and she currently serves as Moderator of the National Capital Presbytery (all three positions are lay leadership roles).

Table of Contents

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About An Emerging Christianity Conversation in DC January 7, 2017 8:15 PM Therese T.

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