As a follow-up to our Lou Savary talk in June on Teilhard de Chardin, we are having a common meal, Eucharist, and discussion on the theme, "God-sustains-us (and the cosmos)." Proverbs 8:1-23, John 1:1-4, and Colossians 1:19-20, and Ephesians 1:9-10 use the concept of God as Pantokrator meaning "The One who Sustains the Cosmos." While this seems like an abstract theory, it actually can change the way you see everyday experience, the purpose of your life, and what it means to have "faith" in God. Not everyone was able to come to the Lou Savary talk, but we can reflect on some of the key concepts and scriptures he referred to as he talked about how we could weave together science, theology, and meditation!
Our monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering is a part of our attempt to put emerging ideas into practice as a Christian community, not just talk about interesting ideas at an abstract level with no practical component or real-life significance (as many have complained about). Stay-tuned as we keep working on a community service/justice group also!
At our two last monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gatherings we looked at some basic concepts in Christian theology through art, scripture, and experience. We used famed spiritual writer Henri Nouwen's method of dividing up the Bible into basic parts that each focus on a different aspect of the faith experience: 1) God-for-us (Moses and the Exodus); 2) God-with-us (Jesus and the Gospels), and 3) God-Within-us (Pentecost and the Holy Spirit).
We will do much of the same thing this time as we look at the theme of "God-Sustains-us," drawing from different perspectives on Creation and God's Sustaining Power and Love found in different traditions of theologically-informed science (Teilhard, see photo to left), Eastern Orthodox icons (see Christ Pantokrator icon above left from Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul), modern art (Van Gogh's Starry Night to the above right), and NASA's awe-inspiring photos of the cosmos with mystical titles (see the "Eye of God" nebula & "Pillars of Creation" nebula from the Hubble Space telescope). Find out how all these traditions explore and celebrate the Great "Sustainer of the Cosmos."
Schedule: For those who want to participate in the common meal, we'll start that at 7PM. For those who just want to come to the gathering, we'll start the singing at 7:30PM. If you are late, you can still pick up some dinner in kitchen and join us in the discussion. We are very casual about that sort of thing.
Participation: People are always free to just come and enjoy the spontaneous conversation and singing, but it you want to contribute something we want you to know that you are free to share anything on the theme. If you have any suggestions about poems, prayers from the Book of Common Prayer and other prayer books, scriptures, paintings, stories, songs, etc. let me know.
Music: As usual, our house musicians will help us pick out appropriate hymns for our theme of the month and lead us with song.
Food and Donations: We'll have some kind of combination with chicken and salad to keep it simple. If you can bring something to spice up the salad offerings, please put that in your RSVP line. If you can help with the expense of the evening (food, copies, etc.), we'll have a cup near the food to help us cover our basic expenses.
Location: Going forward, we're hoping to have our gathering in the "community/fireplace room" space of the Church of the Pilgrims.
Directions from Metro: Church of the Pilgrims is about 2 blocks west of the Q Street Exit (that's the north one) of the Dupont Circle Metro Station. Once you hit 22nd street, go south a block to the sanctuary entrance at P St and 22nd.
About Parking: Church of the Pilgrims has a parking lot entrance on 22nd Street near the corner of Q St. and 22nd St.