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Brian McLaren @ Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering!; Music by Tracy Wispelwey

According to emerging author & theologian Brian McLaren, the two most basic faith questions for many of us today are: “how do modern people follow Jesus in the 21st Century?“; and, “what role can Christian community play in that journey?” We are excited host Brian as he shares the answers to these questions found in his new book (We Make The Road By Traveling; click here to order) during our July Common Meal and Eucharist Gathering. Special music will be shared by singer/songwriter/art activist Tracy Howe Wispelwey.

Join us for our Monthly Common Meal as we gather for a meal and then explore the theme of Christian community in the 21st Century through Brian’s talk, readings from Brian’s new book, original spoken word poetry, art, and hymns.

(Please note: we are having this Friday and not Saturday because that’s the only day Brian is in town; dinner is at 7:00PM, music and talk is at 7:30PM).

In his last book, Brian McLaren made the provocative point that the accumulating layers of orthodoxy and tradition makes it harder year-by-year to be a Christian than it was in Jesus' day (at least that is true for many). In his new book, Brian McLaren retells the biblical story and reintroduces the Christian faith for a 21st Century audience through a generous set of weekly readings, reflections, and spiritual practices to help people create their own life-changing learning communities in homes, churches, cafés, and pubs that address their basic spiritual aspirations.

If you would like to contribute something—a reading, a painting, a poem, etc.—to the discussion, or a food item for the meal, put that in your RSVP comment section.

(For dinner, parking, building and food details check out the information below.)

Join us as we explore the power of Christian community in the 21st Century!

Glenn, Jen, Lisa, Larry and the whole gang

More on the contents of the book: This new book starts with the question many of us have asked: if you were to start the Christian tradition over again as a 21st Century movement, how would you do it? Obviously each person is going to answer that question differently, but there are certain basic thoughts and questions that can help us get started. That’s what this book is about. It offers everything you need to explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today. The fifty-two (plus a few) weekly readings can each be read aloud in 10-12 minutes, and offer a simple curriculum of insightful reflections and transformative practices. Organized around the traditional church year, these readings give an overview of the whole Bible and guide an individual or a group of friends through a year of rich study, interactive learning, and personal growth.

More about Brian McLaren: Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. After teaching college English, Brian pastored Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington DC area. Brian has been active in networking and mentoring new communities for over 20 years. Brian’s writing spans over a dozen books, including his acclaimed A New Kind of Christian trilogy, A Generous Orthodoxy, and his most recent title, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011). Follow Brian’s blog and learn more about the coming faith revolution at his website,

More about our singer/song leader Tracy Howe Wispelwey: Tracy Wispelwey is a songwriter and artist who most recently produced "Songs For 1,000 Days: Artists Advocating for the Food Security of Vulnerable Women and Children," a compilation that Bread For the World commissioned for their ongoing work to end hunger in the US and abroad. Bread is also a leading Christian humanitarian group.
Tracy and her husband also run a small nonprofit, Restoration Village Arts to facilitate international artistic collaboration, justice-and-theology conversations, and creative advocacy projects.

More about our Monthly Gatherings: Since May of 2013, our monthly Common Meal and Eucharist Gatherings have been 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). Our contemplative prayer gatherings and justice groups are other initiatives that grow out of our desire to put our ideals into practice. Stay-tuned as we keep discussing some new justice and service initiatives, a study of Shane Claiborne’s materials on intentional communities, and a community blog about our reflections!

Schedule for the Evening: 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 and talk at 7:30PM. If you are late, you can still pick up some dinner near the entrance door of the room and join us in the discussion. We are very casual about that sort of thing. People are free to leave early too, just sit near the back door and slip out when you need to. No problem.

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.

Food or Donations: Our food theme this month is 21st Century versions of 1st Century Mediterranean foods…so anything close to hummus, red wine, lamb, pita bread, vegetables, and salads is a good bet. Think of foods served at Lebanese Taverna and Food Corner Kabab House (which is up the street).
If you can bring something, please put that in your RSVP line by the Thursday before the event (I’ll send out a reminder then too). If you don’t have time to bring or buy something, consider just dropping in a donation of $10 for our paper supplies, custodian fee, and wine.

Location: We’ll send detailed directions for you a couple of days before the meeting (because Dupont Circle has lots of quirky streets and buildings) and some cell phone numbers if you can’t find an open door. Going forward, we're hoping to have our gathering in the "community/fireplace room" space of the Church of the Pilgrims. Since last March we’ve been partnering with local churches to offer more easily opportunities for our group. If you are having problems finding the location on mapquest: mapquest Bier Baron Tavern [masked]nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037) which is just across the street on 22nd Street NW.

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 few steps to the parking lot and enter the back door through the preschool playground. We’ll have some signs up for you.

About Parking: Church of the Pilgrims has a parking lot entrance on 22nd Street twenty feet away from the corner of Q St. and 22nd St (where the big "Church of the Pilgrims" sign sits). The parking lot is surrounded by bushes so it's not always easy the entrance at first (see photo to left). There's about 10 parking spots open usually. Also, you can park on 23rd street if you stay on Q and go past 22nd (it’s a one-way street so mapquest this option).

About the 2 entrance Doors: The first time people come there can be confusion about which door to enter. There are two possibilities. First, there's a back door off the parking lot (see photo to the right). That's the best door to enter. Second, there's a front door that next to the big sanctuary doors and which one can use to get to the church office usually. If both are closed by accident, try the cell phones we’ll send along in our logistics update a couple of days before the event







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  • Tiana

    Does anyone who attended have a recording or copy of the spoken word poem given that evening? I can't find my original and I'm hoping to add it to a collection of poetry. Thanks!

    June 16, 2015

  • Beth G.

    Thanks to the generosity of Brian McLaren--I especially liked the story of Eboo Patel and the Dalai Lama.

    2 · July 27, 2014

  • Alexandra K.

    What a wonderful fellowship over good food, blessed worship with great music art, and poetry and Brian McLaren as guest speaker! Thanks for all who coordinated and participated in this Spirit led conversation! God is good!

    July 26, 2014

  • dennis d.

    Add check in... thought I saw it for Saturday night..rats

    July 26, 2014

  • Laura B.

    Family emergency my chicken salad and I cannot come. Sorry. LAURS

    July 25, 2014

  • Alexandra K.

    I plan to be there. I will bring some Hummus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Nicole B.

    I will try to make it to the dinner and will bring some veggie food to share.

    July 24, 2014

  • Janet S.

    I will bring seltzer

    July 24, 2014

  • Barbara Anne F.

    Sandy and I will be unable to attend due to a business engagement that has come up.....

    July 24, 2014

  • Jill M.

    I'll be there at 7:30 but not for dinner, though thanks!

    July 24, 2014

  • LJordan

    Unfortunately, I won't be attending. Enjoy the evening.

    July 24, 2014

  • Victoria P.

    I won't be having dinner, just going to the event.

    July 24, 2014

  • John A.

    I will bring some Mideastern sweets for dessert.

    July 24, 2014

  • Elaine K

    I will bring something vegetarian to share.

    June 18, 2014

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