Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


July 4, 2013

VCC Summer Book Study

Category: All Posts,Books & Mentors,Community,Mission – Rose – 2:18 pm

book study This Summer we (VCC) are reading through Mark Scandrette’s book, “Practicing The Way of Jesus” in order to guide our faith community into imagining more and more ways in which we can live into our faith.

We want to provide a space here for discussion around the book’s ideas. So, with that in mind let’s begin with thoughts, inspiration, questions about Chapter 1, “An Invitation to Experiment.”

Some of my thoughts:

1. I love the language of “experiment.” A friend of mine once said that when he meets Jesus he hopes Jesus will say, “Good try!” It suggests that formation happens both in the wins, the losses and the simple attempts we make.

2. I was inspired by the Have2Give1 experiment. I actually could see Leslie leading some folks from VCC in this type of experiment! I liked that it was time-bound (8 weeks) and I really liked how it led those that participated into asking deeper questions about their heart posture toward money, possessions, and consumption (pg 12). The idea being as we participate in these practices it leads us to the heart of the formation questions. I also love that they gave thousands of dollars to benefit others out of what was clutter in their lives. Beautiful!

3. The idea of doing tangible experiments taking us out our heads and into our bodies with a group of others wanting to change and grow by exploring how to integrate the teachings of Jesus into our everyday lives is very, very appealing to me. How about you?

4. “Through surrender and practice, Jesus expected his apprentices to be like him.” (pg 16) – I want VCC to be a community of practice that can experiment, will be inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus, that will commit time and energy to practices that can form us in this way of life, and will have the courge to reflect on what it means to be a counterculture community that is finding a new way to be human – together.

5. We are invited to live into the Kingdom of Love, a kingdom characterized by love that is both present and progressing. I like the idea of our church community gathering in small groups to imagine how they are being invited to experiment together practices that could actually make a positive difference in bringing a holistic view of what it means to be truly human.

What are your thoughts, questions, inspirations?

1 Comment »

  1. I am a little slow in reading this and just finished chapter 2, but this is what I’m noticing right now:

    The statement “Anyone we admire for the Christlike beauty of their lives became that person through a series of small steps of risk and surrender” in comparison with the anxiety I feel over experimenting again with risk.

    In my story, the small steps of risk I’ve taken have led to bigger and bigger risks. I am wrestling with:

    1. The fear that as I take small risks, it will lead to a bigger risk that will end badly.

    2. The fear that I have “passed the stage” of taking small risks in my life and God is only going to ask me to risk big from here on out.

    As you can see, both of my statements start with FEAR. I think that for many people fear is a huge barrier to taking risks. As I have been learning my own story, I have been struck again and again with the difference between what Jesus is inviting me to and what others (myself included) are demanding of me.

    Comment by Amy Balmer — July 26, 2013 @ 11:02 am

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