I’m very privileged to be able to work with Simon Holt in teaching a unit for Whitley College called “Table Spirituality: Hospitality, Community and Ministry”. These ideas have shaped in no small part some of my thoughts on what it means to be a community who EAT and share food together at Newmarket Baptist Church.
In his recent blog post on The pastor as curator. Simon also reflects on the ideas of Mark Pierson who has also been a significant mentor in how we PRAY together through our shared expression of spirituality (see video at bottom of page.)
As someone passionate about the renewal of the church through missional community and as someone who also has strong interests and passions (eg; sport, youth development, food, creative spirituality) I found Simon’s diagnosis of much of our leadership activity confronting…
Our primary task becomes manipulating interests so they dovetail as closely as possible with our own. Ouch!
His soul searching honesty and invitation to risk ‘encounter’ of God deeply in and through each other is powerful, reminding us that it’s…
“God’s church not mine. I cannot fill it … God knows, I try. And I can no more determine the community’s encounters with God and each other than I can leap tall buildings. But I can set the table, create opportunity and facilitate encounters of openness, honesty and interdependence.”
I felt some of this ‘encounter’ in the last fortnight through our discussions about the future of our “People’s Pantry” organised by Carol Owen. The process brought different people together with the space to share in a deeper way.
I also loved the sense of festive celebration and encouragement of the outrageous hospitality at the brunch we shared with Urban Seed after the Run Melbourne event in the city last Sunday.
As we seek to be God’s people in Melbourne’s inner north-west, “Where is it that you are experiencing this sense of ‘encounter’?”