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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beloved Community

Beloved Community of Faith seeks to be a diverse, spiritual community composed of people of various races, genders, sexual orientations, educational levels, financial statuses, and physical abilities. We seek to grow together through spiritually enriching activities such as book readings, Bible studies, devotionals, conversations about social and economic justice, examining how everyday choices are a reflection of our faith decisions, and through service opportunities. Beloved Community of Faith is a group of loving individuals that welcomes everyone to show up where they are, recognizing that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

Beloved Community of Faith questions, "where does faith intersect with real life responsibility?" Conversation pieces may question:
To what extent, as a person of faith, am I responsible for "giving back to my community"?
Does faith imply that we are to be politically active or politically absent?
To Spotify or not? Purchase or pirate? Download or go to the store?
Do I have a responsibility to buy or drink fair trade coffee?
Am I responsible for taking care of the environment?
Should my faith influence where I shop or what products I buy?
What does God really ask of me & when is enough finally enough?!

Some changes have occurred to the above statement over the past week but have since been discarded apparently... and then reimplemented. For example, differing educational levels-- it occurs to me that one must have a certain level of intelligence to appropriately interact with this group. But, intelligence does not equal educational level; the stmt stays. I thought about the financial status coming across as weird but eh, why not. And it's true. Plus, the statement of diversity comes out fairly weak if it just says we want ppl of various races, genders, & sexual orientations. I did eliminate a statement I felt focused on the individual more than the group since the rest of the statements were about the group's identity.

My resolve hasn't really weakened since my original post but there are glimmers of fear. Shaking up the status quo is never well-received. I do believe my Memphis predominately black open & affirming faith group stopped meeting due to fear... but I don't know that active threats were made. We have Phoenix Christian Church in Wildersville--it's an actual church whereas this is not. And there's a good chance that no one will come. But there's that inkling. I think it is why I did not work on this group's development over the weekend and the reason I am hesitating even tonight.

I keep forgetting to call places to inquire about meeting space. Also, I am incredibly busy and a bit behind at work. But breaks are needed, business can be done. We'll see about tomorrow.


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