Who We Aregreenspun.com : LUSENET : Webzine : One Thread
On the Web Chat today we discussed writing a short piece on who we are. Here is what I posted back on 1/28/2000. I didn't spend alot of time on it,.... was just to get the ball rolling:
Dan, Wayne, Ron, Jessop, Jonathan & Kevin,
Several have expressed interest in collaborative writing. I think the place to start on that topic is with a general statement of who and what we are about. I will jump in by starting with a few paragraphs, and then everyone else can edit and add - and lets start writing.
Actually this will be a good exercise for us to articulate what we are trying to do, and to understand the diversity amongst us.
Maybe we should outline the points we want to cover as well, and different ones could write on different points on the outline.
Anyways, here is the first attempt. This isn't polished or well edited, just a very rough draft and start to get the ball rolling
Some of the wording I have lifted from past collaborative writing projects.
Who are we?
We are a group of friends scattered around the world. We are linked by relationship, not by any formal organization. We do, however, hold to the major and essential tenets of the Christian faith, such as the Deity of Jesus Christ, His bodily resurrection, etc. In short, we are simply brothers and sisters in Christ. Relationships were formed as we bumped into one another on our spiritual journeys. Our current journeys started by a deep desire to find out how to live the life that Jesus had called us to. As we sought the Lord and searched the scriptures we hungered for a more real expression of the life we read about. Some of us realized that we were hindering that life in many of the ways we did things in the religious organizations we were a part of. As we responded to the conviction of God in our hearts, we struck out on a journey to try and find what God was calling us to. We are still on that journey. We have not in any sense arrived. We want to share the few nuggets we have found along the way, and hear from others what they have found in their journeys.
We are involved in and try to encourage Christian fellowship that is relational and non-hierarchical. Our hearts are to see fellowships of believers that: Nuture community in face-to-face bodies of love, accountability, and shared life. Encourage the ministry of all Christians through the exercise of spiritual gifts - the preisthood of all believers Practice participatory, non-authoriatarian styles of leadership, worship and decision-making. Spend resources primarily on ministry and missions in the world, not institutional maintenance, church buildings, and clergy salaries. Cultivate Christian spirituality for daily living, growth, healing and touching the world around us.
-- Barry Steinman (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2000
Jessop suggested the following changes and ideas:
Hello all, I have played around with Barry's text a bit and arrive at the following. I admit I may merely be offering my some editing rather than improvements, so feel free to modify, change or reject it. I will continue to think about it.
Who are we? We are friends and brothers/sisters in from all parts of the world, linked by relationship instead of any formal organization.
We hold to the major and essential tenets of the Christian faith but we do not accept divisions or limit fellowship on the grounds of doctrinal statements and preferences. We believe that all who know themselves to be Christians are members of the Body of Christ and therefore members of each other and worthy of respect. In short, we are simply brothers and sisters in Christ.
[I have changed the following section into present continuous tense] Relationships form as we bump into each other on our spiritual journeys. Our journeys start with a deep desire to find out how to live the life to which Jesus has called us. As we seek the Lord and search the scriptures we hunger for a more real expression of the life we read about. We realise that we hindered that life in many of the ways we did things in the religious organizations we were a part of. Now as we respond to the conviction of God in our hearts, we strike out on this journey to discover what God is calling us to. This journey has no end; we certainly do not consider our selves in any sense to have arrived, but we want to share the nuggets we have found and will find along the way. And we want to hear from others what they discover in their journeys.
We believe that discovery of truth only takes place in a free environment where individuals feel the liberty to question and discuss, and in our quest thus far we find that this environment is best provided by Christian fellowship that is relational, not rigidly or artificially structured, and is non-hierarchical. It is therefore our joint desire to see the rise and multiplication of fellowships of believers that: *Nurture community in face-to-face bodies of love, accountability, and shared life. *Encourage the ministry of all Christians through the exercise of spiritual gifts - the priesthood of all believers *Practice participatory, non-authoriatarian styles of leadership in worship and in decision-making. *Spend resources primarily on ministry and missions in the world, not on maintenance of buildings, and clergy salaries. *Cultivate Christian spirituality for daily living, growth, healing and touch
-- Barry Steinman (email@example.com), March 16, 2000.
Ron added these thoughts on 2/8/2000
I think both of these reflect the heart of my thinking. As I am involved in bridging between the established church and the more open model I would be sensitive to respect that this kind of thing is not subject to a certin enviornment. I guess my desire would be for us to respect the experiences of others in whatever format they have been in as we encourage them to a deeper understanding of relational christianity.
Not sure how that would be included except in our mutual understanding and attitude toward all the brethren. I believe this is the heart of what we and most relational christians believe but sometimes it does not translate that way.
Just something for us to concider.
In His Love, Ro
-- Barry Steinman (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2000.
Exploring the idea of 'who we are' is a necessary foundational element for the webzine. I concur with what each of you have written, and in particular this section of what Barry wrote:
<< Encourage the ministry of all Christians through the exercise of spiritual gifts - the preisthood of all believers Practice participatory, non-authoriatarian styles of leadership, worship and decision-making >>
I am one of those people who believe that language is very important. Words are one of the primary ways we communicate God's love and purpose to each other. Of essential importance is the simple 'encouragement' that is mentioned above. I also liked the idea of 'simple church' that Jessop mentioned. SO MUCH can be gleaned through embracing simplicity. That's why I love what Jessop wrote about 'simple church.'
I guess the key thing I would like to add to the 'who we are' statement is something about being simple and childlike enough to leave space for God to move in each of His children's lives. I.E., that the webzine might provide a sort of gentle guidance... one that totally respects and upholds the holy and singular place of the Spirit of God in His children's lives.
I looked forward to another ecircles meeting. Praying, and looking forward to all this... I am your sister, Stephanie
Several years ago Earl set up a section on our web site for me to express these very same things. We called it "Manna for Desert Dwellers." I'm going to send you all the link in an e-mail later so that if any of you have time you can scope it out. It leads to a poetry piece that I wrote five years ago about 'the journey' called "Chronicles of the Journey." Through it, I believe you will see how much 'on the same page' we are. It's very, very much written with the same intent that we all seem to have here, however neither Earl or I ever felt led to 'get it out there,' you know? So, it's fairly well hidden, and is simply there --- available on the Net for someone surfing and REALLY seeking to find. If you go there, you might immediately notice that EARL (husband) was the one who set it up. He talks about ME from ... well, from a loving husband's point of view, and it's a little wierd, (ARGHHH!) but please get past that, and let me know what you think. ===
-- Stephanie Bennett (email@example.com), March 20, 2000.