Last Saturday, June 23, Sarah McCash led us in an experience, “Christianity After Religion (Part 4): Practice of Gratitude and Mindfulness.” Unforgettable. We also put together a care package for our new student Sarah Edwards, far away in Brooklyn.
Next Saturday, June 30, we will continue our series, this time led by Bo Eberle, “Christianity After Religion: The Conscious Community of the Faith/less.” Here is the blurb:
If indeed we are leaving “religion” behind, at least the form of it we are familiar with and all its connotations (especially American Christianity), then perhaps we can reforge a “religion” after “Religion” (capital ‘R’) that returns and turns on what many scholars argue is the root from which we derived the word “religion” from in the first place, which is the Latin religio meaning “a bond between human beings and the gods.” Religio itself could come from a number of other roots, including lego to speak or consider carefully, or ligare/re-ligare meaning “to bind back together.” To take both of these meanings seriously, there may be a way forward towards a new Kind of “Religionless Christianity” as Bonhoeffer wrote of that carries us beyond the confines of “Religion” proper ironically, or maybe poetically, by taking religion more literally than even the fundamentalists, binding ourselves together in community “considering carefully” the world around us spurring us toward world-healing presence. Not asserting the “literal” truth of our claims about God and Jesus, but again, being even more literal about them, returning to an older version of the word “truth” as treu, a German word meaning “being true to” rather than truth in a factual scientific way. After Religion, the question must be asked: What are we being true to?
Hopefully that’s not too convoluted and longwinded! Rather than focusing on a specific spiritual practice (I’m bad at those) I hope to show a different way of being and conceiving of religious community (something we’re already pretty good at, so this isn’t a critique of us, but perhaps might put words to what many of us are already doing).
Recently, we had a Leadership Team meeting and here is some relevant information:
We will have August sabbatical and come together again on Sept 8. During that time, anyone form CL is welcome to organize outings, potlucks, trips, events and send me the info which I can distribute to all. July 28 will be our last service at Quaker place before the break.We want to have Beach Vespers! Everyone comes to the beach with the train on a Friday night for some comforting food, friends, and sundown. The date we are thinking of is July 13. Rose will be organizing. Stay tuned.We will soon need Meals on Wheels for McCashes. We will need to organize swiftly, once the baby happens. Everyone on standby!
We would like to organize a system by which young children will be served appropriately to their age and needs as a part of Citylights. I will be sending an email to all parents and those interested to help. If you would like to be included, let me know.
We spend a lof of time saying “no” to religion of the past, but what is our “yes”? Workign title of the series is ”Christianity After Religion,” focused on making our experience and discussions more re-constructive, rather than de-constructive (although sweet discipline of de-construction will always be at hand!). So, if you have a spiritual or life practice, way of being, or ritual that sustains you, please email me. We want to feature what we are really doing, believing in, hoping for, and practicing. If at all possible, I would love to hear from you, so we can learn from one another. It doesn’t have to be thought through, I will help you clarify and find a way to participate the way it works for you. Nothing is insignifiant or off limits.
Our Yoga class! It will continue every 1st and 3rd Saturday from 9:30 to 10:45. Please count on helping with paying for space and other costs, $10 per session. NOTE: No need to sign up for whole season. Just come for the sessions you can. Sessions left before Summer break: Jul 7 and July 21. To register and sign up for updates, please contact our Yoga teacher Carmen Rusu at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 201-805-1739 See you on the mat! Om and amen!
As a reminder, here is our Saturday schedule:
9:30 – 10:45 Yoga Class with Carmen Rusu (all are welcome, donation $10) every 1st and 3rd Wednesday only.
11:00 BREAKFAST (unless noted otherwise)
11:30 breakfast ends and SERVICE STARTS
1:00 SERVICE ENDS followed by 1 hour of great convo and cleanup
2:00 WE ARE OUT
As we like to say, don’t come late, don’t come on time, come early. The best part of gathering is meeting people and sensing the silence which God is about to fill.
Our next Leadership Team meeting will be July 18, Wednesday, 6-8 pm at Cosi’s just South of Union Sq.
Sabbath can’t come too soon,
Samir Selmanovic, Coordinator, Citylights Community