October 30, 2006
overnight the time changed -
a new season of longer nights
and windy days, a brisk chill
in the air while the dead dance
Come Join Us For All Saints’ Day/ D??a de los Muertos
This Wednesday just happens to be November 1st, a major Christian holy day. So we’ll be doing a (little longer) 45 minute ritual followed by a hot meal and apple crisp. If you’d like to come, please email email@example.com
rough draft for ritual
- song (Isaac lead)
- scripture (john is picking, maybe Ezekiel 37)
- activity ‚Äì make shrines* and lie dead
- song (What Wondrous Love is This?)
- share about shrines and pray for each other
- song (Katie leads, Old Irish Blessing)
We’ll be making shrines this week for a person who has died, someone you admire and whose life has touched your own. This can be someone in your life or someone you never met. If you can, bring some items that remind you of them (a photo, momento, etc.)
Our shrines only need to have three components:
- an object (anything that can represent the subject of the shrine),
- an offering (candle, flowers, etc.),
- and some sort of sign of the season (we’ll have dried leaves, etc.).
1st and 3rd Wednesdays ‚Äì November 1 and 15; December 6 and 20
October 28, 2006
a photo I found on flickr looking for pics tagged: friends god alone
by Bowie Snodgrass
a poem I wrote wednesday night:
of my private life
the life I live alone
in my head and heart
so many public personas,
we yearn for integration
to become whole again
be part of something
bigger than just me
when two or three
October 27, 2006
SAVE the DATES
Upcoming Transmissions: Wed Nov 1 & 15; Wed Dec 6 & 20
If you‚Äôve never been and would like to come or
would like to plan a ritual or bring food/drink
or if you’d just simply like to come –
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding OCT 25th
Well, Transmission last night was pretty good, although only about half of us where there. I’ve got a few points of self-criticism regarding the ritual:
1) Both the ritual and the music were designed for a group of about ten people. A group of five has a very different dynamic. For all of my polemic against leader-centered worship, I spent way too much energy trying to make the ritual into what I had in my head rather than letting it unfold as it was.
2) I need to figure out a way to move smoothly from one part of the ritual to another without breaking the mood. It was way too easy for conversations to break out at cusp points during the ritual, which means that I was doing something wrong. Maybe the meal and the ritual should be separate events?
In any case, it was decided that in November Transmission will be on the 1st and 15th, with a possible Brooklyn Transmission happening on the 8th. On the 15th, Paul will lead us in something and on the 1st, Bowie and I will prepare something based on All Saint’s Day.
The last two Transmissions have both followed a “people sitting around a table talking” model and I think I’d like to break out of that a little. Perhaps we could set up a few stations around the room with pictures of saints (Francis, Gandhi, Bono, Granddad, etc) along with an activity (written prayers/reflections, candles, leaving an item of remembrance from someone who’s died, etc). Or maybe we could each take those items of remembrance and share stories with each other of important people in our life who aren’t around anymore.
I want to use music again and I’m a particularly fond of “What Wondrous Love is This” – I think it highlights the whole life/death cycle which is prevalent on this feast day. We’ve been pretty low-tech so far, and in some ways that’s been because I’ve been shying away from the stuff I’m pretty good at because I don’t want to be too flashy, but that might be a mistake. Perhaps I could write some ambient music for the meditation which would bridge smoothly into a backing track for the hymn.
October 24, 2006
Heya, guys – I just tossed up some of my ideas on what makes a ritual good. I’d love some feedback on it! These things always need tweaking. You can read it here.
Also, I’m refining my ideas for tomorrow. Here’s what I’m thinking at the moment:
1) gathering, saying hi, taking off coats, etc
2) breaking and blessing bread
3) eating a meal and reflecting on the story of Bartimaeus from the viewpoint of the crowd (bibliodrama led by me)
5) pouring and blessing wine (post-meal)
6) sitting back, sipping wine, making plans for next month, and generally shooting the shit
Sound good? I’d like to do something interesting with the space. Maybe we could tell most of the story in the dark and then light a few candles when Bartimaeus receives his vision. A dark room can loosen up inhibitions, especially since we’re asking people to express themselves creatively.
October 22, 2006
So we’re coming up on our next gathering, and I had some ideas about what to do:
1) I’d really like to get some music going, but I’d like to do it without relying on paper. Music should be a welcoming, gathering, and mutual experience while paper tends to alienate people from each other. Maybe some niggun? Maybe Taize? I’d love to do some easy part-singing, especially since we’ll be doing it a capella.
2) Keeping in mind Renata’s desire to keep things rooted in the Word and John’s desire for “more Jesus, less Christ,” I was thinking it’d be fun to unpack the story of Jesus and Bartimaeus (mark 10), maybe in the style of my good friend, Peter Pitzele. It’s a story which is frequently used to impress people with how badass Christ is, but there are a lot of more subtle Jesus-moments to be pulled out of it. Additionally, I just finished writing a ten-page commentary on the pericope for school so I’ll actually be able to contribute something…
The basic idea behind Peter’s method is that the congregation gets to discover meaning in the text for themselves by placing themselves in the story. For example, “you are Eve and you just took your first step outside of Eden. How do you feel?” The leader (i.e. me)facilitates the discussion rather than preaches his or her own opinion.
How does that sound?
October 22, 2006
Thought this was cute commentary from another online community:
Q:”What is it like to have God as a friend? Do you go
ice skating together and stuff?”
A:No way man,¬†God prefers 10-pin bowling then,a drink in 12-Bar then to
wonkies for Chinese!
I think this illustrates the differences between Catholic/Anglican/Episcopalian traditions verses the Non-Denominational traditions… The vision of how we see God… Is¬†God “buddy jesus”? Or like Eddie Izzard, “Look, I went down there and told them to be groovy and then they split into different groups…!”, or as others have said of Jesus, as a “free love hippie” before his time?
We are all different and need to find our own personal vision of who¬†God is. Isn’t it interesting to see how different we can be from each other? Yet, through that how deep God truly is to be able to create and socialize with us each.
What do you think?
October 18, 2006
Originally uploaded by JwS. ¬© Jim Scolman Copyright 2006
Tonight I remembered the words to my favorite song from elementary school choir. I‚Äôve had the first couple of lines stuck in my head for a few days now, and finally sat down to see how many I could write out. By golly, I remembered them all (I think). Well, you can‚Äôt hear the catchy tune that does along, but hope you enjoy these lyrics ‚Äì
What would the world be like without music?
Beautiful music! Just think of what it means
To you and me! What would the world be like
Without Mu-u-sic? Try to imagine how empty
Our lives would be. There‚Äôd be no melodies to
Whistle while you work. There‚Äôd be no songs to
Sing ‚Äì like nanny-nanny-poo-poo. There‚Äôd be
No melodies to help you find the way you feel
You‚Äôd have to find another way-ay-ay-ay.
What would the world be like without mu-u-sic?
Try to imagine how empty our lives would be.
Share a favorite song of yours from childhood! Please :-)
October 18, 2006
A fellow Christian from my old church in California forwarded me this write up about meditation. Being one who tends to think way too much in that my brain rarely shuts off, I have been contemplating learning to meditate. The only concern is that half of the time I end up falling asleep rather than focusing on our Creator! So I thought I would forward this in case anyone else is desiring to learn about it.
October 15, 2006
As a professional musician, I run into a problem when I invite my friends to gigs. If they can”t make it, there”s no problem, but things get significantly more complicated if they could make it but don”t really want to. There”s the glancing away, the shuffling of feet, the hastily thrown together excuses- it”s pretty awkward and it makes me hesitant to invite people to come at all because I don”t want them to feel pressured into coming.
As I help start this church, I”m running into exactly the same thing, so I”m hoping I can get some advice from the new Transmissioners as well as my safe online casino fellow church planters who read this blog.
On one hand, I don”t want anyone to feel pressured into coming (especially friends), and I want people to be able to say no without feeling awkward. I want someone to be able to come once, not come for several months, and then come again one time without feeling guilty. I want people to know that they can come or not come and it”s all OK.
On the other hand, I don”t want people to think that their presence isn”t valued. I want to communicate the fact that I”m thrilled when people participate in my community. Inviting people to Transmission isn”t a casual thing for me, either, so I want people to appreciate the invitation even if they say no.
Hm – does anyone have any wisdom about this?
October 15, 2006
The Host by Meg Hamely (article in Relevant Magazine)
As someone coming from the nondenominational side of things, I can understand where the author is coming from.
The last time I remember doing liturgy of any form was in a Presbytarian church when I was 6. That was before my mom was diagnosed with cancer and we moved to a nondenominational church with a passionate pastor who had a thing for money. It was remarked of him that he was more business man than pastor but that’s another story for another time.
Episcopalians like most in churchdome have their own language and it’s one I have been slowly getting to know. I still have so many questions and concerns! Thus seeing an article writen by one about her own experiences “crossing over” makes me feel far less alone in this adventure.
Oh and don’t worry, my mom is alive and well to talk about it (feisty one that she is). Thank God.