September 21, 2009
I know we don’t usually have Transmission on Thursdays, but we’ve been invited to lead worship
> for the World Student Christian Federation this Thursday. Since there are five Wednesdays this month and our next service won’t be until October 7, we decided to do it!
So please stop by this Thursday at 7pm, when we’ll blend the ancient practice of labyrinth walking with the modern practice of sidewalk chalk graffiti. Food will be had by all, obviously.
If you want to attend, please send an email and we’ll get you specific directions.
September 18, 2009
Dr. Alan Cooper introduces the entire book of psalms. Then he concludes the entire book of psalms. No really. Dr.
Cooper is the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Professor of Bible at Union Theological Seminary.
This week we’ll be joining up with our brothers and sisters at Radical Living, a very cool intentional living community in bed-stuy for food, worship, and fellowship.¬† Our worship will focus on transitions, callings, and mid-career crises of faith.¬† The folks at Radical Living are very cool, and seeing what they’re up to will be well worth your
We’ll meet at 7pm at 622 Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The closest stop on the subway is probably Myrtle-Willoughby on the G train. For those of us who live in Upper Manhattan and other far-flung places, make sure to leave enough time to get there.
Finally, out of consideration for our hosts, please send me a note if you intend to come so I can give them an accurate headcount.
See you then!
Samir Selmanovic, Founder and Christian co-leader of Faith House Manhattan, an interfaith community in New York City, ends the whole debate on faith vs works.
Samir is the author of It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian.
September 8, 2009
Andrew Wooding has a post up suggesting that “worship-shaped churches” tend to be bad at mission.¬† His description of “worship-shaped” pretty much nails Transmission on the head, and his analysis and critique seem pretty damning.
We’ve talked about mission a fair amount about during our planning meetings and retreats, but we have yet to produce an engaging, long-term missional focus.¬†
This is something I hope we can talk about with Radical Living next Thursday, since they live and breathe mission the way we live and breathe worship.
What are your thoughts?
September 5, 2009
A few conservative bloggers and podcasters recently critiqued my podcast and book for not giving enough recognition to the Psalm’s role as prophecy; apparently the fact that I don’t immediately look for Jesus in the Psalms means I’m not interpreting them correctly.¬† The thing is, I’m not entirely convinced that the Book of Psalms does prophesy Jesus, or that they were originally meant to be prophecy at all.
This has gotten me thinking about the nature of the texts contained in the Bible. The question of whether the Bible is the “inerrant Word of God” is such a hangup issue for so many churches – it’s used as a litmus test to determine whether a believer is a “true Christian” or whether a teacher is a “false Prophet.” When the final version of the Torah was put together (probably shortly after the Babylonian Exile), did the redactors suspect it’d be used as scripture? Well, yeah, they probably did. When Paul wrote his letter to Philemon, did he suspect that it’d be read in churches thousands of years later and declared “the Word of the Lord, thanks be to God?” No, he probably didn’t.
In Jewish copies of the Bible, the books are clearly separated between Scripture (Torah), Prophecy (Nevi’im), and Writings (Ketuvim). In Christianity, the lines between the three are much, much more ambiguous, whether we’re talking about the Psalms or the writings of Paul. Since I’m much more familiar with the Psalms, I’ll focus on them.
September 2, 2009
Amichai Lau-Lavie, Jewish guru and executive director of Storahtelling: Jewish Ritual Theater Revived, discusses the
oldest name for God, the building of the temple, and the divine feminine.
Also, for those who didn’t know, all the sheet music from the book and podcast is available for free download at Church Publishing.
If you’re podcast savvy, the XML feed is here: http://www.isaaceverett.com/audio/emergentpsalterpodcast/podcast.xml
If you want to to listen to it on iTunes: click here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=322056809
If you’d rather just download it, the link is here: http://www.isaaceverett.com/audio/epp125.mp3
If you want to stream it from the site, click the big gray button below.
September 2, 2009
This week, the Barna Group, a Christian research/survey organization, published “How Many People Really Go To A House Church?” a study of house churches in America.¬† Besides looking at the history of house churches, the article includes an interesting examination of American views on house churches.
When asked if they had attended a “worship service” at a home in the past month, about 10% of the adult population said they did so.¬† However, when the wording changed to “religious service,” the percentage went up to about 14%.¬† Then when the question changed to “Have you experienced God or your faith in a house church or simple church meeting,” ONE THIRD of Americans said they had been to such a meeting in the past month.
Perhaps the words “worship” and “religious” are somewhat loaded in our culture, and associated with very specific rites, whereas the experience of faith in the presence of other believers is something separate, seen as more casual.
One of the ideas of Transmission is to merge these definitions and to realize that “worship” is meant to be organic
and does not need to be confined to what we do in church pews, that the “experience of God and faith” can be experienced in our living rooms, gardens and kitchens any day, any time: as the Bible said, God is present any time two or more are together in his name.