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community: the quest

Monday, 4 September 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

i find myself wanting to engage in meaningful relationships and meaningful work, but there is a dilemma in determining what really is meaningful. having been trained as a theologian, the church was prioritized as THE most meaningful ideal. i now wonder if that is the case. the reality is that the institutional church is just that: an institution. where is the nature of community in the institution?

i recall mentioning to my advisor while completing my master’s degree how our school [a seminary] didn’t seem to foster a spiritual community. her reply? “this is not a convent.”  now, my statement regarding how i didn’t think a seminary fostered a spiritual community was, i think, accurate.  even i, trained as an academician opposed to the professional minister, could see the reality of how a seminary continued to grow stronger in its institutional energy.  my point, you ask?  well, where is the balance in fostering community while training students in systematic theology?  i can ask the same question in terms of local churches, too.  where is the balance in fostering local communities/organizing groups of people to pursue good while hanging onto some tradition?

i don’t have answers at this moment; i only have questions.  i do desire to be in conversation about this, however.  this quest is not something done in isolation.  in fact, i know there have been communities sprout up even in this windy city.  what does it look like to mobilize a group of people and help foster or grow a community.  is there a place for an alternative to what we think of as church?  i sure hope so, since i’m growing very tired of the groups i see meeting on sunday mornings.


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