COALESCE Update for 9/10/17


“Spiritual life is no litany of pieties, but a call to fearless intellectual honesty and unfettered self expression.”


We got off to a grand start last Sunday, kicking off our program Listening for the Heart of God in Ourselves and Others. We revealed a plan for adult education this fall, looking at the ideas of spirituality, meditation, contemplation and prayer and our ability to articulate our faith to ourselves, to each other within our faith community, and then to others outside of GPC.  The theme in COALESCE is connected to what is happening downstairs in Discovery and upstairs in Sunday Worship, and also the Prayer: Life as Action program that begins on September 27 with six consecutive Wednesday evening programs. COALESCE will also be looking at Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation and consider studying Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.


Our opening was powerful as we used John Philip Newell’s Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace.  From the thirteen gathered we were able to offer people/situations that needed “to be held in Light”. A passage from the Quran – (The Nightly Visitant 86.4) was part of this opening litany “For every soul there is a guardian watching it.”  I was struck how this passage connected to Todd’s sermon, referencing Ezekiel 33, the watchman calling and how we all are called to be watcher people :). We finished our time together with those present pairing and then sharing responses to the questions—Why are you here today—what has led you to this place? A rich sharing opportunity involving personal stories of faith.  


Come next week as we begin to look at the Church Next program; Why is it hard to talk about our faith? How do you know what you know?  We also will begin to look into Marjorie J Thompson’s Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life           


“We must look for truth, reality and grace within—-each of us must look within to find our deepest nature, joy and natural concern for others—-that is the key to life.”

                                                                                                                                Henri Nouwen