Open Book

pilgrimOver the last dozen or so books, we’ve explored

  • the importance of our bodies and imagination in forming kingdom habits (Desiring the Kingdom)
  • ways of integrating our faith and everyday work (Kingdom Calling)
  • the importance of community in growing up in Christ and reaching out in mission (Community & Growth)
  • how we should live our kingdom story as ‘true’ in an age of conflicting empires (Colossians Remixed)
  • what it looks like to embrace Christ in a culture pushing Christianity away (Silence)
  • how to re-present Christ in a post-Christendom context (Benedict Option)
  • ways of stewarding the gift of creation in an ecologically aware age (Laudato Si’)
  • how to integrate our life together in worship with our life scattered on mission through practicing “church” (Faithful Presence)
  • how we follow Christ and image God as sexual beings (Divine Sex)
  • how we can listen to the wisdom of ages past and be open to the ongoing creative work of God today as a “deep church” (Remembering Our Future)
  • how accurate self-knowledge–seen through the Enneagram–might shape the way we love each other and our witness to a watching world (The Journey Back to You)
  • where is Christ in ongoing global conflict like between Israelis and Palestinians? How might his church wisely serve as agents of reconciliation, healing rather than exacerbating historical wounds? (Christ at the Checkpoint: Blessed Are the Peace-makers)
  • What can we learn from traditional Aboriginal ways of life to create real Christian community and a sustainable society in modern Australia? What stories and symbols help us tread lightly and flourish in relationship with God, neighbour, nature and self? (Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People)
  • How do we live everyday immersed in God’s presence, the church being a gift given for the life of the world? (For the Life of the World)

Each fortnightly gathering we’ve shared in the combination of rich liturgy (Taize songs, Northumbrian prayers, creative Bible reading), open discussion, reflection on art, and the designing of rich practices and habits to reinforce our identity and calling in Christ.

FindingNaasicaaIn our second cycle for 2020, we dialogue with Charles Ringma’s book Finding Naasicaa” (2007) and ask:

When religious words are exhausted, yet we’re anxious for real hope,
how do we share the wonder of our world reborn when centred on Christ?

It’s a no-holds barred exploration facing doubt head on, and discerning what good news of God’s reign remains for a post-Christian generation prone to deconstruct dogmatic jargon, the transcendent, and empty optimism. Think Kesha’s Hymn for the Hymnless below, with lyrics here. (Share page: https://padlet.com/david_benson/OpenBook.)

In a post-Christendom world, young people continue to be vitally interested in matters of spirituality and justice, despite their lack of engagement with the Christian faith and church. This situation calls for new forms of communication and a reconsideration of the claims of the Christian faith. This book for searching minds does just this. A series of letters written by theologian Charles Ringma to his 19-year-old granddaughter, Finding Naasicaa addresses ultimate issues of life, faith, spirituality and social transformation accessibly, unpretentiously and winsomely.

Charles-ReadingAs Charles writes, this book is dedicated to a new generation: bearers of hope for a newer tomorrow; a past generation of parents: whose spiritual faith fractured with the collapse of Christendom; and an older generation of grandparents: whose life is marked by anxious prayer.”

So, join us virtually at 6:55pm for a 7:00pm start, as we fuse liturgy that satisfies all five senses, rich book discussion, and transformative practices to live what you read.

(Shut out with Corona? Join us virtually direct zoom link here (or via https://zoom.us/join with Meeting ID 333262992 and Password = openbook.)

+++Delving Deeper+++

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If you’d like to research more deeply the themes this book brings up, check out the following:

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+++Key Details+++

Check out the calendar below for key dates, and pick up your paperback or kindle version. Until then, pdfs of each reading are linked.

On the odd chance Corona restrictions lift, here’s how it works for face-to-face gatherings … We have a soft-start from 6:45pm—feel free to rock up early and eat your dinner or share a cup of tea. At 7:10pm sharp we get into the night, finishing each night by 9pm with supper together and an unrushed chat over coffee. OPEN BOOK includes some basic spiritual practices and prayer, before unpacking the pre-reading scheduled for that night.

woman churchFor each week, it helps to think through how the reading provokes you in 4 ways:

1) Question: what didn’t make sense?

2) Challenge: what did you think was wrong?

3) Implication: what wisdom does this offer for being a holistic witness to a post-Christian generation?

4) Application: how might this help us share the good news of God’s reign?

OPEN BOOK, THURSDAYS 7PM | Ringma’s, Finding Naasicaa (FN) | Join us virtually direct zoom link here (or via https://zoom.us/join with Meeting ID 333262992 and Password = openbook) + Share page: https://padlet.com/david_benson/OpenBook 

May 14 | FN Ipp. 1–59 (Preface + Letters 1–5)

L1 An opening word for Naasicaa
L2 The world without and within
L3 Life’s meaning and uncertainty
L4 The doing of good and the persistence of evil
L5 The story of God and the human predicament

May 28 | FN IIpp. 60–110 (Letters 6–8)
L6 Faith and doubt in a perilous world
L7 The sign and contradiction of the community of faith
L8 Symbols and countersigns of spirituality

June 11 | FN IIIpp. 111–161 (Letters 9–12)
L9 Themes of life and threads of decay
L10 Passion, commitment and disillusionment
L11 Gratitude, wonder, creativity and the dulling power of conformity
L12 Mending and bending

June 25 | FN IVpp. 162–202 (Letters 13–17)
L13 Work and play in a world of inequality
L14 The reign of God and the human enterprise
L15 The Galilean prophet and the timeless Christ
L16 Time, finitude, death and the power of hope and transcendence
L17 Afterword

Hope to see you there!
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5 thoughts on “Open Book

  1. Pingback: Are Practices Passé | Christ's Pieces

  2. Pingback: Let’s forget communion? | Christ's Pieces

  3. Pingback: Open Book 2016: Community & Growth | Christ's Pieces

  4. Pingback: Practices | Christ's Pieces

  5. Pingback: Open Book on “Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home” | Christ's Pieces

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