Afterthoughts

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Creating Space for God’s Spirit

The room is centered on the Dream Tree. There are tables set up for communion as well. The Diamonds have the day off, so Ministry leaders are handling worship.

  • “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison plays
  • A young Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell

Worshiping with Our Children

  • Sally (Mind) leads our children in talking about Journey dreams and service

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

  • Margaret (Bones) makes announcements – how Journey is God’s Hands in the world
  • Maria (Heart) welcomes us, talks about series, and leads us in a breathing exercises

Exploring God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • Maria and Laura Q. read several poems

“The Silk Worm” by Rumi

I stood before a silk worm one day.
And that night my heart said to me,

"I can do things like that, I can spin skies,
I can be woven into love that can bring warmth to people;
I can be soft against a crying face,
I can be wings that lift, and I can travel on my thousand feet
throughout the earth,
my sacks filled
with the
sacred."

And I replied to my heart,

"Dear, can you really do all those things?"

And it just nodded "Yes"
in silence.

So we began and will never cease.

“Otherwise the Darkness” by St. Thomas Aquinas

I have a cause.
We need those don't we
Otherwise the darkness and the cold gets in
and everything starts to
ache.

My soul has a purpose, it is
to love;

if I do not fulfill
my heart's vocation,
I suffer.

“The Sun Never Says” by Hafiz

Even
after
all this time
the sun never says to the earth,

"You owe me."

Look
what happens
with a love like that--

it lights the whole
world.

“It Stops Working” by Kabir

Look
what happens to the scale
when love
holds
it.

It
stops
working.

  • Laura Q. (Heart) reads from Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  • Woodie (Heart) shares photos and leads a discussion of Journey Heart dreams
  • Terry (Mind) reads Matthew 19:13-15 

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.

  • Bryant leads a discussion of Journey Mind dreams

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • We sing “We Are One in the Spirit” a cappella
  • Susan C. (Bones) leads a discussion of Journey Bones service and dreams
  • Susan leads an offering prayer
  • The Dream Tree movie plays as the ushers pass the baskets

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Alan (Strength) reads from Philippians 2:3-7

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

  • Brian K. (Strength) reads a hymn by Georgia Harkness ca.1939

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together,
A world united, righting every wrong;
A world united in its love for freedom,
Proclaiming peace together in one song.

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth's kingdoms:
Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him,
And hearts united learn to live as one.
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations;
Myself I give thee, let thy will be done.

  • Susan McK. (Strength) leads a discussion about the Strength outreach hopes
  • Paula (Soul) leads a discussion about Journey Soul dreams
  • We share God’s love in holy communion together as a community
  • “One Dream” by Sarah McLachlan plays during communion, along with quotation on screen

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -- Nelson Mandela

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” -- Aldous Huxley

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.” -- Jack Layton

“In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” -- Jimi Hendrix

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” -- Joel A. Barker

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -- Robin Williams

“I am not trying to change the world. I am just offering my gift that God gave me, and if somebody is moved by it, that's beautiful.” -- Lenny Kravitz

“It's a philosophy of life. A practice. If you do this, something will change, what will change is that you will change, your life will change, and if you can change you, you can perhaps change the world.” -- Vivienne Westwood

“It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.” -- Gloria Steinem

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -- Mother Teresa

“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.” -- Orson Scott Card in Speaker for the Dead

“Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.” -- Stanley Hauerwas

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -- Henry David Thoreau

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -- Eleanor Roosevelt

“All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them.” -- Walt Disney

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your own path.” -- Buddha

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” -- Buddha

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” -- James M. Barrie

  • Video of “I Could Be a King” by The Dunwells plays
  • Margaret (Shepherds) talks, including reading her essay from 2009, “What We’re Doing Right”

In the last year, my husband Terry and I have had the opportunity to attend several conferences on the Emergent Church movement, where ministers, seminarians, scholars and laity met to discuss the many changes Christianity is facing in this country and around the world, and to share ideas of how to respond. There were many presentations and conversations stirring so much in our minds and hearts and souls that Terry likened it to drinking from a fire hose. Yet even with heads spinning, one thing was made very clear to us at these conferences: Journey is doing a whole lot of things right. So let’s recognize this and be glad of it, but also be very grateful. The leaders of our community prayed for God’s guidance in establishing, organizing and running this place, and I think they got it.

Love is at the core of our church, and that is so very important. Love at the core leads naturally to radical inclusion, to honesty, to acceptance of each other and of ourselves as broken and imperfect -- but always beloved -- children of God.

Love at the core helps keep out ego and pride. It makes arguments over fine points of doctrine -- or even major points of theology -- beside the point.

Love at the core creates a strong sense of community. It energizes us and sustains us. Love leads us where God wants us to go. Love at the core is the Kingdom of Heaven.

What else? We laugh! We try not to take ourselves too seriously, which is a good immunization against a smug, cooler-than-thou attitude. We enjoy each other: love again. We express and respect differences of opinion, when allowing or even mentioning them within other congregations is often avoided assiduously.

We have amazing leaders. Our shepherds do a scary thing: they open themselves to listen to the Divine in a genuine and personal way. They face the Mystery of God so that they may guide our community in Love. That’s hard, and frightening, and frustrating, and confusing. And yet our shepherds do this amazing thing with humility, sincerity, dedication and remarkable success.

We have seriously kick-butt pastors! They lead by example in love and acceptance, in brokenness and healing. By reminding us all again and again of their own human frailties, they give all of us permission to make mistakes, to be accept our own brokenness, and to LOVE THE MESS!

Our pastors freely admit their own ignorance. Instead of dispensing The Answers from on high, they reflect our questions back to us, encouraging us to find answers within the community, from one another and within ourselves.

An Episcopal dean from Chicago pointed out that for a church of our size to have three pastors shows the dedication our community has to Journey. But I think it also shows what deep dedication the pastors give to all of us.

I am deeply grateful to God for Journey. We are not calm and sedate, or slick and shiny, or uniform, or even very organized. Instead we are rowdy and messy and imperfect and joyful. I believe God has use for us in all our imperfection, and I’m grateful to be a part of that with all of you.

Go Out to Serve the Community with Your Dreams

  • Margaret dismisses us
  • “I Could Be a King” plays again as folks clean up the room

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