Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Violence, Religion and the American Soul

Lent Looms. And so do plans for our annual "Lent Event" -- held this year February 8-10 here on the campus of All Saints Church in Pasadena. Here's the scoop for those you are interested and might event want to come join us!
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Lent calls us into the desert of self-examination.

We are challenged by the life of Jesus and of the prophets before him, to enter into periods of sobering solitude, periods in which we look ourselves clearly in the eye, searching for authentic elements of self which we somehow dropped and abandoned along the journey’s edge.

This is difficult work, it requires courage, and is best accomplished when Easter’s oasis of hope and unconditional love shine at the other end of the 40 day spiritual trek.

This year the All Saints Church Lent Event invites us into a community experience of self-reflection, an examination of our individual conscience and that of our collective soul.

· How do we process the violence and injustice, which spin around and through us without becoming numb to self?
· What happens to our spirit when the world seems so far from our control that we choose to turn our backs on injustice and violence in order to function in our daily lives?
· And what about the guilt in all of this, once we seek to reclaim those elements of conscience and self, abandoned along the way in order to survive?
· How does America heal itself into wholeness and how do we begin to reconcile ourselves with the people of the world whom we have dominated, assaulted and forgotten?

These are desert questions, questions which require faith and courage, best asked and explored in community, with guides and gear, compasses and beacons, and most of all with God’s promise of healing grace and restorative love.

We have invited three great teachers to guide us in an exploration of our collective self, to share their understanding of the human condition, and to illustrate hope for change and renewal.

Michael Battle has taught and written out of his experience in residence with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and offers stunning insight into the nature and practice of reconciliation.

JoAnne Terrell brilliantly illustrates theologies of suffering and injustice and challenges Christianity to turn away from oppressive violence, racism, sexism, and domination.

James Carroll continues to invite us into the discovery of authentic Christianity and illustrates the fundamental flaws of atonement theology as a justification for Christian anti-Semitism, Zionism, and war.

In this, our 125th year, All Saints Church has the opportunity to take on the enormous challenges of these and other questions of systemic violence– and we are up to the task. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of this crucial conversation!

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For more information, check our our website or contact Anthony Parker.

3 comments:

RonF said...

How does America heal itself into wholeness and how do we begin to reconcile ourselves with the people of the world whom we have dominated, assaulted and forgotten?

By taking the difficult and costly path of trying to fix what we've broken.

Muthah+ said...

When I get down and funky about the condition of the Church, I love to check out All SS website or listen to one of Ed's sermons. It reminds me of the Church that I aspire to.

There are things that you at All SS cannot do that I can do in my tiny little church. The single celled intimacy is not available there, but you keep the vision that we in small towns try to expand--the kind of community of faith that makes this earth a world worth living in. That you all can proclaim to the IRS what it means to be Christian means that we can speak to our village boards about how we can live in harmony. Thanks for the witness. We will try to share ours with you.
Its what blogging is all about.

Father Tom said...

This sounds very interesting; although, I will have to admit that the title of the event sounds like a Michael Moore documentary - which makes me want to know more! I am hoping that All Saints will put more information on their website so that others may participate via the web.