Thursday, October 4, 2012


Christianity for the Rest of Us
by Diana Butler Bass, 2006
1.  What "sacred word" came to your mind for the spiritual exercise on the first page?  The event chaplain's words were "holy and blessed," and Diana thought of "anxiety."

2.  Why do some churches thrive?
Bass is an author, a teacher, a person of faith.  Visit her website to learn more.


Bonnie Jacobs said...

1. I immediately thought of "light," then expanded it to "enlightened by light." Maybe "light" came to me because she "turned down the lights" and maybe "enlightened" came from my study of Buddhism, but the combination works for me. I guess I'm like Diana, in that I wanted that light back on! To enlighten me.

2. Some churches are intentional about faith practices like discernment, hospitality, testimony, contemplation, and justice (p. 7). Intentionality is like Buddhist "mindfulness," another connection. I want to try these spiritual practices in my community. We must live our tradition.

AuntyDon said...

1. After a few seconds, my mind went to "sacred silent space." This is a term that I use to get to Presence (my affectionate name for God)when I am in a contemplative mood. Darkness doesn't bother me; I think it helps me be focused and not distracted by outside stimuli.

2. The main reasons,IMHO, that churches thrive is compassion, justice, and willingness to be open and truthful about your faith and spirituality. Church is community and honesty and openness is vital to keep a healthy family. Just going through the motions will kill any relationship.

Zorro said...

1. What "sacred word" came to your mind for the spiritual exercise on the first page? Jesus...Jesus...Jesus.

2. Why do some churches thrive?
It seems to me that the mega-churches are teaching "feel good, pray for blessings, and get more, more, more". There is no focus on 'do unto others' or suffering or self denial for more. It all seems like The Secret from Oprah.

I hope I don't offend. But to me, following Jesus does not make life easier or promise to give me more 'stuff'... so much materialism. But these larger churches are attracting more and more people.

Shirley said...

1. Like Bass, I don't find such exercises very fruitful. Her thoughts of anxiety would best describe my reaction to such an exercise. Maybe I'm just too tense of a person to open up enough for this type of exercise. It reminds me of a workshop for Sunday School teachers that I was in quite a few years ago that included such things as falling back to be caught by the person behind as a demonstration of trust. It didn't make me feel trusting or comfortable.
2. Thriving churches would be ones in which the members share the same faith as well as feel a part of the church family.

alisonwonderland said...

I started reading the book without reading this question, and I just "observed" the spiritual exercise that Bass described. After reading the question, I went back and re-read, trying to put myself into the exercise. Immediately the sacred word "peace" came into my mind.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Interesting variety of words we came up with:

Bonnie = enlightened by light
Donna = sacred silent space
Mary = Jesus
Shirley = anxiety
Alison = peace