In many faith congregations and community organizations, there has been much recent discussion about the different strategies and tactics the Church can use to support undocumented people who are facing deportation.
"We are better together."
This is a motto that I embrace in my work with UniteBoston to build bridges across Christians. However, at LDI's Foundation of Leadership course in January, I realized that UniteBoston's leadership structure was not as strong as it could be. We have an awesome team of volunteers, but as the founding director of the organization, I tend to place the burden responsibility of tasks and execution on myself.
I was walking back to my pew after Eucharist when I pulled out my phone. Instinctively, I opened the popular app MyFitnessPal and searched for “communion” in its directory of food. I found myself choosing between several options: “Communion wafer and wine (5 calories),” “bread for communion (10 calories),” “Communion bread — Eucharist (0 calories)."
Over the past several weeks, the LDI staff has mutually developed a new set of values that establish the foundation of our work. In doing so, we hope to share what is important for us and reconnect to the ongoing process of discernment that is necessary for the Church to meet God's vision. Below, see our revised values and what they mean to the staff at LDI.
How can we become a Church that overturns injustice and empowers people on the margins of a community? To lead a Church that can make a real impact in the world, we need tools that can dismantle oppressive power structures and access the truth of our experiences. These tools must help us address the ego-centered ways we’ve learned to live so that we can become — as Jesus urges — “humble like [a] child.”
However, as I have grown, I began to see Lent differently. A few years ago, instead of asking myself, “What do I want to give up?” I asked, “What will help me reconnect me to God?” With this shift, Lent has become less about promoting my super-humanness and more about remembering my human need for God and others.
On Monday, February 6, LDI launched the Praxis Community, a new program which will challenge and support leaders in the church. Praxis participants will meet in small circles of learning and support to discuss challenges, build community, and share inspiration. By supporting active church leaders, this Praxis Community will help bring about a church that is responsive, connected to movements for justice, and fostering communities of healing.
There is something about being on retreat that serves as an invitation for me to notice the small things. The way metal spoon sounds as I stir the sugar into my mug of tea. The weight of the teabag as it fills with water, the way light pours into the windows of an old stone chapel, and the smell of match that has just been struck to light a candle on an altar.
At LDI, we train and coach our participants in community organizing and contemplative practices that can serve as the basis for an Awakened Church. On January 28th and 29th, LDI held its Foundations of Shared Leadership to introduce participants to the five organizing practices that shape the curriculum of our Formation Program.
On the first week of Epiphany, a glowing light shone bright in Sanctuary.
Two wise ones visited our manger storefront, and left us all in utter amazement.