He suggested candy corn for Communion and I said I'd never been a big fan of candy corn -- but if the Communion bread were a big slab of chocolate, I would be into that. Keith [wow, I literally typed "Jesus" initially] was on board with that and said that the Cup could be, well, (fake) blood, which was fitting. We didn't talk any more about it, but I recalled thoughts I have had on Communion before and was increasingly enamoured of Communion that looks like dead body, even if only in a fake candy plastic way.
More seriously, Keith talked about Advent -- saying it was coming up but not. I know the last Sunday before Advent is November 23 (having done an Esther/Exodus and Acts "lectionary" for Ordinary Time), so I knew that Advent was ~8 weeks away, but I also knew that Advent isn't that far away when you're church planning.
I mentioned The Advent Conspiracy. We watched the video, and I suggested picking a theme for each week (we had talked about Advent candles before), say relationship, incarnation, sharing (I couldn't come up with a good Latinate word for that) ... I couldn't think of a fourth one; Keith suggested "activation." We read Psalm 146 in service, and reading it I thought maybe "worship" would be a possible theme week.
Ian H. came in about 6:10, just after we'd finished our conversation, and so I informed him that he'd conveniently missed our Lenten planning discussion, so he didn't have to do any work :) He didn't quite make victory arms, but something like it. He did ask, though, what FCS usually does for Advent.
He also asked about a Blue Christmas service, which was a really good question, because CAUMC used to host that and they no longer own their own space -- so I told him to talk to Somerville Clergy. (My guess is that FCS will host it, but...)
Keith used Mulder as his entry point into his Reflection on 2 Timothy 1:1-7(?) tonight. I thought of Jeremy :)
He talked about how our Christianity causes us to behave in the world in ways that often seem strange to people who do not share our paradigm.
In the Shared Reflection time, I said that I was struck, in listening to the reading, by the mention of laying on of hands. At Sacred Eros the other night, we had talked about how church/worship often gets so intellectual and abstract and I had invoked Christian ritual practices such as Communion and anointing with oil as really embodied incarnational practices, and so I was really struck by this mention of laying on of hands, as a way to transmit/recharge the Holy Spirit in one.
Jeff said that he was struck by the fact that Paul names Timothy's mother and grandmother but not his father or grandfather -- did he not have a father and grandfather? did they not share his beliefs? the latter of which makes much more poignant/resonant the idea about being alien.
Ian H. invoked Henri Nouwen's idea about the Call of the world (to be XYZ), versus God's call (to be human) ... and he said that God's Call is hard, and one thing that aids us is rootedness (which returns us to Lois and Eunice).
I did not say that I had re-gendered the Lord when I was listening to the reading, so Paul was "her prisoner," and that made me think of a femme domme, which in turn made me think a woman I know whose BDSM experiences (as a sub) I have read about online (and actually, I am likely conflating several women) and about the feelings of safety etc. she talks about in being hooded and etc., the way that being in such an enclosed space really focuses her senses, and etc. and etc. ... it was a really interesting angle for me into reclaiming some of the traditional language around "submitting" to God.
EarthSpirit OpenSing was happening up in the sanctuary, and Jess said she'd smelled food when she'd passed by. Ian H. joked about animal sacrifice, and I pointed out that we consume Body and Blood every week/month and commemorate the slaughter thereof every year and so I think there's a real authenticity and groundedness in animal sacrifice that I really appreciate/respect. I didn't get a chance to tell my story of how I would find Communion much more powerful if it involved real meat.
We (Ian H., Jeff V., Keith, Jess, me) ended up having a conversation about Sunday morning worship -- hymn sings, calls to worship, contemporary Christian music...
Jess, and to a lesser extent Jeff, both defended contemporary Christian music -- largely for the singability. Jeff said that people accuse it of being simplistic, but just because it doesn't try to give you an entire systematic theology or your entire liturgy in a single song ... it's a moment in the liturgy. He also said that a lot of the theology in those songs isn't bad -- well, some is; "like Jesus is my boyfriend?" Ian H. asked. There was some assent and I said, "That's only bad because you're male-gendering Jesus. Jesus is my Girlfriend is awesome."
Ian H. said, "What happened to 'Jesus within me'?"
I said, "But Jesus is incarnational -- Jesus is within us, and transcendentally beyond us, and immanently in relationship with us, because Jesus is the Godhead, and so Jesus is all those things."
Later, Keith commented, "Well since the Church is the Bride of Christ, it makes sense that Jesus would be your Boyfriend."
I said, "Or Girlfriend," and looked at Jess (who is a woman who dates women).
And then as if by way of explanation, I said, "my best friend's lesbian christology, let me show you it" (and yes ma'am I emailed everyone that link after I got home. I really thought I had already emailed it to Ian H., actually).