Keith read Psalm 22 as our Sacred Text.
James did the "thoughts to spur more thoughts."
Among other things, he talked about C. S. Lewis, after his conversion, saying of his agnostic/atheist period, that he was just angry at God for not existing.
When we came back after breakout, Laura T. picked up on James' mention of Jacob wrestling with the angel and commented that she really likes that Jacob doesn't leave the encounter unscarred.
She also said that often we're wrestling with the wrestling, and that that just makes things worse for ourselves.
Have I mentioned that everything makes me think of DBT these days? I talked some about "radical acceptance" -- which I said is not my strong suit :) -- and "doing what's effective." I said that lots of us come from backgrounds that encouraged us to deny/repress our anger at God and that's definitely not healthy, and so we need to find a middle ground -- to experience our anger, but not dwell in it, and to do what we need to with it, that sometimes you need to go and yell at God and sometimes you need to go for a walk and try to let go of the anger.
Lisa talked about William Schultz's article "What Torture Has Taught Me." Apparently he has done a lot of work with Amnesty International with torture survivors and is also a minister and he found himself wondering... if those survivors showed up at his church, what would they think of the theology he espoused? would they find it naive? would they find it deep and meaningful?
I thought of Mariella at Art Night last week talking about someone saying that your theology shouldn't be anything you "can't say in front of burning children."
I Googled just now for [theology "burning children"] and yay, GoogleBooks.
Irving Greenberg's principle that no statement, theological or other, can be made "that would not be credible in the presence of the burning children."9 (p. 128, Long night's journey into day: a revised retrospective on the Holocaust by Alice Eckardt & Arthur Roy Eckardt)... Possibly I have a new reading project? /o\? In skimming through the footnotes, Moltmann's Crucified God got referenced a lot, and yeah...
9. Greenberg, "Cloud of Smoke," p. 23
[which I think (doing more GoogleBooks search) is: Irving Greenberg, "Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire: Judaism, Christianity and Modernity after the Holocaust," in Auschwitz: Beginning of a New Era? ed. Eva Fleischner (New York: KTAV, 1997), pp. 1-55]
P.S. Regular Google got me a top hit of a blogpost that opens with the quotation:
“No statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children.” Irving GreenbergBut now I have a booklist. So that's a win, right?
At the v. beginning of service, there were only 4 of us. Keith had set the circle for 10 (including Tara's seat behind the keyboard). I thought about how I really liked when Rest and Bread was small and how now it being small is mixed with sad feelings for me -- missing the people who aren't here (though some of the people I was missing seeing showed up in the next few minutes) and also feeling like, "We made changes to this service, and so it's no longer the service that brought me into this church, and if all that change is for nothing I'm gonna be pissed."
Once the seats had filled up, I thought of the Passover tradition of leaving an empty chair for Elijah and thought, "Leaving an empty chair indicates symbolically that this space is always open to new/more people, that there is always enough space for more people."
We actually ended up having to pull out 2 more chairs as people trickled in.