I’m sitting at the airport in Seattle with time to kill so thought i would use the time to mull over some immediate reflections on my past 3 weeks here with COTA.
There are things that I think I can transport across the Atlantic and try out almost straight away. I suppose I am surprised by this as I only came looking for principles. I did not think things that are domne here would transport into British culture all that well. But, I think I have come away with pub theology and sacred cocktails as real possibilities in a Medway setting, albeit with a little alteration here and there to take account iof cultural differences – not so much US and UK but more Seattle and Medway. I have no problem with the idea and name of Sacred Cocktails, but I suppose I do wonder whether ‘Pub Theology’ as a name may put people off, or may make it sound a lot more academic that it is. Drinking beer and talking about God (which is essentially what theology is) is not that great a title either … so, readers – any suggestions?
I have been thinking along the pub thing for a while I guess but thinking I need others to help plan. I have seen at COTA that a topic only needs to be chosen, and the date, time and location can be shared on Facebook. If people come they come and a discussion happens, if they don’t, then it doesn’t. I think I am going to go ahead and see if this will work in our local setting – if no one tries then we will never know – I do seem to know a lot of people that like to talk spirituality/theology/about God AND drink beer … so who knows!
I think I have had a COTA insight, as well, into principles of community building. COTA seems to have always set out to build a community rather than looking to plant a church. Community, friendship, caring for each other are all quite central to COTA. They are not perfect, and they would be at the front of the line of people to say that, but they do community pretty well. They know how to eat and party, but i think that has a lot to do with being a church of under 30’s, which add an excitement to church that is lacking in some places. These people like to hang out together, so giving opportunitiers for community to grow in this way is important.
I think, as well, though that this aspect showed me that COTA knows how to party, but they also talk about fasting but have not worked out how to do this yet. That’s an observation that they are aware of ratehr than a criticism and it speaks of balance more than anything else. I don’t think COTA is unbalanced (far from it!), but it could be at risk of becoming so if things like fasting are not explored. For our community in Medway, we need to grow community but also look to a balance in how we operate and work out our spirituality.
I said these were early reflections – I possibly have more but then this nlog would be long and I have 10 hours on a plane ahead in which I can reflect more!
I believe as time goes on this experience is going to ooze more and more thoughts and reflections into my mind and possibly yhis blog, and hopefully into my practice.
If all goes well, in 2 hours I will be in the air and on my way home – I’m really looking forward to seeing my family!