Bear Creek Park is one of my favorite places to walk during our annual visit with family in Denver, CO. It is a little green space that runs along the borders of Bear Creek on the southern border of the city of Denver. I walked the path this morning and, as I came out from under the bridge, I found myself between two streams. I was overwhelmed with a meditation on the liminal space in which I walk, both physically in that moment, and metaphorically in my life journey.
First, let me explain liminality. I first encountered this word in a little book written by Alan Roxburgh at the turn of the century titled “Leadership, Liminality, and the Missional Congregation.” Roxburgh borrows the term liminality, and liminal space, from anthropology. It describes the time between times when boys in aboriginal cultures are taken from the village and into the wilderness to experience their rites of passage. When they return from liminal space they have been changed and are now accepted as men in society. Liminality is the state of being between two places in life and society and all the anxiety that comes with it.read more
I was sorting through some old notes this morning and I came across my visual notes from the CML Conference on the Missional Church and Digital Media. The presentations by Mary Hess and Elizabeth Drescher align so well with Deana Thompson And John Roberto’s presentations at the Rethinking Faith Formation. I put them all together here as a picture of how the missional church must imagine community as the virtual body of Christ as public companion with the world.
The Deep in the Burbs research question was: How might an increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations? Therefore, we must first address the obvious question. Did the increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity have any impact at all on the team’s ideation and praxis of spiritual formation? Then we can address the second, and more complicated question. If it did have an impact, how was it impacted? Once we have named the specifics of how the social Trinity had a direct impact on the team’s ideation and praxis of spiritual formation, then we can name certain implications that the DITB project might have for leadership in missional spirituality.read more
One of the most important findings from the DITB project is that method matters. The way in which we pursued this question is as much a part of the answer as any findings we may propose as a result. I will suggest, in this section, that the process we used in our project is a trinitarian praxis that can serve as a helpful model for missional leadership in the suburban context. The process to which I refer includes the following components: Dwelling in the Word, collaboratively creating action projects, creating spaces—both digital and physical—for ongoing communication and collaboration, and regrouping to engage in communicative, theological reflection on the actions.read more