CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

October Practice :: Simplicity

In October we are wrestling and working with the theme of simplicity as an invitation to live simply and truly in the
“present” with what is as opposed to what we wish was or what used to be or what we want.  Our first session of this month’s theme was structured around the practice of a Holy Conversation – we dialogued and responded to several shorter texts from both within and outside of the Bible.  Here are the texts if you want to do your own Holy Conversation practice at home, or with another person.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”     – Paul’s Letter to the church in ancient Rome, 12:2

“Poverty has a very human face – one that is very different from ‘simplicity.’  Poverty is involuntary and debilitating, whereas simplicity is voluntary and enabling.  Poverty is mean and degrading to the human spirit, whereas a life of conscious simplicity can have both a beauty and a functional integrity that elevates the human spirit.” – Duane Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity.

“We don’t have to slavishly emulate, say, the Old Order Amish, who use no cars, electricity or alcohol; but we can profitably ask why it is that they suffer depression at less than one-fifth the rate of people in nearby Baltimore.” – Time Magazine, August 28, 1995

“According to holy scripture, there are three chief places where God reveals God’s self to us: on mountaintops, in the wilderness, and in the city.  The air is thin in the first; there are wild beasts in the second; but the city may be the hardest place of all to recognize the presence and activity of God.  There is a lot of sin, for one things, a lot of sadness and lostness and disorder.  And there are a lot of distractions, not least of which is our busyness, our scrambling efforts to feed all the hungers we meet.  It is hard to stay attentive to God’s activity when we are half dead from our own.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, Envisioning the City.

“Never apologize for being ‘just a kid.’  For you are the most important person in the world.  You are promise.  You are possibility.  You are hope when our hope has dimmed.  You are joy when our hearts are heavy  In you we see the world as we dream that it could be.  Remain excited at the discovery of a leaf; it tells us there is still beauty in the small, when our eyes have gotten too focused on the great.” – Ordinary Sacred, “Just a Kid” – Kent Nerburn

“Many feel that the most we can do is simply keep up; managing as best we can.  Our calendars are bursting, and we are busy; even children are busy.  We are working more and faster, in part because the incentive structures in our present economy have a bias toward either long work hours or multiple part-time jobs.  We work at these jobs to secure our sense of belonging and well-being, increasingly defined by access to the goods and services we need and want.” – Practicing Our Faith. “Hospitality” Dorothy C. Bass

 expanding your practice at home

In what ways do you think you need to simplify your life?

How does the practice of simplicity affect how we spend our money?; our time?; our relational energy?

Find practices online @

About capcoakland

We are a community of faith seeking to live God's will together: that space where the passions of our hearts and the needs of the world meet in our context of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Our perspective is based from a Christian center, open to the mystery of God's presence in our world. Our core values are celebration, community & prayer. This blog is our avenue for program updates and information.

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This entry was posted on October 18, 2012 by in Practice and tagged .
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