CAPC Oakland

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

Blogging Towards Sunday, January 29, 2023

Mark 3:1-12
“To say that one is ‘spiritual but not religious’ or ‘spiritual and religious’ is often a way of saying, ‘I am dissatisfied with the way things are, and I want to find a new way of connecting with God, my neighbor, and my own life.’ It might not be a thoughtless mantra at all — in many cases, it may well be a considered commentary on religious institutions, doctrine, and piety.”1

“Spirituality is about personal experience — the deep realization that dirt is good, water is holy, the sky holds wonder; that we are part of a great web of life, our home is in God, and our moral life is entwined with that of our neighbor. But none of this is for the sake of feeling good, individual prosperity, or guaranteeing a blessed afterlife. It is about tracing the threads of the interconnected universe, about finding God in nature and in community — and, in finding God, discovering that we really are one. The spiritual revolution is a protest movement against forms of religion that have lost the binding vision of peace, wisdom, and equanimity here on earth. But for a spiritual revolution to make any real difference, it must reclaim the primal sense of religion — the ‘we’ — the power that binds us to one another, to God, and to the world. To encounter God here, we must walk out of buildings and discover the life of the commons.”2


We’re seeing an acceleration  of church closures following the pandemic.  With buildings closed, congregations dwindled unsure of how to be church, while a younger generation walked out of the building, abandoning Christianity.  Is it that people don’t want faith, or God known in Jesus?; Or could it be that many are looking for a different way to engage God?
Questions for Reflection  & Examen:

·  What engaged, enraged, or surprised you in these texts?
·  We are told that the “they” – the opponents of Jesus – are setting this whole scene up to catch him breaking the law in the hopes of embarrassing or arresting him.  Jesus says that they have hard (or rebellious) hearts. How do they treat the man with the withered hand in all of it?  How do they see him as a human being and brother?
·  Why do the crowds follow Jesus?  What does it mean that the unclean spirits want to recognize the power of
   Jesus and that he silences them?
·     What invitation do you hear the Spirit of God speaking to you – or to us, as a church – to act, speak, be or change through this word of scripture?

—1 Diana Butler Bass. Christianity After Religion
—2 Diana Butler Bass. Grounded: Finding God in the World A Spiritual Revolution

Read more about the challenges the church is facing, and also our society around loneliness and social fitness:

Thousands of churches closing every year in U.S. (the Houston Herald)


Can More Church Heal What Ails the Lonely Heart? (David French – the Atlantic Newsletter)

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 January 28, 2023 by in Blogging Towards Sunday.
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