- ReadThe Perils of ExclusionismJuly 5, 2020Cancelled In-Person Service
Happy Fourth of July!
I am sending out this email to make sure that all of you are notified that we will NOT be holding our in-person service tomorrow. This is due mostly to the new restrictions placed on churches as of last Wednesday by our governor. In addition, our area is seeing a significant increase in cases of the virus.
I have made this decision with much thought and prayer and yet I know that some of you may be disappointed. Please receive my sincerest apologies. Our service WILL still be available on Facebook, YouTube and our SCCIB website at 10:45 as in previous weeks.
As we celebrate this Independence Day, I am more and more aware of our dependence on God to see us through all of this. He alone has the answers and is the answer.
Let’s be sure to cast our cares upon Him each day. Please continue to pray for each other, text people and call each other. Know that you all are in our prayers as well.
God bless you all and we will see you just as soon as we can!
Non-Dual Thinking: Learning to See in Wholes in a Divided Nation
Our society would like us to think that it exists in a sandbox of paradoxes, contradictions, or problems (e.g., rich versus poor, black versus white, straight versus gay, Christian/religious versus non-Christian/religious, etc.). The task of mature religion, however, is to learn how to see things in light of their unity, while still honoring, creating space for, and protecting the differences that exist. This kind of art or way of seeing things can be called non-dual thinking.
Dualistic thinking, as opposed to non-dualistic thinking, is artificial thinking. It is egocentric thinking. It can't recognize the grey between the black and the white. Richard Rohr writes the following, “Our ego splits reality into parts that it can manage, but then we pay a big price in regard to actual truth or understanding.” This is what leads to exclusionism. Dualistic thinking only creates space for superficial transformation or, even worse, limits transformation to the superficial and behavioral changes (e.g., “We don’t associate with these kinds of people.” “We believe these doctrines/truths only.” “We only go to this kind of service.” “We don’t drink alcohol or caffeine.”). Although this kind of transformation is good for creating social order and homogeneous (of the same kind) groups, it doesn’t lead people to any meaningful experience of or union with God and, much less, experience of and union with fellow humans.
Richard Rohr also writes, “Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go; divided people see and create splits in everything and everybody.” Unless we learn to overcome dualistic thinking, we can’t interact with and love anyone or anything at any real depth. I believe we will not experience real transformation (spiritual, emotional, intellectual, etc.) – the kind of transformation that allows us to befriend people different than us, respect others opinions, protect the dignity of our fellow human beings, and, in the age of widespread systemic racism and bigotry, defend the rights of others that are different than us – unless we experience regeneration, transformation, salvation from our dualistic thinking, the kind of regeneration/transformation/salvation found in Christ.
“Reality is paradoxical and complementary. Non-dual thinking is the highest level of consciousness. Divine union, not private perfection, is the goal of all religion.”
1) In what ways to you recognize dualistic thinking in others?
2) In what ways do you recognize dualistic thinking in yourself?
3) What concrete steps can you take to grow from dualistic thinking to non-dualistic thinking?
Richard Rohr, Yes, and...: Daily Meditations (Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2019), 357.
- ReadHe's Coming SoonJune 28, 2020
Greetings to You All!
I trust you’re having a great Saturday!
Tomorrow Morning we’ll gather together at 10:45 for a great time together, with the Presence of the Lord and with the teaching of His Word.
Please make plans to be with us either in person or online by way of Facebook. YouTube or our sccib.com website. Please note that we are still requiring face coverings to be worn during the entirety of our in-person services at this time and our children will need to remain with their parents in the sanctuary for now.
I’m looking forward to a great Sunday Morning and I pray that you are as well.
- ReadMan of GodJune 21, 2020
Well… this is it! We’re finally able to meet in person tomorrow morning for church! I am very excited to see those of you who will be with us.
Please remember that masks will be required (we have extras) and we will be practicing all of the distancing regulations. Also, our ushers will be seating everyone so it would be wise to arrive several minutes prior to our 10:45 start time. Also, children will be seated with their parents in the main service for now.
We will also continue to broadcast the service on Facebook, YouTube and our SCCIB.COM website. I’m looking forward to a great Sunday and I pray that you are as well.
Happy Father’s Day to our Dads and I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend!
Community Is An Essential Service
Though it’s not always easy, building and living in community is a cornerstone of our human spirituality. In community we learn what confession and forgiveness are. Community is what helps us become aware of and control our individualism. Community is what helps us learn what humility is. Henri Nouwen writes, “People of faith need community, for without it we become individualistic and, at times, egocentric. As difficult as it is, community is not really an option in the spiritual life . . . without community, communion with God is impossible.”
We are called to worship God in community. This is why faith community is an essential service that houses of worship provide. Faith communities, such as the one that South Coast Church provides, are the platforms for people to express their spirituality and worship God together.
1) How do you experience community?
2) Why is community important to you?
3) How can you help others build community?
Henri J. M. Nouwen, Michael J. Christensen, and Rebecca Laird, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith (New York, NY: HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015), 114.