‘Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came!’
Is it cheesey that I just quoted the opening line from the theme song of the classic 80′s sitcom, Cheers? Perhaps it is. On the other hand, there was a reason that show and song lasted 11 seasons and it is still relevant today. As men, we long for connection, brotherhood, and trust and to process our thoughts with other men that know us.
Starting June 6th, Summer men’s depth group will begin at 5:30 every Thursday at Brady’s Specialty Coffee. We will spend about an hour going through a passage from Exodus while enjoying some coffee. Around 6:30, we will head over to Father Matt’s porch or somewhere else to enjoy some cold beverages and to talk about all the things we didn’t get to during the Bible study.
The Bible, Coffee, Beer, and good friends: does it get any better than this? I don’t think so. See you there!
I (Fr. Matt) continue to think a primary way in which the Divider attacks us is in our marriages.
Are you struggling in this area? If you are, you are not alone!
I’d encourage you to listen to this (and then share it with someone else you know is struggling):
If you listen to this, please drop me a line @ email@example.com to let me know what you think!
An ancient proverb, quoted by Joan Chittister in The Rule of St. Benedict, goes like this:
The ancients say that once upon a time a disciple asked the elder, “Holy One, is there anything I can do to make myself enlightened?”
And the Holy One answered, “As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.”
“Then of what use,” the surprised disciple asked, “are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?”
“To make sure,” the elder said, “that you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.”
I can think of few proverbs which highlight more effectively the difference between the older modes of Christianity of previous generations and more recent, contemporary approaches to the faith. Indeed, we live in a world (and nowhere is this more pernicious than in the Bible Belt of East Texas) in which the Christian faith ever craves and ever delivers (or tries to deliver) the latest, trendiest, and slickest that our modern, media saturated world has to offer.
In stark contrast to this stands the historic Christian faith (whether ancient or medieval) which emphasizes rootedness over mobility, patience over efficiency, community over independence, thought over emotion, and habit over whim, prayer over human achievement.
Now, at first one might think, “Hmmm … sounds like pre-modern Christianity has no chance of attracting the youth of today.”
Actually, the opposite is the case: today’s young people are sick and tired of the pressure, the stress, the artificiality, the superficiality which characterizes so much of secular life in the 2010’s.
Which is one reason I am glad to have Robert Finney on our team. Robert and I are prayerfully excited about the Fall 2012 semester among the college students of Tyler, during which our theme will be: “The Epiphany College Community: a new way of being Christian, that’s really, really old.”
Christians of previous generations engaged in radical practices, seemingly unknown to much of modern evangelicalism, such as eating together, engaging in dialogue together, and worshipping together.
Eating together. Robert and I are working with established members of the UT Tyler community, as well as with Christ Church families, to involve college students in a monthly dinner, which will give students the opportunity, in an unhurried atmosphere, to engage with others in the Epiphany Community and Christ Church, Tyler. CS Lewis and Tim Keller suggest that the Gospel spreads like a good infection in which we belong before we believe. What better context for these dynamics to spread than that of table fellowship?
Dialoging together. Not only over a shared meal, but also in the context of a weekly discussion of Pastor Gregory Boyd’s Letters from a Skeptic students will have the opportunity to do what, for many of them, is all too discouraged: to ask difficult questions about the Christian faith.
Worshiping together. All of this, the feasting, the discussing, will ultimately aim at worship. As Robert and I are seeing more and more clearly, the worship of God is what the human heart is built for. In this we agree with classical Anglicanism. Into this worship we prayerfully desire to invite the college students of Tyler and East Texas.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls….” (Jer. 6:16)
Nothing promotes growth in Christ more than gathering is small communities during the week!
Christ Church Neighborhood Groups are ramping up again for our second semester! These small communities of friends gather in people’s homes during the week and are centered on fellowship, study / discussion, and prayer.
Monday, November 5th, 5:30 @ BJ’s
Come talk about God and life with Father Matt and other friends in the Epiphany Community!
“Theology of Gender: Man & Woman in Scripture, Church, and Society” (Fr. Matt’s Sunday Morning Class)Posted in Soul Life on January 10, 2012 by epiphanytyler
During the Spring semester, Fr. Matt will be hosting a class on the theology of Gender.
The class will not be held this coming Sunday, January 14th, but will resume the following Sunday, January 21st.
Beginning with God’s creational design in Eden, we will be looking at male & female throughout the story of the redemption. How do they relate to each other? How do they relate to the world? We will also consider how the church has viewed these matters down through the centuries, together with a view toward sexuality & gender in contemporary society.