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Posts tagged ‘resources’

Invitation to a Journey

On April 11, BODY | Oak Cliff will host its 3rd Faithwalking 101 weekend retreat. The Faithwalking experience challenges Christians to wrestle with this basic question of our faith:  What does it mean to join God on His mission to reconcile the world to Himself and to restore individuals and communities to His intended design?

Many of us are aware of this calling, this invitation to the abundant life, but something keeps us from living into it. The 101 retreat is an opportunity to begin exploring what that something is. This is not a pep rally calling you to ‘try harder’ – most of us are already trying as hard as we possibly can. Instead, it’s the chance to view our spiritual lives from a completely different perspective and to consider the possibility that we will never be free to live in missional obedience until we give God’s Spirit access to the hidden and broken places in our hearts.

The retreat introduces participants to a mental model of discipleship composed of three core components: 1) radical obedience that leads to a missional life, 2) a reflective life of increasing intimacy with God that leads to greater stewardship in the places we live and work, and 3) authentic community mobilized around a shared vision. Each component is experienced throughout the weekend as the retreat follows a rhythm of presentation (the call to obedience), guided solitude (the reflective life), and a time of sharing in a small group (authentic community).

Let me be clear about one thing – this is not an invitation to a “retreat experience.” Most of us have had our fill of spiritual experience for the sake of spiritual experience, the kind that terminates on ourselves and leads nowhere. What we’re offering is the chance to begin a journey of faith that will lead you places you’ve never been able to go before. It will require a good deal of hard work and there will be many challenges along the way, but the path is a place free from shame and legalism – it is the path of the abundant life of Christ.

If this invitation stirs something up in you, please consider joining us the weekend of April 11 to consider these questions further. We have limited capacity, but hope to accommodate as many as possible on this retreat. To register your interest, fill out this simple form and someone will be in touch with more information (see http://bit.ly/FW101interest).

For more information:

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CELEBRATE | Joining Community Gatherings

Fall is the season of holidays.  While many of us are busy planning gatherings for family and friends, take a moment to remember that good neighboring can be as simple as saying “Yes” to invitations you receive, and joining what is already happening in your community.

The saying goes, “It’s easier to catch a wave than to make one,”  and this holds true in neighboring as well.  Why not show appreciation for what your neighbors are already doing to form community?  Accepting invitations and showing up at events are some of the best ways to see your neighbors in their own contexts and to learn their stories.

Formal Gatherings

If your neighbors have parties and invite you, take them up on the offer!  Consider the number of times Jesus joined people in their homes.  Beyond participating in a social custom to be polite,  Jesus recognized the power of meeting people on their own spaces, on their own terms.  By accepting their hospitality and showing he was comfortable in their homes,  they in turn became more open with him.  More often than not in scripture, these encounters were deeply transformational for the people with whom Jesus interacted (Luke 7:36-50, Luke 19:1-10).

Another formal gathering context for you might be a neighborhood association.  By virtue of living in a certain area, you have the opportunity to work with other homeowners to do common good projects for your neighborhood.  Whether it’s a small group or a vibrant association, lend your help and see how your participation strengthens those relationships and serves your neighborhood.

Informal Gatherings

Even if you don’t have the benefit of neighbors who are party planners or a neighborhood association in the area, our community is full of ways to be engaged in getting to know those around you.  Where is life happening in your neighborhood, and how can you join?  Below are some links to find out about local opportunities.

Follow Jesus’ example and take advantage of the myriad of ways to be intentional in your community by accepting invitations celebrate and taking the initiative to be engaged.  Join community gatherings, and party with a purpose.

Resources

Go Oak Cliff: http://www.gooakcliff.org/

Oak Cliff Blog (Dallas Morning News): http://oakcliffblog.dallasnews.com/

The Advocate: http://oakcliff.advocatemag.com/

A Call to Neighboring

How well do you neighbor?  You may never have considered the question, for we traditionally have thought of “neighbor” as a noun – just the person that lives next door.  But “neighboring?”  That entails actual and meaningful engagement with those living around you, the hard work of seeking the common good of all in your neighborhood.

A “neighbor” is both the person who lives near another and one who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans.  Are you that kind of person?  Most of us would give ourselves a pat on the back in this regard.  I’m a “good neighbor!”

But, “to neighbor,” that’s all together different.  As a verb, neighboring sends us out and challenges us to really know those in our community.  Think of how different would our cities be if people actually took the time to develop relationships and really care for one another.

In the scriptures, a primary instruction of Jesus is to “love our neighbors as ourselves.”  However, the truth is many of us really don’t have any kind of meaningful relationship with those nearby.   Reasons abound – busyness, fear, neighborhood and home design, other associations – but the command remains the same!

Therefore, over the next eight weeks, BODY Oak Cliff will be exploring this issue, sharing stories and providing practical resources for engaging with your neighbors.  The initiative will be in conjunction with several Oak Cliff congregations that will be focusing their October Sunday services on the call to neighboring.

I hope you will follow the conversation and consider moving toward greater engagement with your neighbors!  Are you willing to answer the call?

(See http://bodyoakcliff.net/neighboring for more resources).

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Lunch & Learn | Neighbor the ‘Hood 

09.24.13 - L&L (Neighboring)

TOMORROW!!!  On September 24, join us for a community brown-bag discussion on neighboring.

Mayor Mike Rawlings’ primary GrowSouth priority is to “strengthen neighborhoods.” Considering Jesus’ call to “love your neighbors as yourself,” how can we as people of faith support his agenda by getting to know and loving the people in our community?

Tuesday, September 24 | Noon – 1:00PMs

LifePoint Church | 3203 W Davis Street, 75211 | Just east of Westmoreland

Registration begins at 11:30AM (Come & Visit!)

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National Night Out Against Crime

On Tuesday, October 1, head out for the National Night Out Against Crime event from 5:00-9:00pm at the Kiest Park WPA Stone Pavilion!

National Night Out

Councilmen Dwaine Caraway (D4) and Scott Griggs (D1) are joining forces to provide a Community-wide event for area residen

ts. Many local neighborhood associations within District 4 and District 1 will be participating.

The councilmen are providing the BBQ meats and asking participating neighbors/Neighborhood Associations to bring sufficient side dishes and desserts (disposable containers and serving utensil are strongly recommended).
Bring your family and neighbors and your chairs for a lot of fun and a chance to meet new neighbors!Lots of bands, kid’s activities including bounce house, safety information, DPD and Dallas Fire Rescue, ballet folklorico, and great FOOD!

Mental Illness and The Church

With the recent death of Pastor Rick Warren’s son, mental illness has been in the news. As a high profile Christian leader, the tragedy has sparked debate in the public forum about our care for the mentally ill. It’s good to see such an important issue discussed, awareness raised, and stigma confronted – just not under such heart wrenching circumstances!

Unfortunately, some of the response, especially among professing Christians, has been quite sickening. Judgment, condemnation, and ignorance has trumped mercy, love, and wisdom. It should not be so!

Therefore, this past Tuesday, BODY hosted a previously planned Lunch & Learn forum on mental illness. Joshua Pulis, Program Director at the Well Community, lead a great session on understanding mental illness and how the Church can compassionately reach out to those suffering. Follow BODY’s blog over the next few weeks as we put out some additional resources on this issue (tag = “Mental Illness”).

Until then, keep on praying for the Warren’s. May greater understanding and compassion for those suffering under the burden of mental illness flourish among God’s people!