Too many things going on in the past few days to capture complete reflections - so consider these thoughts as brief notes along the way.
- I'm impressed with the work the Catholic church is doing to effect change and shape peaceable conversation with and among Jews.
- I've never before realized how "small" the church of the Nazarene is as I've not only had to introduce myself personally, but denominationally to several persons in the past few days! I realize I am not a minority, but I have felt something like it here. Delighted to be here as one who adds a distinct perspective to conversations that are primarily among the largest groups - Catholics, Jews, and Lutherans.
- Had a delightful meal with an Conservative Jew who insured where we ate (a non-kosher restaurant), no one would notice (though she maintained a kosher meal herself!!) that someone at the table had bacon. Thankful for her willingness to sit among "goyim" (gentiles) - and yet, found it curious and funny that in my own tradition I might have to feel the same way about sitting at a table where someone at the table might be consuming liquor. Not sure what to say about it - just the curiosity that in our unique faith traditions we have different things that make us "unclean" or are perceived as "wrong/bad/sin" - and they are so very different. Bacon or Liquor. For different communities of faith, reading the same Scripture (!), these different things really do matter!
- Catholics "get" Christian art.
- Worshiped at a gorgeous, wonderful "cathedral" - the Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. But, it "felt" hollow as a mere 40 people were there at the start of the service with perhaps another 20 arriving late. The space - physically and with "choir" singing - literally felt empty. What does it mean that some places of "aesthetic" beauty for worship lack vibrant communities to "fill them"? I know I have experienced a greater "feeling" of "intimacy" and "spirit" among the equal number of persons I normally worship with - in a setting at my home congregation where most are poor, former addicts, and have been homeless.
- Sitting earlier today (and will be again for next two days) among a room full of key, significant leaders of significant organizations in and around the U.S., Europe and Israel. Not sure how I deserve the invitation - or if the invitation will come again - but feel humbled and honored to do my part to attempt to find my way to best advocate for others in advancing a peaceable future.