Last week I was privileged to present a workshop at the Associated Church Press convention about who we are and what we're currently doing as an (evolving) community of modern monastics.
Fancy title for my presentation: The Virtual Abbey: Community & Evangelization for the 21st Century. Since this was a convention for folks in the religion press, it was a welcomed opportunity to talk about where to find great stories about faith and religion these days. Our growth as a prayer community is a great story!
During the allotted hour, I talked about our ongoing conversations (e.g., inclusive language, what's our labora) and highlighted some lessons learned thus far (e.g., be centered in Christ, commit to ongoing communication). Later, while participating on a panel about blogging I talked about about how our blog/ezine is evolving.
And not for the first time I was asked if we see ourselves (or are perceived) as a substitute for church-the-building. More than one person wanted to know if we might be encouraging people to opt out of worship services.
As you might imagine, these questions allowed me to blather on* about:
- what it means to be the Body of Christ and the priesthood of all believers;
- how we can serve those healing from church-the-building encounters;
- where real and virtual worlds intersect; and
- spiritual practices v. sacramental events.
*Fueled by Diet Pepsi instead of the much preferred Diet Coke. Lord, have mercy.