Praying the Beatitudes

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Last evening, Mark Scandrette invited us into a Beatitudes prayer of practice and posture.

Take time each day to reflect and pray together as we step into the Way of Jesus.

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Lead us in the way of trust (posture: open hands).

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Lead us in the way of lament (posture: head in hands).

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Lead us in the way of humility (posture: palm flat on heart).

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (or justice), for they will be satisfied.

Lead us in the way of justice (posture: clenched fists crossed).

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Lead us in the way of compassion (posture: make heart with hands).

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Lead us in the way of right motive (posture: jazz hands).

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Lead us in the way of peace-making (posture: stretch out and clasp hands together).

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Lead us in the way of surrender (posture: hands crossed, ready for arrest).

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who came before you.

Lead us in the way of radical love (posture: arms outstretched, in posture of a cross).

Everyday Story | Vanessa Sanders

I was a part of the Enneagram Circle that just recently ended. Every week we were all surprised at how quickly the time went because the discussion times were so enjoyable, especially one night where we met on the Kludt's front porch. The conversation would go back and forth and there were many laughs. I remember coming into the Circle one night worn down, feeling like a very unhealthy version of myself, but by the end of our time I felt like our time together had given me grace and encouragement and lightened my mood.  We have been coming out of a hard season of change and I have felt very focused on myself and my little family. It can be incredibly hard to look outside myself and focus on what ways who I am can be used to better those around me. This Circle, and Dave leading it, did a great job at pulling us all out of ourselves and challenging our perception of how we can use the way we were made for the good of the world.

I was a part of the Enneagram Circle that just recently ended. Every week we were all surprised at how quickly the time went because the discussion times were so enjoyable, especially one night where we met on the Kludt's front porch. The conversation would go back and forth and there were many laughs. I remember coming into the Circle one night worn down, feeling like a very unhealthy version of myself, but by the end of our time I felt like our time together had given me grace and encouragement and lightened my mood. 

We have been coming out of a hard season of change and I have felt very focused on myself and my little family. It can be incredibly hard to look outside myself and focus on what ways who I am can be used to better those around me. This Circle, and Dave leading it, did a great job at pulling us all out of ourselves and challenging our perception of how we can use the way we were made for the good of the world.

Open Door Pulse | Extending the Eucharist

To eat this particular meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic humanness,
which involves our need not just for food but for each other…
The next time you walk down the street, take a good look at every face you pass
and in your mind say, Christ died for thee.

That girl. That slob. That phony. That crook. That saint. That damned fool.

Christ died for thee.

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee.
— Frederick Buechner

This Week

This past Sunday focused on the centrality of the Eucharist in the witness of Open Door. We talked about the centrality of the practice in our Gathering space and brainstormed what it might looks like to "extend the Eucharist" into everyday life. In our neighborhoods, offices, friend groups, how might we position ourselves to embody this gift? How can we live lives that are interruptible by those around us? Does the way we live allow for treating others with grace? With hope? With love?

We receive this perfect gift, imperfectly, and then we go out and we extend it, imperfectly, trusting that God is making all things new. 
 

This gift of Eucharist humbles us;
        God offers us grace that we might receive. 

This gift of Eucharist center us;
        through Jesus, we are a part of God’s family.

This gift of Eucharist scatters us;
        the Spirit sends us out to extend and participate in God’s mission.

A team from Open Door joined The Global Immersion Project for a weekend spent in the borderlands between the US and Mexico immersing into the human realities of our immigration crisis. As part of the weekend, we celebrated the Eucharist with a community divided by the border wall.

Click here for lots of upcoming events!

Open Door Pulse | The Jesus Way of Prayer

silence is the language of God,
all else is poor translation.
— Jaladdin Rumi

This Week

This week we explored the formative nature of the Jesus way of prayer - its rhythm, pace, and periods of quiet and stillness. Jesus was not driven by the tyranny of the urgent! This pace of life fueled Jesus to remain focused on weaving heaven and earth back together again...this pace pulled Jesus forward deeper into God’s mission and reinforced what to say no to and what to say yes to.

Then we had the opportunity to hear from a special guest, Jon Woolner's dad, who spoke about the practice of silent prayer and how listening to the still small voice of the Divine keeps us rooted in what is most real and good. 

We concluded our gathering with a communal time of silence centered around this prayer:

'Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me.’

Like the disciples in Luke 11, "Lord, teach us how to pray!" Teach us to pray in such a way that it inspires and invites us to participate in the re-creation of humanity and the world we live in.


New Spring Circles!

THE CONTEMPLATIVE JOURNEY: Prayer & Practice
Desired Outcome: This Circle will explore the contemplative journey that leads us to deeper union and connection with Christ, others, and our world, inviting us deeper into the action and mission of Jesus in all the places we live, work, and play. 

Led by Jon Woolner & Stan Hasegawa
Thursdays from 7-8:15PM, May 4-25
@ the Hasegawas, Concord
Email Jon to RSVP.

SAYING YES: Creating Spaces of Sanctuary and Welcome
Desired Outcome: This Circle digs into the theological concept of Sanctuary and considers what it looks like to be a space of sanctuary and welcome in our current political climate; what might it look like to 'say yes' to being a presence and space of sanctuary & welcome to those around us? 

Led by Dave Kludt
Thursdays from 12-1PM, May 18 & 25
@ online
Email Dave to RSVP.

(*If the dates/time do not work for you but are interested in tracking with this conversation, please let Dave know)

For the full list of Spring Circles, visit opendooreastbay.com/circles!


Click here to read more about upcoming events and current spring circles!

Everyday Story, by Everett and Dave

Everett recently picked out a book on rainwater and natural resources from the library and we've been reading it at night. One page has a picture of a man collecting water from a muddy stream, representing the 10% of the world's population that doesn't have access to clean water. For the last four nights, he's chosen to read this book and always wants to talk about the lack of access to clean water and how we can help.  Everett gets a small allowance every week that he divides into three jars - saving, spending, and giving. He has told us before that he wants to use all his giving money to help cats, but the other day he divided his quarters and decided that eight of them would go to help cats and twelve would go to help people get access to clean water. Invitation: Would you pray with us that we would be moved into action for the broken things in our world? Everett would also invite anyone interested to join him in investing in the work of Blood:Water Mission to help everyone have access to clean water.

Everett recently picked out a book on rainwater and natural resources from the library and we've been reading it at night. One page has a picture of a man collecting water from a muddy stream, representing the 10% of the world's population that doesn't have access to clean water. For the last four nights, he's chosen to read this book and always wants to talk about the lack of access to clean water and how we can help. 
Everett gets a small allowance every week that he divides into three jars - saving, spending, and giving. He has told us before that he wants to use all his giving money to help cats, but the other day he divided his quarters and decided that eight of them would go to help cats and twelve would go to help people get access to clean water.

Invitation: Would you pray with us that we would be moved into action for the broken things in our world? Everett would also invite anyone interested to join him in investing in the work of Blood:Water Mission to help everyone have access to clean water.