Thursday, June 2, 2011

How To Disciple A Community By Commissioning


We will ‘rhyme’ some sequences. A & B.

A is the sequence in a worship service.

B is a sequence in history.

Then we will show how to disciple in A.

We will apply this to B.
[Then there will be additional material, for background. Please bear with me. Others will do better: Proverbs 18:17, nuanced.]

How to disciple in A, sequence in worship service--See ‘What Would A Commissioning Minister Do?’ here:

Here are 3 examples of B, sequence in history. 1—North’s book ‘Crossed Fingers’ has many sequences of events that follow a 5-point pattern. 2—Jordan’s booklet ‘Crisis, Opportunity, and the Christian Future’ has a 4 sequence, and a 3 sequence. When we add ‘in’ before, and ‘out’ after, we get 5 from 3. 3—Chapter 5 of Gardner’s ‘Beyond Belief’ shows how the revolutions of the West have followed a 4 sequence.

So, when we write the history of a community, we will write it as a sequence, and show that we are now in that part of the sequence that is similar to the commissioning (benediction, sending out) of the worship sequence.

Example: Pella, Iowa. The founders of Pella were called out of Holland by the conditions there, and got new life in America, arriving in 1847. The first two in the sequence.

Until 1922, when ‘A Souvenir History of Pella’ was written, and 1936 with the first Tulip Time community celebration, they were living in the word, let’s say. The third in the sequence. [I have better resonances in some of the other analogous sequences. For instance, in Jordan’s Law-Lyric-Evaluation-Fact, the Lyric stage is happily living, and the Evaluation is highlighted by the book and celebration.]

Until now, A. D. 2011, the residents of the Pella community have been a community with celebration. (And there is much eating!). Similar to Communion in a liturgical service, as getting out of Holland was like being Called, and getting to America was being Cleansed.

So now we are in the Commissioning stage of the 5Cs of worship, applied to history. Again, see ‘What Would A Commissioning Minister Do?’.

Here we put forth two principles from Pastor Nolder. 1—As you are given, you are to give to others. 2—Christianity is the only religion in which you are supposed to be what you are, that is, created in God’s image, the image of God.

Putting these two things together with the fact that the name ‘Pella’ means refuge, and that since the founders and followers of Pella have been given refuge, we ask this: In what way(s) can Pella now GIVE refuge, since that is what those made in the image of God would do, give as they were given.?

Here are 4 categories in which refuge might be given. These 4 are based on Rosenstock-Huessy’s book, ‘The Multiformity of Man,’ available free on line, here:

Shortly, for our purposes, we can list these 4, in some sense corresponding to orders of society. Tribal, Empire, Israel, Greece. Community, Business, Ecclesiastical, Educational.

I invite discussion on the forms of refuge to be offered under each of these headings. I have good ideas, but perhaps they are not the best, in that as a pastor dies for his flock (hands laid on at ordination, etc.) so one who will commission a community must so identify himself with it that he knows what technological innovations have caused the community to be able to act over greater distance, and in shorter time, but at the same time have destroyed the old society, a new one being reborn, in a sense.

In Universal History 1954, in lectures around 23 and 24 (a Dartmouth course) ERH recounts the 4 fronts of in-out-forward-back for each of the orders of society, and their post-Resurrection glorifications.

One who would commission Pella/Refuge would do that, for each of the 4 sides of the town square, on which the chronology of Pella is written, the historical turning points being when the direction of travel in this memory palace is changed.

The first side starts west of the SW corner, and proceeds to the SE corner, 1847: Arrival in Pella of the 100. Going north, we reach 1922 at the NE corner. Going west we reach A. D. 2011 at the NW corner, at which time we commission Pella to be what she is, Refuge, as she is sent out from this time, with a blessing command.

Here is a table to be filled in:

To 1847, community, business, religion, education, altering technological innovation..
To 1922, community, business, religion, education, altering technological innovation.
To 2011, community, business, religion, education, altering technological innovation.

What would be some examples? Change of language. John Hospers, Libertarian candidate for President in a972, I believe, did not speak English at home. He was born in 1918.

The pioneers traveled by sailing ship, I believe, and covered wagon. But between 1847 and 1922 in came the railroad, the telegraph, and the telephone, and radio. 1922-2011 saw airplane, television, moving pictures, etc. From 2011 on it would seem that the internet, etc. would be big.

In education, Central College in town was founded by Baptists, but now is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, and 25% of her students are Roman Catholic. PEACE, a homeschool group is big in the community, and Pella Christian schools are too.

In religion, it is said that this is a Christian Reformed community, but the percentage of church attendance in all types of churches is below 50%.

Businesses include one of the top 100 companies to work for, Pella Corp. (windows), and the Vermeer Corporation, which has 2 full-time chaplains, and brings in religious speakers.

There is more, but this is how one would disciple a community by commissioning her. Put her history in a sequence analogous to a worship sequence, and having written it that way, you are in the commissioning position, the loving imperative that she be her name, when you have died and been reborn in that history, as outlined above.

I invite discussion. I have attempted much shorter such efforts with St. Louis (he was a Crusader, and a saint—and what are these today?) and Boulder, Colorado (briefly, the rock of Washington that the ‘liberals’ governing Boulder thought they could depend on, has become sand in the machinery of good local government).

Your commission: Fill in the blanks.

Love in King Jesus,

Chuck Hartman
PS: More can be said. This is pretty good for three pages. In my personal 5-point life, 1 is rhyming covenant sequences, and 5 is this honoring of the past (father and mother) so as to live well and prosper in the future (what the Lord our God has given us). 2 is respectively are Lectionary Historical, in which periods of time are divided into 49ths, one of the 49th for each respective week of the year. 3 is The Symphony of History, which I claim is analogous in orientated to the earth beneath (people) , as the liturgy of the church was, oriented to the heavens above in the first 1000 years, and the scientific method was, oriented to the waters under the earth in the second 1000—this is a sketch. 4 is a calendar that rhymes 30 covenant sequences. Key initial parts are one book of the Bible per each of the 49 weeks of the year, and renaming the days to reflect the new firmament of Ephesians 2:6.

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