Friday, 15 June 2012

Our first 'cafe conversation'

The Anabaptist style of 'doing church' is less directed towards institutional expression, and more inclined towards different kinds of gathering and dispersal: the pattern seen in the Gospels.

So we in Exploring Anabaptism Scotland decided that it would be a good idea, following the example of Jesus' earliest followers in emphasising food and friendship around the table as a way of creating community, to hold a series of small "cafe conversations" rather than big speaker meetings - though we will be holding a 'Disorganised Religion' event as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace on 9 August 2012 - more on that in the sidebar (right), and to follow.

We will also be saying more about the "cafe conversations" idea as it evolves, and of course would welcome ideas about topics and venues. We are thinking about gatherings of no more than nine or ten people to start with, to keep it really conversational.

 The first cafe event took place at the Fruitmarket Gallery at lunchtime on Pentecost Sunday. There were six of us involved: Ian, Simon, Carla, Jamie, Donnie and Lesley Then there was an afternoon meeting with (another) Simon and Caroline at the less expected venue of the Whisky Society in Leith!

The emerging feeling is that it would be good to bring Anabaptist insights, reading and thinking into wider conversations in order to attract and engage a broader range of people. One of the significant questions we all face is Scotland's constitutional future, and what radical Christianity might have to say about a debate framed in terms which raise questions about identity, nation, church and other communities, social justice and much more.

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