Denver Faith + Culture Meeting
Memory, native to this valley, will spread over it / like a grove, and memory will grow / Into legend, legend into song, song into sacrament. In these lines Wendell Berry, the farmer-poet-philosopher, gives us a vision of the fruit of long and careful work in place, in other words, the work of culture. The poem is called Work Song and in it Berry envisions the slow healing of the land he's spent his life farming and at the same time the correspondent growth and flourishing of culture. We find, in the farmer-poet's words, a description of the soul of culture--born of memory that grows into legend, story, song and finally that most excellent work of culture: liturgy and sacrament.
Denver Faith and Culture Meeting is just that--a meeting place of faith and culture, represented in the people who gather and enter into a sustained conversation, a debate and meditation on the intersection of faith and culture. Together, we will explore the ways that faith finds incarnate form in culture and at the same time the way that culture is inspired and animated by the presence of faith.
My hope for this meeting is that we would in ways spiritual, intellectual, and social participate in this process whereby culture becomes inhabited by faith and faith enfleshed in culture.
In many ways, at the center of this conversion-point of faith in culture is the Church. And yet, we are divided. And our work in the world is frustrated by this fragmentation. Our Lord prayed that we would be one as he is one with Father, i.e. in perfect unity. And Christ linked the effectiveness of our witness to our oneness. The work of the Church is sacramental worship aimed at empowering the faithful in this witness, itself, ordered toward the evangelization of culture.
And it is here, at the intersection of faith and culture in cross section with Church's witness in unity that this meeting is located and oriented.
Denver Faith + Culture Meeting
A Gathering of Spiritual + Intellectual Friendship
Df+CM is a monthly meeting that will include: carefully curated talks, dialogue and conversation, food and drink oriented toward friendship in the Truth. The talks and subsequent dialogue will be on topics of vital importance at the intersection of faith and culture.
Each topic will include 2 meetings oriented around roughly 4-20min talks preceded and followed by dialogue, food and drink. Each topic will close with one meeting devoted to processing and entering into thick-dialogue with respect the content and questions presented in the two prior meetings.
An Ecumenical Gathering Oriented Toward Dialogue and Unity
DF+CM will be intentionally ecumenical--drawing from the rich range of Christian traditions, represented by the members of the gathering. This richness of traditions will inform our talks, guide our conversations and hopefully articulate the wide-space of common faith that we, in fact, share in common even while opening a space of respectful dialogue-in-difference where we do actually disagree.
In time, the meeting will engage in what we're calling ecclesial-cross-pollination where we meet in another church and intentionally emphasize talks presented by persons hailing from traditions other than that of our host-church that week.
In all, the gathering will seek to deepen genuine Christian unity by tackling questions of common concern and fascination and thereby indirectly realizing the common ground we stand on or in other cases clarifying, in love, the real ways we disagree. This delicate and beautiful process will be characterized by respect and love whilst avoiding that flimsy relativism which presents toleration and indifference as peace.
A Gathering Meant to Open a Space of Friendship and Community
We live in a time ruled by individualism, social and geographic mobility, and the breakdown of civic friendship and engagement. In this, all too often persons are isolated and lonely. DF+CM will seek to break this isolation and provide a stimulating and refreshing context where singles, families, and others can gather in common. Thus we will seek to be intentionally cross-generational and particularly welcoming to families who often feel unable to venture out due to the needs of child-care, bedtimes and the like.
Each meeting will open with food and drink--some provided, some contributed--and each meeting will close with food and drink. Thoughtful and intentional childcare will be provided.
I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Maecenas vehicula tortor!
— Laudato Si
Sed maximus vel velit ac rutrum.
— John Senior