Dear Gather Friends and Family,

It’s such an old joke it no longer merits a rimshot. Nonetheless, there’s so much truth inside it, it will likely outlast the edifice it names.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice!

Mastering theory, aesthetics, and historical knowledge are necessary for any artist. But not one of them will transform an amateur into a serious musician. That requires practice: studying the score, reviewing the same passages again and again, teasing out nuances that turn what’s on the page into experience; giving voice to specific phrases and passages; acquiring deftness to maneuver the interplay of spirit, mind, and body to create something uniquely your own. Practice.

Perhaps the most powerful intersection of Buddhist and Christian thought is at the point of practice. While both traditions embrace communal rites, they are adamant that daily spiritual practice and discipline are the real transformative pieces of the puzzle. And—particularly distressing for those of us enamored with novelty and ornament—Buddhist and Christian practices are famously repetitive and unadorned. To borrow again from the musical metaphor, they’re closer to practicing scales than performing (or composing) arias.

Over and over and over. Pray and meditate. Read and reflect. Remain mindful and react mindfully. Look inward to find an active outward path. Over and over and over. As Christians, our texts and traditions are overrun with admonishments to embrace this lifestyle. But too many Christians prefer patronizing the Carnegie Halls of religion instead of answering the call—and living into the promise—of authentic practice. Any good Buddhist knows the answer to this question: how do you follow the Buddha? Practice, practice, practice. If we ask the same question, we get the same answer.

How do you follow Christ?
Practice, practice, practice!

This Thursday evening we’ll wrap our April series with a closer look at practical approaches to spirituality that Buddhism and Christianity share. Join us at 7:30pm CDT.

Join our conversation on Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83567085701
Meeting ID: 835 6708 5701
Or dial in at 312-626-6799, using same Meeting ID

Peace and blessings,
Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.