10 November 2005

Name Game

Day Four ... and ... I think I'll change chairs today. I must warn those who live next to me that I am not pleasant. Altho I don't think they need much warning. They are just giving me a wide berth which doesn't make me any happier. This is doing nothing for my spiritual formation either. I have never been a very patient patient. I remember that my mother would exclaim in exasperation, "Your brother sleeps when he gets sick! And then he gets better. Why don't you ever sleep?!!" Well ... ummm ... I would if I could. Instead I'm awake and whiney. I understand now why that was so frustrating for her.

My church is, and has been for about a year now, going through a process of renaming itself. This process has taken the form of an ongoing conversation that has had long gaps. The conversation has restarted recently and been quite lively. We really need to have a new name by the first of the year for some logistical reasons, so now there is a deadline. This has added to the liveliness of the conversation. Many names have been suggested, some funny, some serious, all interesting.

Momentum seems to have gathered around this: Wayfarers Fellowship. Except that ... well ... it's unwieldy. And "Fellowship" is uncomfortably too Christian-y for many of us. There are many who would like a term in its place that signifies a gathering, but which doesn't quite so loudly say "church." So, insert the word "Table"? So we could have: Wayfarers Table? I really like this name. I like the images of journeys that it conveys. I like the idea that anyone is welcome to join us at the "Table" ... anyone ... at any stage of their journey may come and sit for awhile at our table. For any while that they choose.

But then ... Wayfarers conjures up images of things Celtic for some. And that is true. And in the broad, popular sense it might not be sensible to be associated with things Celtic, if there are those who find it offensive.

On the other hand, we are at heart a very Celtic church. And this would be true if we never said one more Celtic prayer, never again played a Celtic song. It has nothing to do with Celtic crosses, or liturgy, or shamrocks or St. Patrick or even hobbitses (bless 'em). Look at the heart of our church and the things that individuals here are concerned with and you will see a latter-day incarnation of the church in Ireland of the 600s A.D. It was an outpost, concerned with a "purple" gospel (that is, both the sin within and the sin without). The church in Ireland was at odds with the church in Rome, but still considered itself fully a part of it. The men and women of the church in Ireland
accepted all who came and were concerned with learning and taught those who came to see God in everything and everywhere.

So I think that whatever we call ourselves, in our heart we are a Celtic church ... and that has very little to do with popular literature, and very much to do with where God is calling us as a body.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rebecca said...

What's wayfarer's table in latin?

11/10/2005 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

I think it would be something like:
Viatorum Mensa.
Hmmmmm ...

11/10/2005 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

An interesting and very important choice you all face. If you all come up with a new name post it here.

11/12/2005 10:09:00 PM  

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