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  • Rick Bonetti

Religion Outside The Box


John Dorhauer's 2015 book Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World was a call to the institutional church to adapt to a postmodern world - "out of a modality of denial and into a perspective of hope; out of a paradigm of scarcity and into a world of possibility with a growing multiplicity of options and allies." It was a call beyond "church 2.0" (post-reformation) into an emerging, but still undefined "church 3.0" (non-traditional, more mobile, more decentralized, more flexible, less structural, less institutionalized, less organized communities of faith/spirituality, transforming lives for the common good.) Here are a few examples of spiritual groups coming together:


Cosmic Mass

At the recent 2023 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, they celebrated Matthew Fox's “Cosmic Mass” with about 700 people. They replaced sitting in pews and reading prayers and being read to with dancing (a spiral dance and DJ dancing) with images (VJ). Matthew Fox has laid out six principles for renewing ritual in a Progressing Spirit post and in the final chapter of his 1995 book The Reinvention of Work called “The Reenchantment of Ritual.”


Christophany Groups

Ilia Delio founded the Center for Christogenesis with the "holistic vision of integrating spirituality, science, and contemplation– open to all faith traditions. The Center created Christophany Groups "to transform lives and heal our world through communal reflection and collective spiritual practice based on the insights of Teilhard de Chardin and Ilia Delio, who interprets Teilhard through a distinctive Franciscan lens. Christophany Groups are communities that are committed to meeting regularly via Zoom or in-person to discuss articles or books or develop contemplative practices together." Click here for the process of how to start a group.


Center for Christogenesis also has an online magazine New Creation dedicated to exploring the theology and spirituality of the Christogenesis worldview.; Monthly Zoom Webinars with Ilia Delio and other spiritual leaders for Center for Christogenesis participants; Hunger for Wholeness Podcasts; and Annual Conferences to bring our international community together to “Explore Love at the Heart of the Universe.”


Creation Spirituality Communities

CSC is "a network of individuals and communities who experience our own spiritual paths in connection to the evolving paradigms of the universe." Powered by Mighty Networks and Zoom, CSC meets with "those who seek to unify sacred earth and human existence" with live, weekly interfaith worship experiences, monthly Global Kinship webinars, and individual certification classes. They also have biennial gatherings, Immersion Retreats, and Small Group Gatherings.


Spiritualigilious

Portland-based Rabbi Brian serves a worldwide, internet-based congregation of over 1,000, that is "Spiritualigilious" - "the quality of being Spiritual + Religious, without the baggage."


Rabbi Brian has an online (Religion Outside The Box) ROTB Clubhouse, online Saturday Services at 9 a.m. PT, a 77% Weekly Newsletter, a Facebook Page, and active Instagram and TikTok accounts, but video content is stored on their YouTube Channel or Twitch.tv.


ServiceSpacePods

I first met Brian Zachery Mayer, (aka Rabbi Brian) online through Eric Elnes who is now interim minister at Niantic Community Church. Earlier this week on September 10, 2023 Eric started a global 21-day Interfaith Compassion Challenge on the ServiceSpacePod platform


"For more than two decades, ServiceSpace, an all-volunteer global ecosystem that touches millions, has been hosting circles and sacred spaces to "change ourselves, change the world."

Through deepening relationships and awareness, these circles aim to awaken a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

That "hands, head, heart" process – consisting of personal practices, peer learning, group reflections, and design thinking – is now offered on a gifted basis via our innovative "Pod Platform".

What started as an unsuspecting experiment during the 2020 pandemic has now mushroomed into a wide range of offerings that await your participation!"


Although registration is now closed, here's how the 21-day Interfaith Compassion Challenge works:

  • Register here: https://pod.servicespace.org/apply/interfaith

  • Daily Prompts: For each of the 21 days of the challenge, you'll be emailed a thoughtfully crafted prompt from a unique faith or tradition -- with "heart" music, "head" reading, and "hands" compassion-in-action practice. 21 days, 21 faith traditions, 21 practices.

  • Your Reflections: For each of the daily prompts, you are invited to submit an online reflection, and once you share your reflection, you can read and interact online with the reflections of other global participants.

  • Sunday Zoom Calls: Every Sunday of the challenge (starting Sep 10th, 8:00 AM PDT) will feature a group call with poetry readings, songs, inspiration from a wide range of luminaries, and peer-to-peer sharing.

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