Category Archives: Congregational Spirituality

Boxed In

Welcome to Kent Ira Groff’s blog: www.LinkYourSpirituality.com Here I hope to create dialog about things that get in the way of your spirituality—and things that encourage genuine contemplative living.

NOTE: Mostly I write this blog and my “weekly reflections” for three audiences: First, everyone who knows me realizes I have a heart for persons struggle with institutional religion yet who genuinely seek for a meaningful spiritual connection, commonly referred to as “spiritual but not religious.” Second, I write for folks who are members of a faith community, commonly called “lay people.” Third I write for trained leaders of faith communities, commonly known as “clergy.” But in this blog, I’m writing especially for the clergy. Actually, all three overlap, because many ex-clergy have left their institutions, and spiritual seekers often become active members and even leaders. I sent the following as a letter to Dr. Barnes and to the editor of The Christian Century.

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Boxed In

Welcome to Kent Ira Groff’s blog: www.LinkYourSpirituality.com Here I hope to create dialog about things that get in the way of your spirituality—and things that encourage genuine contemplative living.

NOTE: Mostly I write this blog and my “weekly reflections” for three audiences: First, everyone who knows me realizes I have a heart for persons struggle with institutional religion yet who genuinely seek for a meaningful spiritual connection, commonly referred to as “spiritual but not religious.” Second, I write for folks who are members of a faith community, commonly called “lay people.” Third I write for trained leaders of faith communities, commonly known as “clergy.” But in this blog, I’m writing especially for the clergy. Actually, all three overlap, because many ex-clergy have left their institutions, and spiritual seekers often become active members and even leaders. I sent the following as a letter to Dr. Barnes and to the editor of The Christian Century.

Posted in Congregational Spirituality | Comments Off on Boxed In

Religious Language and Postmodern Ears

In Lake Wobegon, says Garrison Keillor, “All the Norwegians were Lutherans, of course, even the atheists—it was a Lutheran God they did not believe in.” The theism a lot of atheists reject describes a God I cannot believe in either.

Many grew up, as I did, with an emotionally or physically absent father, at the same time hearing of God mainly as a male figure, so God seemed distant. Images and language skew our attitude toward the Sacred. Lots of religious words make spirituality seem irrelevant. The word repent is one such example.

Desmond Tutu tells of brutal killers in South Africa who had slowly cooked people alive at one end of a campsite while enjoying a barbecue at the other end. Later in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, these perpetrators would confess without emotion that they were sorry. They might be staring across the room or down at their shoes as they spoke. But if the victim’s family member would say, “Turn to me; now say what you just said.” Then the confessor would be deeply moved, hardly able to gasp the words.

Posted in Body Prayer, Centering Prayer, Congregational Spirituality, Dark Night, Discerning Vocation, Doubting Believing, High-Tech Prayer, Kent’s Quotes, Prayer Poems, Scripture Prayer, Sexuality & Spirituality, Table Blessings | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Religious Language and Postmodern Ears