Thursday, December 14, 2006

Church without walls

Through the wonder of conference calling, I attended church a thousand miles away last night without leaving my house.

The North Palm Beach, Florida, Spiritual Sharing Circle is held every Wednesday night, and they hook up the phone for long-distance attendees to conference in. I love attending this meeting. Modeled after the Christian Science testimony meetings, it's casual, spontaneous, inspired, and friendly. I've discovered I actually listen better when my hands are occupied, so it's fun to sit at my desk, listening on muted speaker phone, playing silent video games while contemplating the readings. But that's just me.

Last night the readings, from the Bible and Science and Health, were on true hearing and seeing. The reader, my friend Travis Thomas, cited this great story in the Gospel of John:

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

And now, looking that up on the computer, I see that this gospel has several instances of the "come and see" concept. Perhaps that was one of John's messages—that the Jesus message and power doesn't need to be argued, but people will be convinced if they just come and see. (Of course John also has the "doubting Thomas story," which now makes more sense to me in that context.)

The testimonies were great, too, and from all over the time zone, which was very cool.

If you'd like information about calling in to the Spiritual Sharing Circle, click here and submit your email to Miles to get on the invitation list. Then just attend when you can. You can call in totally anonymously, which is what I do, or introduce yourself as soon as you get there. Either way, you'll be warmly welcomed.

To me, I feel like I've added to my extended spiritual family.


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