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101 things to do when the church (as many of us know it) is gone*

101 things to do when the church (as many of us know it) is gone*

From the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut:

“101 Things to Do” was written by the Rev. Sandra Cosman of Connecticut as she was thinking about the changes ahead for the church, and the people who worry about and are afraid of those changes, by naming and celebrating what we do now and will continue. See interview with the author following the end of the list.


*We tend to procrastinate, so let’s get started now

1. Pray More.

2. Learn Scripture.

3. Take. Bless. Break. Give.

4. Look at People.

5. Leave the Building.

6. Be Open-Hearted.

7. Risk Judgment.

8. Take a Stand.

9. Voice a Concern.

10. Meet a Need.

11. Visit a Grave.

12. Stop.

13. Listen to Something Difficult.

14. Savor Joy.

15. Sing a Song.

16. Forgive Yourself for Something.

17. Recognize Noise.

18. Give Something Away.

19. Take a Chance on Someone.

20. Share Your Knowledge.


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Gary Paul Gilbert

Bon voyage, Dr. Baber!

Gary Paul Gilbert

Harriet Baber

Ah well, friends, ’nuff crankiness–immediately after this semester I’m heading for Florence, and Ravenna. This is what matters to me–aesthetics, and most particularly architecture and cityscapes. This is the center of my life: what I live for and what I got religion for, viz. permission to visit churches, participate in ceremonies, and do philosophical theology.

Now that I’m older I realize that this isn’t what most people are after in religion. But I still can’t understand that–why people don’t want the ultimate pleasure as I see it. How can you not want a triple banana split with chocolate sauce, nuts and cherries on top? How can you not want the ultimate high church fantasyland–the thrill, the intensity, the escape from the ordinary, the ecstatic aesthetic experience, the vision of the other world?I absolutely believe that if there is another world (and I’m not convinced of that) that we enter it through aesthetic experience.

But oh well I do get to go to Ravenna! So, arrividerci, friends! Enjoy!


“A religion of the incarnation ought to embrace and affirm many aspects of life and not just liturgy and aesthetics.”

Oooh! Ordinarily I avoid “me, too” posts, but that is VERY well-said, Gary.

JC Fisher

…whose comfort-zone is personally much more in the liturgy&aesthetics area.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Dr. Baber, The text in question pronounces neither way on your personal concerns.

In any case, I would question a simple opposition between religious and secular or sacred and profane. Religion as such, if there be such a beast, which I doubt, could and can be many things. After all, “religion” is a Latin and not a Biblical term.

A religion of the incarnation ought to embrace and affirm many aspects of life and not just liturgy and aesthetics.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Harriet Baber

The church “as many of us know it”, or at least the remnants of that is precisely what matters: fancy buildings, elaborate ceremonies, great music (and the chance to sing) metaphysics, mysticism and aesthetics. That is RELIGION. Secular enterprises do everything else cheaper and better.

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