God of the story, you are in and out of the stories we read and the stories we tell—calling us into them and calling us out of them. Give us courage to listen to our own curiosities as we read old stories, tell new ones, and search for you amidst each. Dare us to ask the questions hidden in the heart of the text. Lead us to mine—with heart and mind and desire and desperation—the many meanings in the one story. Because this is where we find you, and where you find us."
Adapted From Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community
Clearly we continue to live in unordinary times. We couldn't have imagined during our gathering on March 8th that it would be our last time to gather in person for an indefinite amount of time. Or that this stay-home season would stretch on for months and eclipse the familiar rhythms of summer at Emmaus Way. And yet here we are in the days after Pentecost: freshly and painfully aware of our own and our neighbors’ fragile breath, seeking fresh awareness of a Spirit still breathing and blowing us into new life together.
During the seven weeks of Eastertide, we dedicated the weekly life of Emmaus Way to a Season of Sabbath and Communion. Adopting those rhythms of rest and reconnection has been a powerful way to acknowledge and lean into the unordinary time of this pandemic. Continuing into the summer—and in the midst of ongoing maternity and paternity leaves on our staff—our Emmaus Way Lead Team will guide us further into this peculiar season with a new focus on Parables and Storytelling.
For the next six weeks, we’ll delve into the parables of Jesus and consider where they intersect our own stories of life under pandemic. Listening to stories Jesus told to invite others into a future they couldn’t seem to grasp, we’ll reckon with our own limited understanding of how God might be speaking in this moment. Holding space for the poignancy and complexity that pervades all our stories right now, we’ll wonder alongside a storyteller Jesus whose parables illuminate and complicate in equal measure. In all these conversations, our hope is to continue meeting our community right where we are, to create meaningful experiences and space for each of us individually and collectively, and to live into this moment with intention.
Even as we shift focus in our weekly conversation, we also remain open to the deep invitations of Sabbath and Communion. We will still embrace this interrupted season as a way into Sabbath: a time to rest more fully, to engage God and one another more profoundly, and to simplify our living more intentionally. And in a spirit of Communion, we will continue to purposefully check in and care for one another in every way open to us.
We'll continue our recent practice of a common gathering via Zoom each week, and Sunday prayers and practices sent out weekly. Lead Team will take the lead in curating these resources and ways to connect, even as we encourage every one of our co-ministers to co-create this as a robust and life-giving season together. [We'll continue distributing information about all these things through our Eway Weekly and Social listservs. If you're not on these lists and looking to connect with us during this time, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
As Emmaus Way community, we continue to understand this season as a time to embrace transformation and refuse going fallow. So we're determined to persist in slowing down, listening deeply to stories of God and one another, and expanding ourselves in ways we couldn’t apart from this intentional season. Until we are together again in the flesh, we walk slowly forward together, with great intention and hope for what may be.