Our retreat theme this year will revolve around the question(s): What is (the point of) Church? I think this is a timely question for us to answer. It touches closely on our life together as Christ Kaleidoscope because we all bring different assumptions about what the Church is and what it is we are supposed to be doing. Why do we gather every week as a community? What are we to be about? These are such basic questions, we may fail to answer it for ourselves. In doing so we then allow competing and rival agendas to hijack our outlook on what it is to be the Church. And so it is necessary to tackle this question on a larger scale as well. More specifically for us as Christians living in America, “How are we to be the Church in the age of Trump?!”
Our retreat speaker will be our good friend Jonathan Tran (Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology and George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor University). In good fashion, as a University Professor, Dr. Tran has assigned a reading assignment (see attached) to be completed in the coming weeks leading up to the retreat. It is an essay written by Stanley Hauerwas (a big-time theologian who Jon studied under) entitled A Story-Formed Community: Reflections on Watership Down. This essay provides a good starting point in answering the question, "What is the (point of) Church?" by relating what the church is with another important question, “Why read Scripture?”
Extra Credit: Watch the BBC series based on Richard Adams’ best-selling novel Watership Down, on Netflix. It may (I haven’t watched it yet) give you some context, since this is the story Hauerwas draws from to help us understand the Church as a story-formed community.