This coming Sunday, 12/26, is the Big Day … the Big Day for returning Christmas gifts that didn’t quite fit, or that we didn’t quite want.  We’ll be asking for “cash back” on some gifts, and seeking to exchange others for more appropriate sizes.

At Darkwood Brew, we’ll be doing a different kind of gift return.  We’ll be considering beliefs and faith practices that we were given – recently or long ago – that just don’t quite seem to suit us.  Some of these beliefs and practices may have seemed wonderful at first, but now we want nothing to do with.  We want “cash back.”  Others may seem suitable on some levels, but ill fitting.  We seek to exchange them for “grown up” size.

What beliefs or practices would you ask for “cash back” on?  Which would you seek to modify to suit you more naturally?  What beliefs or practices would you like to “try out for size,” having never “worn” them before?  Bring your ideas to Darkwood Brew!

Joining us via Skype will be a special guest from Ohio named April Blaine.  April’s well-experienced in belief-return, and belief exchange.  I met April a few years ago when I provided leadership at a conference meant to nurture up-and-coming progressive/emerging church leaders.  April was one of those, and her path since that conference has proven that she was well-chosen.  If you’d like to get to know April a little better, check out her Re-imagining What It Means To Be Church Blog.  April’s blog was started during a sabbatical in which she visited five churches around the country who were actively re-imagining a life of faith, including my former church in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Check them out.  Perhaps they’ll inspire you in your own re-imagining!

And in case you’d like to acquaint yourself with our Pneuma Divina passage for the evening, I’ve pasted it below.  Is there  a phrase that stands out for you more than the rest as you ponder, “What belief or practice would I seek ‘cash back’ on, or exchange for something more suitable?”

Luke 11:9-13

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for* a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit* to those who ask him!’

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