Rooted and Growing with the Incarnation Community: A Guest Post by Community Builder, Christine Havens

Experience is at the heart of incarnation—being bodily creatures living in God’s creation as members of a vast community in which we interact on so many levels. We connect, we produce, we emote, we reason. We are invited into life.

Incarnation is a community rooted in the incarnation–that is, the life, death, resurrection, and ascension–of Jesus Christ. Christus Pantocrator -(Cathedral of Cefalù, c. 1130.)

By nature, I am a wanderer and a wonderer, thriving on experiencing the transcendent in the mundane. My head, and heart, are often in the clouds; I tend to live in my head much of the time. This is one of the main reasons I am a member of the Incarnation Community Building Team, and look forward to being a full-fledged parishioner of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation when we begin public worship in 2020. This small and diverse group of people keeps me grounded and keeps my heart in the clouds. I’m also a writer and a poet; if I tend toward grandiosity in this reflection, please forgive and know that it comes from a place of joy in where God has brought me.

Gathered in prayer, we follow a Rule of Life as a way of practicing our faith and growing into the full stature of Christ.

This past Sunday, we met as usual in the home of our vicar, the Rev. Brin Bon. Her husband hosted us since Brin was visiting family. One of our members led us in the Daily Office—Morning Prayer: Rite II from the Book of Common Prayer. We did a semi-brief scripture study on the lesson from the Gospel According to Luke; following our worship, one of the members shared her spiritual autobiography, which sparked further conversation about living a rule of life. Several members expressed gratitude for the rule that the Incarnation community has developed; it’s made a difference in the way they experience the spiritual and the secular parts of life.

For part of the time, I lay stretched out on the floor of the living room (it’s my favorite learning posture), listening to the others as they shared their thoughts on scripture. Yes, a part of me was using their words as stepping stones to the high, wild places, but in those particular moments I was also quite literally on the ground, enjoying the warmth found in a community such as Incarnation—a warmth that feels like an embrace of invisible arms or an enfolding of wings.

Who can say what a transcendent and invisible God looks like? At Incarnation, God is revealed in community, prayer, and scripture and is at the heart of everything we do.

The conversation about a rule of life flowed into other subjects, especially when someone asked me how my writing was going—a very dangerous thing to do when there’s a time limit for the meeting. It’s like unleashing a dog in a park full of squirrels. The generosity of listening and conversation as I explored the possibilities of what I’m working on and a project I’d like to do, also gave me roots and a trellis on which to grow. Being in such a community of creative people is a gift beyond measure. Writing, for me, is a solitary activity that still requires a corporate space in which to germinate ideas and the soul—Incarnation is such a place.

Incarnation is at the heart of experiencing the spiritual together. Each of us, in this small yet growing community, is invited into the transcendent moments as we worship God and God’s incarnate son, Jesus Christ. You are invited, too, into this community of creativity and inspiration. Come, be rooted and grow with us.

The Incarnation community is one rooted in the ancient practices of the Christian faith and growing into the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, still today.

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