Sunday, February 20, 2005

communitas and liminality

I went to Forge Intensive's open night on Saturday, where Mike Frost was speaking in the evening session. Mike asked, "Have you ever felt completely and utterly in love with your comrades?" that question had been on my mind for a whole-24 hours since I saw Mike last night. Yeah I long for this magnificent intimacy with mates of community of Jesus, called 'communitas', which include separation, liminality and re-orientation, according to Mike.

The idea of 'communitas' - that which develops when a group of people are thrown together in a situation of ordeal, danger, risk, and have to depend on each other to survive, and how when they survive they feel really close to one another. And how that communitas cannot be established without liminality, cos stuff is drawn out from that experience.

Mike gave various great examples of communitas: from rituals of initiation into manhood in Africa, where boys become men by surviving together in the bush for a period of time, to female images of communitas like the griefing mothers in Northern Ireland known as the "peace people", four mothers' movement and the mothers' in Argentina in 1970's, contribution of comrades in Wizard of Oz etc. These tell us that together we are greater than some of the individual parts. In mission, we can link arms together with the people we love.

I was really inspired and challenged by Mike's thought provoking talk. I was, as usual, very impressed by Mike's upfront approach and outright love for Jesus. I must admit that this is a new viewpoint that I need to absorb and explore, yet I'm convinced that this vision of church that is engaging would certainly bring more people into the Kingdom of God.

After praying through it, I'd really like to be part of (or even fashion) a communita, as Mike suggested. I'm happy to open my home, plant a faith community among the people God would want me to do, get out and be what we are meant to be!! Yeah I wanna be a part of a communita that I am willing to die for. And I am willing to embrace liminality and rely on the Spirit of God to do it. What does it look like? I am not sure, all I know is that shaping the things to come is not only necessary, but essential in the western world.

Do you agree?


GordonG said...

Hi Kitty,
Would like to have been able to have come - sounds like it was a good time. I'm hoping to be at the Forge Summit in July - perhaps I'll see ya there.

Christop said...

We are looking at doing something like this at our house.

Kitty Cheng said...

Yeah Gordon I'm very interested in going to the Forge Summit in July as well. I'm sure it's gonna be fantastic!

Wow Christop, great to know that you're looking at doing something like this at your house, have you got anything planned already?

Garth said...

Hey there Kitty, Thanks for sharing that. I have only just posted a bit of a whinge on Gen X about not connecting or commiting in friendships and jumped across here to hear not dissimilar thoughts. We need people who long for that connection and make it real!

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Garth,I wonder how Gen X can be transformed to commit to connecting in friendships! How can we make the connection and make it real?