Later this week, an event will occur which has been planned by the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation Committee, chaired by Rae Denman and Tim Dunbar, for more than a year. Working with The Dean, the Chapter, the Vestry, three very gifted consultants and the more than 70 leaders on six committees and commissions, we have been able to invite the congregation to have a conversation together in which their longings for the cathedral will be hosted. This event will occur on Saturday, October 11. You can resister to join us by going directly to http://sjcathedral.org/DreamTogether and taking 3 minutes to sign up. The day will be gentle and joyful and we hope you will join us. The early energy around this day from the congregation is unprecedented.
I am becoming interested in transient hypofrontality. You can read more about this at http://www.onbeing.org/blog/heightened-potential-creativity-even-while-our-brains-slow-down/4123 but the short version is “intelligence works like a “superhighway,” with massive numbers of connections being made between the different parts of the brain with speed and directness. When we become more creative, our powerful, organizing frontal lobes down-regulate a bit. The creative brain is a “meandering” brain. The superhighways give way to “side roads and dirt roads,” making possible the new and unexpected connections we associate with artistry, discovery, and humor.”
I have spoken to some parishioners who have said something like “I am not going to the Dream Together Conference because it is about the future of the cathedral and I am too old to contribute.” But what is fascinating is that Rex Jung and other scientists of neuroscience are finding that it is the very slowing down of the brain in people over 50 which opens them up to a new form of creative meandering, a meandering which is hog-tied by younger brains in their energy to advance and achieve.
As world-wide systems change, our society and churches are facing a new way of being. Old structures of command and control are being replaced with a creative, new structures in which the internet frees a community up to chat, connect, share information in lightening speed and gather to create new things. The church used to complain of “parking lot conversations” after meetings, worried that people were sharing stories, telling truths and making plans, mumering outside acceptable structures of management. But those days are over now that parking lots are digital, conversations which can be had between people who have never met, with related research accompished done with the push of a “refresh” button.
Listen to more about this new reality at http://www.onbeing.org/program/creativity-and-everyday-brain/1879 and consider how you might participate on Saturday in a conversation which will meander, wonder, hope and long for the new realities which are over the next hill in our pilgrimage. And consider, in your spiritual life, where your own tendency to lock down your perceptions might give way to a playful, humorous, experimental wonder about what could be that is now not yet. The Holy Spirit waits with eager anticipation to assist you in a playful faith, a joyful hope and a dangerous, exciting leap into something entirely new.