January 28, 2010

walking as spiritual discipline


Haven't posted anything significant lately. It's been busy! But here's something I've been thinking about the last few days.

I'm convinced that this new job is going to make me healthier. Why? Because of all the walking! This place is enormous! You have to walk a mile just to find the coffee pot! Well... a mile might be an exaggeration. Still, it is a big building.

But on top of that, I'm being deliberate about staying in this neighborhood for most of my meetings. And walking this neighborhood as much as possible. If you and I are meeting here any time soon, you'll discover this. Most of the time, I've invited people to meet me here at First Pres', and then we walk around the neighborhood, to a sandwich place or coffee shop or just a around the block a few times. But I think it's important to be in this community. To see it, smell it and continue to get more familiar with what is going on around this place each day.

Whenever folks would come visit the Hawthorn House, I'd take them on walks around our neighborhood. We would bump into residents and shop owners that I know???which we have now come to know most of the shop owners. For many of the people that I would invite to walk with me, they'd act as if this was some kind of achievement.

"How'd you get to know everyone?!" They would ask. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I would respond, "By practicing the spiritual discipline of walking."

It's hard to get to know your community and it's needs without being present. This art of listening-on-our-feet is a significant part of how we will determine our strategy for reaching out to the neighbors of First Pres'. Combining our real life experiences and conversations with the data we have and continue to collect will provide us a much more holistic view of this community.

More on that later though.


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T.C. Porter said...

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