The Space Between

The Space Between is a mini-blog written by Dan Wolpert while he served as Interim Minister at Plymouth. He said it is “a place for brief reflections, quotes, suggestions for spiritual practices and questions for you to ponder. All of them will have some relevance to this interim time: a time for reflection, watching, waiting, seeing the new life that will emerge.” Please click on the links to see a PDF of the columns.

PDF of all the Space Between columns

May 25, 2018 “How do you deal with watching and waiting?”

June 1, 2018 “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

June 8, 2018 Redwood trees’ “fairy circles” and their implications for us.

June 15, 2018  “I’ve noticed that every church has two distinct yet overlapping universes or realities.”

June 22, 2018 The spiritual life and governance.

June 29, 2018 Creating greater convergence between inner and outer lives, Insiders and Outsiders

July 6, 2018 The importance of theological reflections in our progressive church and materialistic society

July 13, 2018 Plymouth sits in the middle of our current transformation of spiritual life.

July 20, 2018 Scarcity? or faith in God’s abundance?

July 27, 2018 Examining a system of control and asking “How can we all make this community a safer, more open place to be freely and fully ourselves, playing and exploring and revealing the vast creativity of the Divine?”

Aug. 3, 2018 Another perspective on healing, on an important anniversary.

Aug. 10, 2018 Let’s talk about Jesus.

Aug. 17, 2018 Does Plymouth realize the tremendous human resources it has within itself?

Aug. 24, 2018 A large church like Plymouth is actually composed of many smaller churches. How might you explore them?

Aug. 31, 2018 A reflection on governance, Jesus’ approach to the Law and what we’re really about.

Sept. 7, 2018 Implications of the important and too-often-neglected question “What do you notice?”

Sept. 14, 2018 Considering questions of spiritual leadership, ordained and otherwise.

Sept. 28, 2018 When a community set out to build a cathedral in the 11th century, those who began the work died long before the building was finished. How about our stewardship today?

Oct. 5, 2018 How does God act in the world? This vital question is relevant in general and also in particular, relative to the life of a congregation.

Oct. 12, 2018 Healing—Exploring its many dimensions and its relevance to our communities.

Oct. 19, 2018 A challenge in our spiritual lives: the need to confront our own attachments to things, to ways of doing and being, and even to people.

Oct. 26, 2018 On Plymouth’s theological hunger: We can see that spirituality, theology and social justice work are really the three legs of the stool on which sits profound spiritual community!

Nov. 2, 2018 “If Plymouth is going to thrive into the next phase of its life, I would suggest it needs to find a way, as it did during the discussions on marriage equality, to seek God’s spiritual guidance in difficult moments. And I know that it can succeed in this endeavor.”

Nov. 16, 2018 Dan writes about “noticing the spiritual hunger that is out there in our world and continues to grow and search for a life that is both new and old.”

Nov. 23, 2018 “The spiritual life teaches us to bring our attention to what is directly in front of us. This may sound easy or trivial but it is not. It is very hard and profound.”

Jan. 11, 2019 What can encourage you to practice humility?

Jan. 18, 2019 What aspects of the future vision of the good world are already upon us, right in front of us, not needing to be created but rather needing to be pointed out and built upon?

Feb. 1, 2019 The spiritual paradox is: The harder we resist loss, the more painful it becomes. Yet when we let go, loss becomes more bearable and less tragic. So how do you practice engaging loss?

Feb. 8, 2019 Christian life is in large measure about embracing the suffering of the world and of our existence. Life hurts. People hurt each other. Thus the vow of stability.

Feb. 15, 2019 [G]reeting as a part of worship has been a staple of Christian worship since the beginning, and it’s an act that, at its origins, was radical and countercultural.

Feb. 22, 2019 God works in rhythm. This is why music is such a spiritual activity because it brings rhythm to life.

March 1, 2019 [A feeling of “not enough”] persists even as churches proclaim that they follow a God of abundance for whom all things are possible.

March 8, 2019 The [theological] question “Are we having fun yet?” is at least as important as “What is the true nature of the Trinity?”

March 15, 2019 “Spiritually, the instruction for being in a desert is to slow down and pray more. To wait for some new vision or direction.”

March 22, 2019 “One way of understanding ‘church,’ or spiritual community, is that it’s a group of people who jump into the abyss together, who covenant together to help each other . . .”

March 29, 2019 “This cultural division of church members is quite common in the mainline church . . . the younger and older generations are often disconnected from one another by time or space or both. . . .”

April 5, 2019 “[T]rue happiness arises when we embrace this eternal dance of forms and resist the pull of certainty . . .”

April 12, 2019 “I think that Jesus would hang out on the No. 5. In fact, that bus would easily be the modern equivalent of walking the roads of Galilee . . ..”

April 19, 2019 “The Bible is a powerful witness for all manner of justice work.  The ‘poor’ are mentioned over 3,000 times in the Bible and most of these texts are about justice and care for the poor.”

April 26, 2019 “In our highly individualistic, materialistic culture ‘taking our toys and going home’ is a common approach to discomfort and disagreement.”

May 3, 2019 Shared worship “requires significant spiritual growth as it means that everyone needs to let go of their preferences, at least a bit, and learn to appreciate what someone else values.”

May 10, 2019 “Attention is the rarest and purist form of generosity.” I love that. So you have all been incredibly generous to me with your attention, thank you.

May 17, 2019 So my time here is finished. And, since we are now all eternally connected by virtue of this time together, our time to continue to grow in our life of faith is only just begun.