Come and See
I’ve always felt like there is a meaningful connection between our being made “in God’s image” (Gen. 1) and being endowed with imagination. It feels like it is the work of the church – in every generation, and in every context – to continually reimagine what church looks like, and how we, as church gather.
In many ways, the fact that St. John’s is a church that values and seeks to nourish approaches to ministry that harness the life-giving power of imagination in a community-facing way is what most excites me about being a part of this bunch of love-spreading difference-makers. And right now, I feel particularly excited for two such imaginal ministry projects: CAMPFIRE and the Wonder Festival.
CAMPFIRE is our attempt to reimagine what it looks like to gather as community in Jackson. Each month (Third Sundays at the Virginian Saloon, 7-8:30 p.m.), we'll bring in guest speakers – professional athletes and mountain guides, artists and authors, non-profit leaders and entrepreneurs, poets and musicians – for a multimedia storytelling experience, hosted in a subtly ritualized framework, to explore what drives, moves and inspires us. Think of it as deconstructed church, as church for those who might identify as ‘spiritual but not religious,’ who might be craving a deeper sense of community and connection with the transcendent, but who will never, for whatever reason, step onto a church campus. Our guiding vision is "kindling connection, one story at a time."
The third annual Wonder Festival is an offering of EcoTheo Collective: a nonprofit I co-direct with a mission to “celebrate wonder, enliven conversations, and inspire commitments to spirituality, ecology, and art." June 15-17, we’ll host three days of ritually-inspired poetry readings, immersive workshops, and big-hearted conversations. Events at the Center for the Arts, and Gros Ventre Campground will complement those hosted on our church lawn — the core of which will be ‘liturgically-inflected’ poetry readings featuring Joy Harjo (the 23rd US Poet Laureate) and Roger Reeves (a 2023 National Book Award Finalist) alongside emerging Black and Native American poets. These gatherings will be our effort to reimagine what liturgy can look like as we seek to cultivate space for brave conversations, and meaningful connection.
So this month, and into June, come alongside us in reimagining what ministry, and community, can be. Come spread the word and share the love. Join us. Come and see.