UPDATED 10.15.07 w/Other’s Austin Reflections

First let me say that I have really fallen in great "like" with the wee hamlet of Austin*.  For those of you that know me, that is about all the straying that I will do from my beloved San Francisco.  You hear that God!  No other cities shall come before SF . . . seriously.

As wonderful as Austin is, the best part of this week has been reconnecting with fiends and colleagues who in so many ways give me life.   Affectionately known as the Young Urban Pastors’ Gathering, we have met in some great cities over the past seven years.  Each year we pic a different topic and gather around food and fellowship.  Good stuff, great folks, fantabulous week.  This year we explored issues of the body using the  "Practicing Our Faith: Honoring the Body."   The heart of this group and in many ways what informs my understanding of ministry, church and faith are these few learnings about meaningful community:

  • Sometime you just get each other, if I need to explain it . . .
  • "Fixing" each other sucks, listening and being present is much better.
  • The need to impress by boasting about what one DOES is replaced by authentic expressions of who one IS.
  • Time and geography mean nothing.
  • Growth includes laughter, tears, inquiry, support, challenge, risk and this year, Yoga.
  • It is difficult when parts of the body, for whatever reason, don’t quite fit at one time or another, but isn’t that when we best witness to our faith in action?

* Some of the great Austin experiences, including links to my Yelp Reviews:

And for my colleague from this year, some of the more memorable/moving "inside" thoughts that are appropriate to share in light of future developments.  I couldn’t remember them all, but got a good giggle thinking back.

  • "Why in the hell would you . . ."
  • "Does anyone know what you put in . . ."
  • "I share my heart, but not my guts."
  • "Tube"
  • "Crazy as a rat in a . . ."
  • My tomatoes . . ."

And finally, my FLICKR pictures.

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