It was so wonderful to see many of you at our Block Party in August celebrating the upcoming 10th Anniversary of Reality Ministries (the specific birthday is Dec 4, 2007, when the IRS granted us “pending” status). I spoke some about the history of Reality that night, and there is an updated one-page summary on the website which outlines some of our major transition points.
When I left the paid staff of Reality Ministries in 2013 to pursue my PhD, I kept my office at the Reality Center and was happy to be assigned the title Theologian in Residence. It’s a position which speaks to the value Reality has always placed on the critical but often unseen biblical and theological moorings which anchor us. To use a more dynamic metaphor, I liken Reality to an automobile. Of our 150 volunteers on a weekly basis, I’m not sure how many are interested in, or even aware of, the theological engine of the vehicle. They like driving the car, they may appreciate what they receive as a life-giving community, but they haven’t lifted the hood to investigate what drives the ministry. Committing to particular doctrines or theological claims has never been required to be involved with Reality Ministries. At the same time, we do want to offer more for those who are interested in going deeper.
That’s why we are launching The Reality Forum! In our next ten years, we hope to be more intentional about sharing the “why” under the “what” of the ministry. One way of doing that is to set aside a day for worship, proclamation and small group sharing—and of course eating together!
The organizing team has produced the following vision and outline for the Forum. I hope you'll join us!
The Reality Forum - January 20, 2018
Drawing on biblical theology and daily experience, The Reality Forum explores the ramifications of God’s unique revelation in Jesus Christ. We will unpack the idea of one common humanity created in Christ and rooted in the love of the Holy Trinity. Together we will consider how this dynamic understanding of the reality of God’s grace influences how we view ourselves, our neighbors, and every single person: “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view” (2 Cor 5:16).
The Forum will feature a mixture of presentations, breakout sessions and shared meals, providing learning opportunities for all levels of interest.
This year’s theme: What is Reality?
9 am Coffee Fellowship
9:15 Morning Worship
9:45 Session One: Jeff McSwain, What is Reality? The Theology that Drives the Ministry
10:45 Small Group One
11:25 Session Two: David Sittser, Reality: Seen and Unseen
12:05 Small Group Two
12:45 Lunch and Coffee
2:00 Session Three: Susan McSwain, Reality, Kinship and Mutuality
2:40 Small Group Three
3:20 Q & A Time with Jeff
4:00 Closing Worship
6:00 Optional Dinner at Jeff and Susan’s house for ongoing conversation
Click here to register.