Sunday, Dec. 18th, 5 PM
Our “Traditional” Pathways Observance … Updated:
How a “Non-theist” Celebrates “The Holidays” – Part II
In our Pathways gathering preceding the Thanksgiving holiday we acknowledged how is a national observance has been traditionally framed in a religious context. Instead of reverently bowing our heads to express our gratitude to a deity that would dispense blessings in a readily-apparent discriminate way, it was suggested we better expend our efforts remembering and expressing our appreciation of those relationships we hold most dear and might regard as ultimately sacred.
The Christmas holidays can be even trickier for those who give even a token nod to “the reason for the season;” with a doctrinal claim that a theistic god somehow enters into the human story, rather than emerging out of our own human imagination. How does a non-theist celebrate the holy nativity of a Galilean sage from days long gone; with an ancient, subversive message that is not only central the gospel tradition and Jesus’ character and teachings, but strikingly applicable today? Come explore and share!
We’ll sing some favorite carols from this rather ‘counter-cultural’ perspective, and also enjoy our Pathways tradition of an untraditional Gift Exchange. *
- If you have not already drawn a name and need one, request one when you RSVP. Everyone participating, remember: You will make a financial gift in any undisclosed amount to a charity or non-profit of your choice in your gift recipient’s name. Bring a card that describes the gifted organization and we’ll “exchange” our gifts at our gathering!
Always a free event, open to everyone, but please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org Newcomers always welcome.
Location: Bennison Residence – 2311 Walnut Blvd. Walnut Creek
A Calendar of 2017 Gathering Dates is here.
A Thanksgiving Reflection from Words & Ways
How a Non-Theist Celebrates “The Holidays”
The Thanksgiving holiday in America is a national observance that has been traditionally framed in a religious context. Whether you like roast turkey or not, one is expected to be thankful for it, and express one’s gratitude to the “Giver” of all good gifts, who “doth provide for all our wants to be supplied.” For those of us who have enough, or more than enough, it’s all sufficiently palatable; if not theologically problematic in the face of arms-length hunger and poverty.
The Christmas holidays are even trickier for those who give even a token nod to a doctrinal claim that a theistic god-being somehow enters into the human story; rather than being an anthropomorphic creation emerging out of our own human imagination. But that’s for another time. Meanwhile, it’s Thanksgiving. To whom might we best express our gratitude?
You can read more of what this might mean in this latest commentary Here.
For more than four decades, John Bennison has been a pastor, preacher, teacher, trainer, carpenter, coffin builder, counselor, spiritual advisor, ethicist, writer and lyricist, musician and entertainer, assembly-line union worker, small business entrepreneur, residential real estate specialist, corporate cog and executive director of several non-profit organizations.
He’s authored eight publications on faith and values, and as an ordained minister served as a parish pastor over 25 years. He earned his Doctorate from Claremont School of Theology, as well as his BA degree in philosophy and religion from Lake Forest College.
John contributes his leadership experience as Executive Director and Lead Teacher at Pathways, as he writes the Words & Ways commentaries and blogs on The Christian Progressive, engaging others everywhere in meaningful dialogue. He also serves as the Director of the Mountain Shadow Film Society.
Meanwhile, John also continues to provide professional client services to buyers and sellers of residential real estate in the Bay Area area market (www.imaginecominghome.com).
Having raised two daughters, he resides with his spouse and golden retriever in Walnut Creek, California.