The time flew by as we listened to this gracious man invest of himself into us. His point is that church has much to offer in the way of silence, virtue and graceNo video clips, buzz groups, role play, modelling, art - this was simply someone articulating with intelligence and amazing insight a real depth of character and experience. The time flew by as we listened to this gracious man invest of himself into us. His point was that church has much to offer through the way of silence, virtue and grace to a tired self-absorbed society needing to slow down from reaping the dis-benefits of rampant consumerism. The alternative way of sanctuary showing what grace centred humanity can be.
If our churches are to be places of sanctuary he got us to think about how we can create that holy space for those who need to rediscover church as spacious and holy. Where people can escape noise and sound to discover their contemplative need? He got us to think how church could maximise its place in our community as a resource, where people have time to listen to what matters in themselves and in others?
If our churches are to be places of sanctuary he got us to think about how we can develop our understanding of virtue as foundational to our definition of integrity. Not surprisingly for an Benedictine Abbot of Worth Abbey he suggests that our churches need to impact their communities with a redemptive and restoratative framework for human rights based on:
- Fortitude (firmness of spirit, steadiness of will in doing good)
- Justice (determination to give everyone their rightful due)
- Temperance (restraint of inordinate movements of desires)
- Prudence (the correct knowledge of things to be done or avoided)
Utterly convinced that consumer church is not meeting a very real need for sanctuary, Jamison pointed to the many opportunities for re-alignment of people through greater stillness. This he believes has every chance of leading to the embrace of 'good life' which then by grace leads to awareness of God.
If our churches are to be places of sanctuary he got me to think that it stems from a fullness of life that makes us spacious towards others others. For churches to be places of sanctuary perhaps we need to be aware that it starts with and through us.