One of the ways Emmaus Community would like to contribute to the life of our neighbourhood and to the Church would be to start a regular series of roundtable discussions where we would invite someone to share for a short bit and then open the table up so that the wisdom of the room can be shared in a circle.

This 2017 ‘Roundtable’ focuses on ‘presence’ – especially our call to presence in the neighbourhood.

There’s a bit more on the roundtable seminary below…

But here are the themes for the upcoming weeks:

Week 1 – Jan. 23) Seeking rootedness in this place:  Consider ways in which we can connect to our location as  individuals and as a community. Why root in a place? What does it mean to be rooted in Fernwood?  Where are there “abandoned places” or unfulfilled needs in this neighbourhood that we can fill and how?   How do we come alongside the God is doing in the neighbourhood (and, what do we sense God is doing in the ‘hood)?

Week 2 – Feb. 6) Seeding community with our neighbours:   Accompanying through friendship / community building. Consider ways in which we can build relationships in this neighbourhood as individuals and as a community. How do we become active community builders in this place?  Where does God send us?

Week 3 – Feb. 20) Cultivating compassion in our hood:  Consider ways in which we can nurture empathy and compassion in this neighbourhood as individuals and  as a community. How do we act on that compassion and how do we bring others into this compassion!?  Theologically speaking ‘com-passion’ means to suffer-with.

Week 4 – Feb. 27) Consciously nurturing our calling(s) together:   Consider ways in which we can be present with each other and nurture our common call.  What our are gifts as individuals and as a community? How do we foster self-reflection and accountability within our community? And how do we share that with the greater neighbourhood?

More on the Roundtable Seminary:

When Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Worker movement in 1933 (arguably a forerunner to the New Monastic Movement) they proposed having regular “roundtable discussions for the clarification of thought”.

In World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church started an “underground seminary” in Nazi Germany in order to train up folks in the resistance against the evils of Nazism.

We’ve decided to mesh those two ideas into the notion of a “roundtable seminary”.

Our hope is that these ‘seminaries’ take on a wider variety of subjects; ecology, gardening, art, permaculture, simpler living, theology, prayer, contemplative practice, bread baking, community living, peace-making and the like!