This Lovely, Little, Life-Giving Tent

tent.jpg

This is abundantly true:
I am in love with writing.

Truly, I am.

This website and its blog are nearly a year old, and I want to express gratitude for everyone who has visited, read, followed along, shared, and cultivated conversations here. The last year has taught me how much I love to write, and I want to thank you for that. I am especially grateful when others have added their voices too, as it has allowed me to meet new people and hear a variety of perspectives. Thank you for your presence and encouragement.

In a multitude of ways, this last year has been an incredible journey. In addition to this blog, I have been working to form a new spiritual community called Michigan Nones and Dones. Its formation emerged as a bit of a surprise when I started a group on Meetup.com, then realized I had stumbled completely into a vision that is needed. Michigan Nones and Dones is a community for those who are “spiritually curious but institutionally suspicious.” It includes people who are religiously unaffiliated (the Nones) and people who have left traditional, institutional churches (Dones). We meet in coffee shops and restaurants to talk about our experiences and hopes for our spiritual lives. This community, its formation, and most especially, its people are a real gift.

Earlier in the summer, I was invited to a retreat to talk about this new vision and what I am learning. While I was there, a participant asked me, “So are you tentmaker?”

Now you might wonder what on earth she was asking, or how such a question might emerge out of the blue. But I knew what she meant. She wasn’t curious if I am especially adept at designing tents. I’m definitely not! She was referring to a type of ministry service.

Tentmakers are people who practice forms of ministry without pay, as they are funded through alternative means. The term has its origin in the 1st century with the Apostle Paul who traveled around Asia Minor, forming new churches and funding his work by making tents. At the time of her question this summer, while so much was in process (and these days, it still is) I answered, “Yes.” Then after a short pause, I added, “But I don’t know what my tent is!” We laughed.

This is why I am featuring a photo of tent this morning. This amazing, emerging calling of writing has become as a bit of a tent. It is “that other thing I do,” except it’s not simply a side project. I have discovered that I am truly in love with writing. It is a part of this new chapter.

This work will always remain free of charge. So in that sense, it’s not really a tent. Perhaps I need a tent for this emerging tent! But it has occurred to me, in part because folks actually ask (thank you!) that people would love to support what I do, especially this tent of writing.

So today, I am offering that opportunity if you so desire. If you would like to give a gift to this work at Smuggling Grace, you can go to this link and donate: Support Smuggling Grace. Your gift of any size contributes toward the cost of maintaining this site, and it supports all those coffee and restaurant dates with this new, unfolding community.

Many thanks for your support and encouragement.

Renee Roederer

 

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