Last night was the inaugural meeting of the rebooted Atlanta Christian Mysticism Meetup.
Alas, I forgot to take my camera, so I have no incriminating images to share with you. But I can tell you about it: we had eleven people show up, seven of whom I had never met in person before (although a few of those I knew from online). The participants seemed to represent a variety of church affiliations (or, non-affiliation), ages, and perspectives on mysticism. We structured the meetup around three questions:
- What does “mysticism” mean to you?
- Why does mysticism matter to you?
- Why specifically Christian mysticism?
Of course, people came up with a wide array of responses, although in general, the consensus seemed to fall somewhere along these lines:
- Mysticism is the quest for a deeper sense of union or connection with God;
- Mysticism matters because such a connection is something that, once tasted, a person will devote the rest of his or her life to seeking more;
- Christian mysticism appeals both because of its communal dimension (love neighbors as well as loving God) and because, frankly, most of us grew up in the Christian tradition.
In a mere 90 minutes, we could all barely do more than introduce ourselves and have the most basic of conversations. But we’ll meet again on March 2. If you are in the Atlanta area, I do hope you’ll join us. Here’s the details:
Atlanta Christian Mysticism Meetup for March 2011: Wednesday Evening Conversation
When: March 2, 2011, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Where: Alcove Coffee & Tea, 4135 Lavista Rd Tucker, GA (jut inside the perimeter off of exit 37)
Cost: Suggested donation of $1 to cover Meetup expenses, plus please support Alcove!
Topic: What do mystics do? We’ll explore not only how the great mystics throughout history practiced their spirituality, but also how mysticism can make a difference in our spiritual lives today.
Hope to see you there! And if you’re not a member of the Atlanta Christian Mysticism Meetup, you can join by following this link.