Ascension Lutheran Church

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Ascension Lutheran Church
Ascension Lutheran Church is listed in the Churches Lutheran category in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Displayed below are the social networks for Ascension Lutheran Church which include a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The activity and popularity of Ascension Lutheran Church on these social networks gives it a ZapScore of 69.

Contact information for Ascension Lutheran Church is:
2627 44th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
(616) 455-8108
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"Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1217-1274), a Doctor of the Church, philosopher, and mystic, also brought Francis of Assisi’s intuitive vision to philosophical and theological heights. Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus (1265/66–1308) both had a cosmic, universal notion of the Christ. The key texts for their Franciscan Christology were the first paragraphs of several New Testament books: Colossians 1:15-20, John 1:1-5, 15-18, Ephesians 1:3-14, Hebrews 1:1-4, and 1 John 1:1-4. I must list them clearly so you do not think I am creating some new theology unfounded in Scripture. We do not normally see what we are not told to pay attention to. So I am telling you to pay attention to what Paul calls “the hidden wisdom” or “hidden mystery” (1 Corinthians 2:6-8) where “the fullness of divinity lives in embodied form” (see Colossians 2:9). Like Francis, Bonaventure is positive, mystical, cosmic, and takes the mystery of incarnation to its logical conclusions. Jesus is the stand-in for everything else! Bonaventure starts very clearly: “Unless we are able to view things in terms of how they originate, how they are to return to their end, and how God shines forth in them, we will not be able to understand.” [1] His whole theology is often summed up as Emanation > Exemplification > Consummation. This understanding of incarnation as a universal event with social implications had been much more common in the Eastern Fathers, like Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Maximus the Confessor. Unfortunately, these teachers were less seriously studied in the Western Church after the tragic schism of 1054. The 12th century Rhineland mystic Hildegard of Bingen, and later Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and his early followers, brought back what I call “incarnational mysticism”—finding God through things instead of ideas, doctrines, and church services, which still persists as the mainline orthodoxy down to our time. For Bonaventure, the perfection of God and God’s creation moves full circle, which is the meaning of resurrection. He intuited that Alpha and Omega had to be the same, and the lynchpin holding it all together was the “Christ Mystery” visible everywhere—the essential unity of matter and spirit, humanity and divinity. The Christ Mystery is thus the template, model, and goal for all of creation. The end is included and the trajectory set from the very beginning. Likewise for Duns Scotus, Jesus is not plan B, or a mere historic problem solver; he is Plan A from the very start. Christian faith is not merely in Jesus or merely in Christ, but precisely in Jesus Christ—both! The theology of Francis, Duns Scotus, and Bonaventure was never about trying to placate a distant or angry God, earn forgiveness, or find some abstract theory of justification. They were all about cosmic optimism, deep time, and implanted hope! Salvation was social more than individual, just like the Old Testament covenants. Once we lost this kind of inherent mysticism, Christianity became preoccupied with fear, unworthiness, and guilt much more than delighting in an all-pervasive plan that was already and always in place. As Paul’s school says, “Before the world was made, God chose us, chose us in Christ” (Ephesians 1:4). The problem was solved from the beginning. Any Gospel of hope must start with the “original blessing” announced in Genesis 1 instead of the problem described in Genesis 3. It invites us beyond the negative notion of history as being a “fall from grace” to the long and positive view of history as a slow emergence/evolution into ever-greater consciousness." ~ Richard Rohr, OFM

"We’ve been exploring the Law of Three as a practical tool for inner and outer transformation. Its strength lies in its consistency and versatility as well as in its broad range of applications. It is equally at home solving interpersonal issues, analyzing literature, computing theology, managing global economics, mediating conflicts, and brainstorming solutions for a sustainable universe. Wherever there is an authentic new arising, the Law of Three is somehow involved. Christianity as a path has a special affinity for the Law of Three which places at its disposal a powerful tool for carrying the Mystery into the “secular” world. Imagine how the energies of our planet would shift if we as Christians took seriously our obligation to work with the Law of Three as our fundamental spiritual praxis. Face to face with the vast challenges of our times—environmental, economic, political—we would avoid making judgments (because according to the Law of Three, denying force is a legitimate player in every equation), set our sights higher than “winners and losers” (or even negotiated compromise), and instead strive in all situations to align our minds and hearts with third force. Closer to my own immediate sphere of interest—the arena of Christian contemplative practice—the Law of Three offers an amiable metaphysical ground on which to explore the biblical invitation to “put on the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Third force is not easy to attune to because our usual consciousness is skewed toward the binary, toward “either/or.” The dualistic mind lacks both the sensitivity and the actual physical capacity to stay present to third force, which requires an established ability to live beyond the opposites. The capacity to recognize and consciously mediate third force belongs to what we would now call unitive or nondual consciousness. Consistent contemplative practice is a non-negotiable in developing the alert and flexible presence that can midwife third force." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault

"Sometimes an infusion of third force arrives quite directly. One of my students recounted how in a heated business meeting that was spiraling out of control, he was able to open himself directly to a Wisdom that seemed to come from beyond him and speak through him. “I stepped onto air, and it held me up,” T. said, recalling the moment when he knew intuitively that the baton had been passed to him. Up to that point, he had been watching almost as a spectator, with an unusual sense of detachment. He was prepared in the sense of an inner openness but not in the sense of having cognitively prepared anything to say. What followed was pretty much a third force classic: “I spoke for a few minutes. The words came out. Everything shifted in the room. Anger and opposition left. Others began to make comments, and we left with the creative proposal intact but, more importantly, with the client relationship restored. A complete impasse had become a doorway. “This may have been third force,” he reflected later. “Why? Because the words supplied were objective; they seemed to be devoid of a need to win an argument. They were not combative. Without denying or amending anything that had been said earlier, they ushered in something new. “This idea of ‘objective’ seems to me a useful field mark for identifying third force. Third force contains transformative power because it does not take sides. It doesn’t have a dog in the fight. Could it be said to be compassionately indifferent?” Whether it’s a matter of salvaging a client relationship, shedding unwanted pounds, analyzing a piece of literature, or exploring the mystery of the Trinity, the Law of Three is applicable across such a wide range of disciplines simply because it is, in fact, a cosmic law—an organizing principle. The fact that it is equally adept in the domains of psyche and matter may contain an important clue toward the healing of the split between science and religion that has tormented the Western mind for more than five hundred years. The Law of Three is good to know about simply because it’s such a useful tool. Once you get the hang of it, it has remarkable leverage to bring to bear on any situation where process and change are involved, and it is particularly brilliant in situations that appear to be at an impasse. You might consider it the Gurdjieff equivalent to what the Buddhists call skillful means. Learning to wield it is in itself a path of conscious transformation. The conscious energy that it seems to infuse into any situation is itself a precious energetic boost to a world dashing itself to pieces on the rocks of either/or." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault

"Ternary metaphysics shift us away from the comfortable and static dualistic operating system that we’ve grown accustomed to using—with its corresponding polarities of in/out, right/wrong, matter/spirit—and places our reality into forward drive and dynamism. In a ternary system, in place of paired opposites, the interplay of the two polarities calls forth a third, which is the “mediating” or “reconciling” principle between them. The crucial part of a ternary system, and what sets it apart, is that it mediates creativity. We can see the Law of Three in action in our everyday lives. Twofoldness leads to cyclic recurrence. We get locked into “this” or “that” thinking, and so the pendulum swings back and forth or stays stuck at an impasse (think of every argument or conflict you’ve ever been in). All progression, however, or forward motion through time, operates under the Law of Three: the impasse between two opposing forces is mediated by a third force that causes a new creative arising to emerge. It’s not quite the triad of thesis, antithesis, synthesis, because the “third force” is always an equal player (not a combination of the first two oppositional energies). There is no progression apart from the Law of Three and no Law of Three apart from progression. This deceptively simple point is actually at the heart of Christian metaphysics, if only we knew how to tap it better. The Law of Three is, I believe, Christianity’s hidden driveshaft, and its presence so far has only been intuited, never explicitly identified by theologians. Comprehensive, profoundly original, and like all drive shafts—concerned with forward motion—it is Christianity’s authentic temperament, the key in which theory and practice come together, and in which all of Christianity’s teachings hang together. The sacred mandala of the Trinity compels us to understand that this is what God is always doing. God has basically one agenda, which is to widen and bring into new, creative, diverse manifestations the flowing love of the Trinity. This is the Trinitarian believer’s opportunity: to bring third force into all sorts of situations, to make it appear like magic where it never appeared before." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault

I’ve asked Cynthia Bourgeault, one of CAC’s core faculty members, to share some of her insights on Trinity and the Law of Three over the next two weeks. ~ Richard Rohr, OFM "With so many urgent practical issues facing humanity, why waste time with the Trinity, a doctrine that most of the world (and even much of Christianity) regards as contrived and irrelevant? By way of response, let me offer you a story that was told to me by my longtime friend and teacher, the Abkhazian dervish elder Murat Yagan. In the years immediately following World War II, Murat recounts, he spent time in a remote corner of eastern Turkey. There he became friends with an elderly couple. Life had been good to them, but their one sadness was that they missed their only son, who had left some years before to work in Istanbul. One day when Murat visited them, the old couple were bursting with pride, eager to show him the new tea cupboard that their son had just shipped from Istanbul. It was indeed a handsome piece of furniture, and the woman had already arranged her best tea set on its upper shelf. Murat was polite but curious. Why would their son go through such an expense to send them a tea cupboard? And if the purpose of this piece of furniture was storage, why were there no drawers? “Are you sure it’s a tea cupboard?” Murat asked. They were sure. But the question continued to nag at Murat. Finally, just before taking his leave, he said, “Do you mind if I have a look at this tea cupboard?” With their permission, he turned the backside around and unscrewed a couple of packing boards. A set of cabinet doors swung open to reveal inside a fully operative ham radio set. That “tea cupboard,” of course, was intended to connect the couple to their son. But unaware of its real contents, they were simply using it to display their china. To my mind, that is an apt analogy for how Christians have been using the Holy Trinity. It is our theological tea cupboard, upon which we display our finest doctrinal china, our prized assertion that Jesus, a human being, is fully divine. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But what if inside the Trinity is concealed a powerful communications tool that could connect us to the rest of reality (visible and invisible), allow us to navigate our way through many of the doctrinal and ethical logjams of our time, and place the teachings of Jesus in a dynamic framework that would truly unlock their power? It is simply a matter of turning the tea cabinet around and looking inside. I know that there is indeed a ham radio concealed inside this Trinitarian tea cupboard. At a time when spiritual imagination and boldness are at an all-time low and the Christian church hovers at the edge of demise, perhaps now more than ever the time is ripe to remove the packing board from this tea cupboard and release its contents." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault


the cause of #worldpeace will be aided when we stop the ancient #tribalism of insisting that our religion is right and others are wrong.


come to the #episcopal church. you don’t have to leave your brain at the door. #welcome


Things become #controversial when they tell an #immigration story too effectively. youtube.com/watch?v=nPo2B-…


It is sinful (in Gk. meaning: to miss the mark) to take the majesty of God's #diversity and turn it into something #divisive.


RT @episcopalchurch: In Daily Scan - thank you Dean: Trinity Cathedral's Tracey Lind: A life lived out loud grows quieter https://t.co/NRx…