On change, interfaith dialogue, and discipleship

Well, it’s a new semester and new set of circumstances that welcomes me to this final few months of my internship at The Table. Last fall, I got involved with The Table’s design team, which is now working on leadership and structure matters as we prepare to bid farewell to our visionary, team-building leaders: Gerald & Sara Wenger Shenk. It’s my prayer that my presence in these matters can be fruitful for the congregation and God’s continued work in our little group!

One item on my internship “learning goals” document this and last semester, deals with interfaith matters. In discussions with one of our fearless leaders, Gerald Shenk, helped give some clarity and direction to this. In the coming months, I hope to be taking my technical/web and organizational skills to develop an interactive, media-rich system for Abraham’s Tent. Hopefully by the end of the semester, we’ll have something to show for it. This activity will further enmesh me into the university community, as it will blend my roles at: the seminary (student), The Table & Abraham’s Tent (intern), and EMU Marketing (staff) and related connections to the university Information Systems division. And to think, I’m not even Mennonite (denominationally, at least)! You wouldn’t guess it by how immersed I feel here (which is a good feeling for me).

In a related note, Gerald gave a great colloquium presentation this past Wednesday called “Theologies of Plurality: Why we need to be in Abraham’s Tent.” That, coupled with an exciting session in a theology class at the seminary the next day, culminated in this cathartic writing project this afternoon, posted to my other blog:

Why can’t we be friends? – Restorative Theology

It’s a lengthy post, but if you dig theology and interfaith stuff, it might be worth the time spent. Please feel free to comment there (or here), as well. Quite a ways down in the post, I do reference a Scripture reading that we’re dealing with in the Lectionary this week: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

Brian Gumm is an EMS intern at The Table for the 2009-2010 academic year.