Tuesday, February 26, 2013 7 p.m.
“Our Hearts Are Restless until they Rest in Version 3.0: Consumerism and Desire”
Rev’d Beth Maynard
Episcopal Priest and Writer
Religious voices have often interpreted consumer culture (superficially) as a symptom of over-focus on material goods, and urged Christians (just as superficially) to be less materialistic. Drawing on St. Augustine via the contemporary theologian William T. Cavanaugh, we’ll explore a very different vision of consumerism as driven by essentially spiritual desires and as constituting an essentially spiritual practice, one that trains us to chase after a false transcendence of place, time, and matter. What if God were calling us to more focus on the material world, not less? What if we looked more directly at our desires?
The Rev. Beth Maynard grew up in what she thought was probably the only atheist family in Nashville, Tennessee. After a conversion to Christ in her late teens, she worked first in classical music publishing and then at a shelter for homeless women and men. Ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1994, she has served as a parish priest and a college chaplain in West Virginia and Massachusetts. She founded and led Mill Street House, an intentional community on Boston’s North Shore, from 2006-2012, and is an adjunct instructor in liturgy and spirituality at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Along with pamphlets, sermons and articles on themes of social justice, spiritual formation and stewardship, she has also published three books: Meditations for Lay Eucharistic Ministers, the collaboration The Bread of Life: A Cookbook for Body and Soul, and an anthology of sermons in dialogue with U2 songs, Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog. Currently, she is working on making a series of highly unfashionable public domain works of spiritual theology available for Kindle.
Join us at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings in February and March for our series, “Fathers Know Best: Patristic Solutions to Post-Modern Problems,” at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill with the presentations beginning at 7:30 p.m. We hope to see you there!
In this series we explore a variety of themes in Patristic theology, the theology of the early Christian writers from c. AD 100 to AD 451 who are typically referred to as the “Church Fathers.”