We are extremely excited to partner with Eikon Church and re-launch Midrash here in Little Rock. Our first get together is a coffee shop discussion and our subject will be about social media and how it affects social capital. (read below for specific details about when and where) This topic should be at least a little interesting to you b/c blogging is an aspect of social media and right now you are choosing to read my blog instead of giving blood…unless, you are reading my blog on your phone while giving blood in which at least our social capital breaks even (think about the implications of that statement haha)
I digress…read below about midrash for why and what it is and also about our first event since joining up with Eikon church…………
Midrash is a Hebrew word that—when roughly translated—means “commentary.” We’ve taken the word Midrash as the title for our group and created an avenue for people from all walks of life to get together and discuss pertinent topics that impact our lives, our culture, our city, our state, our nation and our world.
THE WHY & WHAT OF MIDRASH
With Midrash—and Eikon—we value engaging culture to show that God’s truth is evident everywhere. The main crux of the issue is that we realize the Bible isn’t an authority for everyone and as such, we want to be involved in different happenings that show how God’s truth intersects everyday life. As a community of Jesus followers, we need to find ways to engage culture in a compelling manner and meet people where they are both spiritually and socially.
Art—of all forms—is a major influencer in our culture, so we base a lot of our gatherings around different art forms. But, we don’t envision a bunch of high-brow art critics standing around sipping dry martinis. We’re very ordinary people who enjoy fun and lively discussions about all sorts of topics (and you can even choose your own beverage…).
We host various types of gatherings including the following: coffee shop discussions, film nights, art gallery viewings and the occasional large panel forum. The main types of gatherings, though, are large group discussions in which we throw out a culturally relevant topic and allow for open conversation, facilitated by a moderator. Topics in the past have ranged from violence in the U.S. to animal rights to racism in Little Rock. Our discussions are held at local restaurants, coffee shops or bars—places that are able to accommodate group discussions.
No doubt, people want to talk about the topics we discuss, but just haven’t had the opportunity. We want to provide that opportunity! Our group is open to all kinds of people: religious, irreligious, atheists, nihilists, spiritual, and non-spiritual…everybody.
Does all this sound familiar? Midrash isn’t, in fact, new to Little Rock. You may know that we took a bit of an extended break over the last fews months. We’re excited to say that Eikon is now sponsoring Midrash, as we think Midrash and Eikon make a perfect marriage. The core principles of Midrash are the same ones that guide the Eikon community. So, we’re now refocused and excited to get things going again!
THE WHERE & WHEN OF MIDRASH
We’ll return with a coffee shop discussion on Wednesday, September 9 at The House (in Hillcrest)(check their website for address and subsequent directions) from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30ish p.m. (NOTE: Midrash gatherings will change locations and times from month to month.)
We’ll be discussing the role of social media in our lives, spawning from the book, “Bowling Alone” by Robert D. Putnam. (NOTE: By all means, reading the book has no bearing on your level of participation. It certainly is not a prerequisite for attending and engaging in the conversation. It’s simply a jumping point for a broader conversation.) By plugging into our computers and phones, are we unplugging from each other? Is our social capital as a nation declining or improving as a result of these technological innovations? Is it just a passing fad or is it a step towards our society becoming more reclusive?
Midrash is a welcome place for respectful discussions and we hope you’ll come out, grab a brew, share your view and lend an ear to others’.
(Not only do we just enjoy the social and personal growth aspect of Midrash, but we also think there’s a Biblical connection. Check out the following passages of Scripture: Acts 17: 16-34, Matthew 6: 10, II Corinthians 3: 16-18, Genesis 1: 26-28. These verses speak of God’s calling for us to redeem creation through him.)