Join us for our next God on Tap on June 19th, 7:30 pm upstairs at Gypsy Blu in Ambler. Our topic will be Christian Minimalism with special guest Becca Ehrlich. (We are going to hold the second part of our conversation about Who is Jesus? in July.)
I am thrilled for us to welcome Becca Ehrlich at our June 19th gathering! I ran into Becca at a church event last month and as we talked we discovered that we both have an interest in minimalism. Well, I have an interest. She has a passion for it.
What is minimalism? It is an intention to live more simply, thereby making time and space in our lives for the things that matter most. I was introduced to minimalism last year when I received the week-long challenge to get rid of one thing the first day, two things the second day, and so on. I did the week...and then I just kept going and going. Getting rid of old things from the drawer, shelf, closet, basement, and the garage was surprisingly liberating for me. It was truly a spiritual experience in ways that are hard to describe, but it was profound. So, when Becca told me she was a minimalist and that she even blogs about it at Christian Minimalism, I just had to have her join us at God on Tap. If you are interested in exploring minimalism before we gather on June 19th, Becca and I would recommend you check out the Minimalism documentary on Netflix.
Becca is an ordained pastor in the ELCA and currently works as Associate Director of Admissions at United Lutheran Seminary (ULS). She is also working towards my doctoral degree in Christian Spirituality. Before moving to Pennsylvania and working at ULS, she served as a parish pastor at two Lutheran churches in western New York State. Read all about Becca and her journey in minimalism on her blog.
What is Minimalism?
Becca writes on her website, "The definition for minimalism that I attempt to live by as a minimalist is: A focus on the aspects of life that matter most, and intentionally removing anything that doesn’t fall into that category.
Being a minimalist is about identifying what matters most in your life, and removing anything that doesn’t matter most and/or is an obstacle to focusing on what matters most. For a lot of people, a big part of the minimalist lifestyle is lessening their attachment to material goods by buying and consuming less and owning less."
Why Christian Minimalism?
Becca writes, "When I first discovered minimalism, it was like someone had flipped on a light switch in my soul. It just made sense to me to focus on the important aspects in life that mattered most, and to get rid of and remove the aspects that weren’t the most important. In fact, it embodied for me exactly what Jesus said: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Living an abundant, or full, life is what Jesus wants for us. And that full life includes spending our time and energy and resources on that which matters most. It means removing anything that keeps us from living that full life that Jesus came to give us.
The Bible verse that most informs my minimalist lifestyle is Luke 12:34–“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Whatever is our treasure, whatever we focus on as most important, is where our heart is. Another way to read it is from The Message (a Bible paraphrase) of that verse: “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” Our desires and where we spend our time, our resources, and our energy will be with what we consider our treasure. Minimalism helps us to be intentional about what our treasure is, and where our heart is."
We hope to see you on June 19th!