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The small world I lived in before I realized it was kaput



It is hard to describe the lay of the land of the churches during the sixties. While I knew about Pentecostal, fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches, they were not part of the world I occupied. It would be after my world crumbled that I would realize with chagrin  that most of the worlds we create are illusory. Once one leaves a particular its partiality becomes palpable. I had erred and strayed from a sense of universality and banked on a world that itself was in the process of crumbling.  So it can be said that when I sought to popularize The Grass Roots Church and its structural proposals for local ecumenical action, I was only reaching, to be fully and searingly honest, the narrow territory occupied by the mainline, denominational American Protestant church. And if truth be further told. I was influencing or inspiring only a handful from place to place who saw, as I did, that the house of cards was crumbling. I did not see that the denominations would not budge from their ways. I did not see that the openness of this part of Christendom to racial justice was severely limited. There were ten or fifteen at the time who constituted the core of what might be called church renewal leadership. Among these I was one of only a few who actually proposed specific ways churches might renew themselves. If I had to guess at the percentage of this mainline world that knew of my ideas, it would be less than five percent. That I contributed to a mood of change was clear enough, but I was arguing that denominations were obsolete, that institutions could treat their legal entity lightly enough to merge and morph with ease, that the old ways of the church could be lightly dispensed with, that radical diversity could be achieved. In short, I was whistling in the wind and avoiding the context where my ideas might themselves grow and flourish.  That context would have been the world which I venerated but was separated from by the very nature of where I was and what I was doing. As the years unfolded at the end of the 1960s I had opportunities to jump ship. I might have jumped into secular journalism or TV. Or moved into politics. Looking back, it is as I came to see it over time. The world I was in had a precious pearl which was the actual legacy hidden the texts of our ill-used Bible. Nothing could change in the outer world, the whole world, without unveiling this reality. This reality was so far from the understanding of the churches that it was practically nonexistent. In other words, I was still convinced Jesus had the goods. But I did not know how to say that yet. It would take four decades and more to even get to a beginning point of utterance. 
The latter years of this journey fused my thinking with that of Nietzsche and Charles Sanders Peirce and enabled my current work which is carried out under the names Abba's Way and Triadic Philosophy. Still exiled, I believe I have found the right track.  

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"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…