one more quote from my prep before I head out to Vision Church retreat in the morning:

From Mary Jo Leddy I learned another term besides alternativity for thinking about the uniqueness of the Church. In a conference lecture she reported that the playwright-president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, was asked why the “Velvet Revolution” against the communists in the former Czechoslovakia was successfully nonviolent — and we might add, why it remains effective when so many other satellites of the former U.S.S.R. are presently in turmoil. Havel answered somewhat like this: “We had our parallel society. And in that parallel society we wrote our plays and sang our songs and read our poems until we knew the truth so well that we could go out to the streets of Prague and say, ‘We don’t believe your lies anymore’ — and communism had to fall.”

In the midst of our post-Christian culture, the true churches must be a similar sort of parallel society. We gather together in worship to speak our language, to read our narratives of God at work, to sing authentic hymns of the faith in all kinds of styles, to chant and pour out our prayers until we know the truth so well that we can go out to the world around us and invite that world to share this truth with us. In our worship, we are formed by biblical narratives that tell a different story from that of the surrounding culture.

— Marva J. Dawn, A Royal “Waste” of Time, p334