Finding Rhythms Together

by Mark Votava


When we first asked people to move into the neighborhood of Downtown Tacoma many people couldn’t right away, so we encouraged a participation of rhythms through small steps that would make the transition easier over time.  We encouraged a rhythm of spending an hour once a week in a coffee shop or going for a walk in the neighborhood or spending time with friends in the neighborhood doing something fun like a movie or going to a public space like a park.  These rhythms became important to us because even small rhythms of faithful presence in the neighborhood can become the seeds of imagination that grow with unlimited potential and possibility.

  • Remembering God’s presence within us

It is important to develop some kind of rhythms in the parish.  Rhythms foster rootedness and presence and they are symbolic toward helping us to remember God’s presence within us and our locality.

  • Life has been created to live in rhythms 

Edwin M. Leidel Jr. says in his book Awakening Grassroots Spirituality, “Life has been created to live in rhythms that coincide with God’s journeying presence with us.  The rhythms of the changing seasons and the rhythms of the day and night connected to the sun and the rotation of our earth on a skewed axis; rhythms of the tides and of insect and bird migration patterns connected to the moon’s orbit around our earth…”

  • Admitting our need for rhythms

All of life has rhythms to it.  We need to have locally based rhythms that help us to share life and cultivate the mystical imagination in us as the body of Christ in the parish.  Rhythms of silence, listening, togetherness, eating, laughing, planning, communicating, serving, reading, walking, shopping, sleeping, playing, relaxing, working, meditating, reflecting, resting, socializing and exercising all have a place in our lives together in the place we inhabit.

  • Becoming connected to the history of our place

When we create rhythms of locality in our lives together; we are reminded again and again of God’s presence with us, in us and through us.  We mystically become connected to the long history of that place at the creation of the world.  There is so much we do not understand about the world and our particular place that we inhabit together.  Our rhythms help us to remember and honor the place that we walk on.

What are some of the ways that you have found rhythms in your life with others in the place that you live?