Last year, I began to cultivate a friendship with Reverend Jim Burgquist of Orinda Community Church, after he invited me, Rabbi Gutterman and the Shir Joy band to provide the music for his worship service one Sunday morning. That experience was so joyful, and so hopeful, that it dared us to dream of creating that kind of interfaith experience outside the walls of a church or synagogue. That dream led to many conversations and cups of coffee, which led to the The God Experiment, an interfaith event that will weave together music, storytelling and a sprinkling of spirit, with the hope of infusing holiness and unity into a secular space.
Jim and I met many times at the Peet’s in Orinda to envision this evening together. We knew we wanted to bring stories and music from our faith traditions, and that we wanted to invite other talented performers and musicians to join us. So we reached out to our very own Ariel Luckey and Lisa Zeiler, and percussionist Kevin Weber, to bring their talents and passions to the stage with us. We wanted to gather in the evening, in an unexpected, public space, with wine and beer and great sound and spirit. The rest would just flow, which it has.
So what exactly is The God Experiment? The experiment is both the transformation of a mundane space into a holy one, and the merging of interfaith folks in an unusual environment. Can sanctity be created by people who don’t normally pray together, in a space that is usually reserved for entertainment? Can we, with intention, cultivate the belief that we are indeed more united than we are divided?
Can you come to The God Experiment if you don’t believe in God? Why yes you can! This evening is for doubters, seekers and believers. It is for people who are curious and people who are longing for joy and community. It is for all of us.
Our first gathering of The God Experiment will be on August 26th at Neyborly–Poet’s Corner in Berkeley, doors at 6:00, show at 7:00. It promises to be a sweet evening! Our flyer with more information is below. Tickets can be purchased here.
I hope to see you all there!