engaging in a rhythm of living and a rule of life 

Welcome to Coracles Monthly Reflections for year one authored by Dr. Dale Pollard and used with permission by the 8th Day Community. The name Coracles is taken from the small boats made of hide and strong branches used by some of the Celtic Christian saints of old when going on missions of mercy and evangelism. These reflections are in a sense the small boats which tie our community together in our daily lives and our individual and collective missions of mercy and evangelism. They are designed to introduce you to the main themes of the Church calendar over a two-year period, as well as the stories in the Bible that we consider essential to our life as Christians in an ever changing 21st century world. The two-year cycle can be repeated as often as you like. The seasonal rhythms of the year are connected to us both in the Church calendar and also in creation – in the seasons that mark the passages of time throughout the year.

For the 8th Day Community, the yearly calendar is marked by the usual four seasons of Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Included in those seasons are the main Church calendar events that have shaped the history of the Church throughout the two-thousand years of its existence as well as a main theme that helps describe the “seasons” of community. Fall represents Forming for us. This is the season of preparation for Advent and invites us into community after the summer holidays as we once again form community. Winter represents Nurturing in community, a time of preparation for Lent, and also a time of nurture and care for the community around us. Spring represents Renewing and vitality as new life is birthed. Here we celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Summer represents Sending as the warmth of the season gifts us with Pentecost, the beginning of the Church and of mission both local and abroad.

The first year of reflections include some thoughts on Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke chapter fifteen, and the first six of the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapter five. The second year includes reflections on Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter ten, and the remaining Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Every reflection has an Old Testament reading as well as a Psalm to read, readings from the Parable and Beatitudes themselves, a reading from the Paul’s New Testament letters and other New Testament writings, along with questions to consider at the end of each reflection.

The 8th Day Community is defined not only by compassion demonstrated within the city, but also by the growing calling to reflect the image of the God (the Imago Dei) in the rich and extraordinary history and traditions of the Church – both ancient and contemporary. Drawing on the main characteristics of the Celtic church, the reflections will ask you to reflect on some of the aspects of the Celtic tradition. We are drawn to the Celtic Church’s ability to “weave” the historical characteristics of the life of a follower of Jesus into a broader perspective bringing a needed reflective life of community and wholeness. In short, allowing people to experience the love of God in the ordinariness of life and not be bound by unnecessary institutional or self-made expectations.

We will also become familiar with some of the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith. Each season is devoted to one of eight spiritual discipline categories that include many of the classic disciplines of the Church. The first year has four categories, one for each season (or quarter) of the year, and each month’s reflection has one of the four categories as part of the material. The first year’s categories are: (1) Praying, (2) Gathering, (3) Living, and (4) Learning. The second year’s categories are: (5) Welcoming, (6) Fasting, (7) Listening, and (8) Reflecting. Every group that uses these reflections will become unique in how they express and emphasize these different disciplines. The goal is to become familiar with these practices and observe how God uses them to draw you and your group and community to Him.

In sum, we are a community of contemplation in the truest sense of the word – finding Christ in the depths of His word and the depths of our hearts, and then compelled by His love to serve one another in the world we all share, shaping the stories that we steward and invite others into. That is the aim of these reflections and of the 8th Day Community, to be a purposeful community defined by prophetic acts of compassion and expressing the love of Jesus to a desperate world; a world full of wonder and mystery filled with the life, love, and freedom of our Triune God of Grace.

Peace to you as you enter into God’s extravagant love and adventurous grace!

For more information on Coracles contact Dr. Dale Pollard at, or by cell at 360-201-3957. 

The 8th Day Community