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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Envisioning new directions

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings - Churches function within the world around them. But when the world around them changes, as it had changed so radically in the last 50 years, institutions change slowly. It’s like redirecting a giant tanker in a turbulent sea.

Abandon the task, or make drastic adjustments. Change is possible, but only when we call on all the human resource available to discern what’s needed.

Ahoy you church drop-outs who think no one cares about you...

Ahoy you church spectators who feel “spiritual understandings” don’t require institutional nurture

Ahoy you old guard who populate Sunday pews and make your financial contributions…

Ahoy you whose world is secularized and globalized…

If churches of whatever stripe are to move from a what-has-been to a what-can-be, they need input from everyone. Faith questions will always be there as we search for what has meaning in our lives, how we cope with our anger and fears, how we confront evil, how we face suffering and death, and whether hope can be found in this world and the next.

Bring your questions, your doubts, and those things you find affirming. Talk together. Invite those who have been marginalized, those of other faith backgrounds. Share stories about where you have been and what you have discovered of God.

Pray that through this dialogue we may re-vision how to proceed. Affirm the practises we can share. Respect the differences in liturgical expression, activist outreach, historical understandings and evangelistic zeal that exist among us.

While none of us can define God, It can be helpful for we mortals to think in terms of a multifaceted diamond where we see only one facet at a time. It is as we combine our various sightings that we broaden our understandings and discover something far more magnificent that we could ever comprehend.

Our Christian understanding is that it is that kind of God that came into our midst to show us how much we are loved.

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