It has been a wonderful Lenten journey and now, on the other side of Resurrection Sunday, I am finding my soul nourished by the expressions of faith so many in our congregation shared with such beauty and power.
Long before we became pastors of this church we began a list of dreams we hoped to use someday when we would be in a position where we could implement them. This I Believe was one of them. For years, I had helped eighth graders develop an Expression of Faith as a part of their confirmation process. I intentionally called it an expression rather than statement because I don’t think we necessarily need to use words to “say” what we believe. Year after year, after the confirmands would present their Expressions of Faith adults would say they could never do such a thing. Nonsense!
So this year we did it. During the season of Lent we explored our faith and invited others to share their expressions. A physician spoke about how his faith impacts his understanding of healing. Artists of all abilities shared visual expressions of how they have experienced God at work in their lives. During the education hour on Sunday mornings we dug into a number of our written confessions that we say on a regular basis. On Wednesday evenings we looked at our faith and how it can be expressed in film. Folks shared stories, zipped emails to us, brought in snippets they had discovered in what they had been reading.
At times, Jeff and I felt a bit lazy because we spent more time listening during worship than speaking! It was a joy to hear from the priesthood of all believers – and not just for us.
Last night I was deeply moved by the words of one of our elders who opened our Session meeting by speaking about how his faith has been shaped by serving as an elder. We’ll be using his reflections as we begin the work of discerning who God is calling to be officers for the class of 2012.
I keep hearing those words of Parker Palmer that have shaped my ministry: to teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced. I am grateful to be in a place where I can practice that sort of ministry.