Many Christians from the earliest centuries to the present have affirmed that true wisdom combines knowledge of God and knowledge of ourselves. It’s more than just speculation of the mind. A full, rich life with meaning and purpose arises out of how we live faith in daily routines and respond to major concerns. Here’s how Richard Rohr expresses it:
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of
thinking. In other words, our journeys around and through our realities, or
“circumferences,” lead us to the core reality, where we meet both our truest self and
our truest God. We do not really know what it means to be human unless we know
God. And, in turn, we do not really know God except through our own broken and
When we talk about what we “know,” it all has much to do with how we feel, as well. We live out of reflection and inspiration, driven by emotions at least as much as mental calculations. We tend to make decisions based on our desires and fears more than just definitive “facts.”
As we live faith together through the next couple of months, I’d like to highlight a few activities and events by way of example and invitation. First, as in previous years, we are coordinating opportunities to read and reflect on a book together through the season of Lent. We will use Everything Belongs, by Richard Rohr, quoted above. In this Presbyter, you will find times and places to participate with a group. Some will meet with existing groups. Whether you come often or this would be a new Lenten discipline, I encourage you to consider how you might grow in faithfulness—loving God by sharing the love of others.
During Lent, we will also host the McShane Colloquium. Our very special presenter this year is the Rev. David McShane himself! Dave has spent much of his life observing and reflecting on how liturgy in worship moves the human heart and inspires us to live. He will preach on Sunday, March 12, and offer an interactive lecture later that afternoon. And finally, he will lead further conversation on Monday, March 13. Look for more information and how to register for that Monday.
Two other groups meet through this season and beyond. A confirmation class of youth meets weekly after worship to discuss everything from the Bible, church history, and theology, to how we live faith in our contemporary world. Rob Bradford has included many other adults as teachers and mentors to build wider relationships. I look forward to their confirmation in May—when we glimpse how our youth have begun to integrate their “truest self” and our “truest God.” And in a much less formalized way, a small group of congregants of all ages is actively exploring and experiencing alternative expressions of worship. The group gathers consistently on Saturdays at 5:00 p.m., gearing up and working through possibilities, while meeting in people’s homes. If you’d like to participate, let me or someone from the Worship and Music Committee know. Otherwise watch for more information about a “launch” in months to come.
In this season of Lent, as we grow closer with God and one another, grace and peace to you,
The Reverend Dr. Seth Weeldreyer, Pastor