Ours is a journey of inclusion. I’ve heard the church described as an experiment in unity among a great diversity of people. A calling to be different is at the heart of who we are especially when we consider the common divides – race, economics, sexual orientation, gender, culture, ethnicity – the list goes which threaten the unity in the Spirit. As a church, we are intentionally choosing a harder path. A path of transformation, guided by the Spirit, moving us from diversity into unity.
In our faith journey we are brothers and sisters – regardless of how the world defines us. We are a family of God called toward a journey of transformation, real change, through a relationship with a loving, living God.
The journey of faith is profound, life changing, and quite frankly unknown. No one journey is the same, as no one person is the same. It also is not a journey to achieve perfection, as is often defined in common culture. A life with no wrong. A sanitized life where we ignore the everyday realities of living in this world and the harsh inequities that exist. Realities that seek to divide us along the lines of race, economics, gender, sexual orientation – and I could go on. The danger comes when we solely blame the individual, as if individual choice is the only deciding factor in a sea of systemic social, political, and economic inequalities.
This month as we explore a Christian response to the social inequities coloring our lives, I pray your journey is transformative. I believe transformation starts with an openness to listen and to learn. A willingness to open ourselves to another’s personal story, even when the story is different or threatening to our own. The openness of the heart allows the Spirit to teach us new things, to challenge our beliefs, our understandings, and be made anew in the image of God.
Most importantly, may these stories lead us to action. Central to lives of faith is seeking true justice – actions that demonstrate Christ within us and seek to transform the world around us. Great leaders of faith have seen and continue to see social inequities as places for active transformation. Let’s learn from them. As a community of faith, let’s seek to be the active presence of Christ in this place and beyond. Asking ourselves, did we feed the hungry, did we house the homeless, did we protect the children, did we right an injustice, did I speak to correct a wrong?… to address it all we must be transformed not only individually, but corporately as well.
This month through Wednesday night study, worship, and homilies, we will seek to confront the social inequalities of our world. We will journey together, seeking to answer the call to be the catalyst of transformation. Creating a space where all are welcome, where diversity is embraced, and our actions lead others to be transformed by a loving, unifying God.
Chair of Deacons