Over the next few weeks we’re going to be diving into some complex, difficult topics. Indeed, one of our members, upon seeing the worship information, said they were glad they weren’t the one having to preach all this. That’s fair. It would be much easier to not do this, to ignore all the issues we will be raising. But, it would also be less faithful.
As Pentecost reminds us, the Spirit drives us into places we might not want to go. She asks us to look in dark corners and bring light. She calls us to address things that make us uncomfortable so we can find that God dwells there too.
We will be diving into mental illness and our conceptions of people in poverty. We will be examining our understandings of how we think the human body should look and work as well as how we define our own and others identities and what loving relationships might look like.
I am not leading this series because I have the answers or have it all figured out. I am leading this series because I don’t. I still struggle to address my own stigmas, fears, and blind spots around the issues we’ll be discussing. I ask these questions because they touch my own life and those of people I love.
I hope these are places we start talking. I won’t be giving definitive proclamations but creating openings for us to examine ourselves and to talk with others. We may think we’re very comfortable with some of these topics, that we are knowledgeable and open. I pray that is true. However, I suspect that all of us have space to open even more fully, to be more deeply honest with ourselves.
If, during these weeks, you get really upset about something I say, that’s ok. I hope you will talk with me. If you these sermons bring up emotions you weren’t anticipating, that’s ok. I am willing to listen if you want to share. My metaphorical door is always open. Even though I am not regularly in my church office, I am reachable by phone and email and always happy to schedule time to chat in person.
We all have growing to do, me included, always learning always seeking to follow more faithfully. None of us are perfect. But, we are all disciples, students of Jesus, students of faith. I believe that, together, we can learn and grow. We can create space for vulnerability that will help us open ourselves to new possibilities and ideas; to find healing in places where we are hurt or realize we have hurt others. I look forward to growing together.