Our church year is off to a very good start. We are blessed with a great deal of energy and momentum that comes from the year that we just went through together. I am excited to see the board unveil their plan to the congregation this month of what new and innovative things they will guide us to spend the extra money donated
through the donor matching fund and their thoughts on how that will continue the growth and energy in this faith community. It is one of the most remarkable things about a congregational system that the folks in the room, are the beginning of the font of inspiration in our faith.
We are starting up the Build Your Own Theology classes again this fall and I am looking forward to the involvement of both returning and new faces. The second class is set, but there is room for new folks in the Introduction classes. The purpose of Build Your Own Theology is to develop an explicit meaning making process and have the opportunity to discuss it and explore it in a group. Many of us give ourselves labels and shortcuts in our belief system that help us navigate through a normal day, but this is an opportunity to really figure out what you believe. One of the major benefits to working out your own meaning making process is that you aren’t taken off guard and an especially trying time and force to grapple with what you think about your life experience at a moment of crisis, rather than a moment of calm. I’ve saved a couple of seats for anyone interested in the introductory program this fall.
As we begin our month exploring the theme of peace, it seems like not a moment too soon. Reflecting on my own thoughts, I find myself thinking about the announcement last week that we are sending soldiers to Saudi Arabia, though not in numbers that would be in the thousands. The Yemeni war in that region has brought many interests into conflict, I do have concerns about even small increases in our forces there.
Peace is a difficult thing to achieve. The center of gravity often seems to be conflict and the path to war often seems to be downhill. If we want peace, it seems clear that we will have to work for it; to prepare for it.
Even more than that, however, I think it will be important to recognize what peace will actually mean when it is achieved. Often we recognize what a thing is not before we can ever say what a thing is. We seem to think we’ll “know it when we see it.” And as such, we often go down every mistaken path, hit a dead end and have to circle back. Instead, we might ask ourselves where we actually want to go instead of reminding ourselves where we don’t want to be. Just a thought.
So here are some thoughts from me about where peace is. Peace is a place where justice is manifest. No justice, no
peace. This is not a threat, it is a requirement of peace. If we don’t have justice, there cannot be actual peace. Second, peace is lasting. Hence, it must be sustainable. Without sustainability, peace is merely a pause between moments of the status quo. It further means that peace must be part of stability. It cannot rest on one or two very fine points or it will easily tip over. Peace also must be recognized as a choice. Peace can be upset if individuals want to do so. What else is required of peace? What thoughts do you have?
I look forward to this coming month of explorations with you and I how you are looking forward to them as well. May our time together be rewarding and insightful and may we deepen our appreciation of peace.
Yours in Faith and Fellowship,