Our lives are not problems to be solved but journeys to be taken with Jesus as our friend and finest guide.  

                         Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith (2015)  


The second Sunday of our kickoff COALESCE program , Listening for the Heart of God in Ourselves and Others focused on answering the question, What are the core elements of our faith and our spiritual journey that we would want to highlight?  Some of the element expressed were the following: forgiveness, loving view—God is love, following the teaching of Jesus,  peacemaking message of Jesus, working on developing a relationship with Jesus and God,  life is a spiritual journey/following a spiritual pathway, God found within everything (panentheism not pantheism), doubt is a part of faith, being in and developing relationships with one another as a community of faith, breaking stereotypes of Christians—not monolithic—connecting belief and actions,  claiming what/who Jesus is individually and collectively.  I was struck how part of the discussion in COALESCE articulated the juxtaposition of being silent or silenced about who we are with the need to be more vocal and claim what is ours as Christians, not hiding or apologizing for what we believe.  This was a wonderful connection to Todd’s sermon to claim what is ours in terms of our belief and faith.


We continued to use John Philip Newell’s Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace to open our time together—words that possibly summarize what we are trying to understand upon which to act.  A passage from the Quran – (Daylight 93:1-3) was part of this opening litany, “By the light of day and by dark night your God has not forgotten you.” A prayer called The Prayer for the Life of the World stated, “And may the least among us find greatness, strength in our souls, worth in our words, love in our living.”  Both passages apt to what we are trying to learn, understand, helping to transform us and our actions.


Come join us this Sunday as we begin and discuss a Church Next program entitled  Why Is it Hard To Talk About our Faith?  How do You Know What You Know?


We need to live the questions of our lives, both alone and in community, as we seek our mission in the world…seeking spiritual direction, for me, means to ask the big questions, the fundamental questions, the universal ones in the context of a supportive community…To live the questions and act rightly, guided by God’s spirit, requires both discipline and courage: discipline to “ask, seek, knock” until the door opens (see Matthew 7:7-8).

                         Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith (2015)