At morning church, Karl's sermon was entitled "All The Saints." He said that we don't come to our faith by ourselves, or maintain it by ourselves. He talked about our contemporary individualistic belief that we can get rid of anything we don't like, and our belief that now is superior to the past. He said that for all our talk about community, we don't know much about it.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (unison)***
Holy God, righteous and merciful, cleanse our minds and free our consciences from the things that divide us us from you and one another. We have shut our eyes to your glory, our minds to your truth, and our hearts to your Spirit. We have shut our eyes to the sufferings of those near and far, our minds to the search for their healing, and our hearts to your Spirit.
Pardon and deliver us, and guide us in the way we should go from this day forward; through Jesus the Christ. Amen.
(Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland, adapted)
Affirmation of Faith***
The Church's story with God did not end
with the latest events recorded in Scripture.
Across the centuries the company of believers
has continued its pilgrimage with the God of history.
It is a record of faith and faithlessness, glory and shame.
We confess that we are heirs of this whole story.
We are charged to remember our past,
to be warned and encouraged by it,
but not to live it again.
Now is the time of our testing
as God's story with the church moves forward through us.
We are called to live now as God's servants
in the service of people everywhere.
-"A Declaration of Faith" 7:6
We started a bible study on biblical authority after fellowship dinner at CWM tonight. (I found myself arguing for the value of tradition and the community that has preceded us in history!) We talked about Galatians 3:28 and how it's potentially in tension with stuff like 1 Timothy 2:11-15. I said that I would really love to hear from women in those really conservative churches that do take things like the Timothy passage fairly literally, because while I'm sure there are often undercurrents of subversion and whatever, I think that it's a positive experience for a lot of women -- and while we understandably have difficulty putting ourselves in that mindset, I think it's really important that we hear those voices.
Afterward, Joy (one of our seminary interns) was talking to me, and we had a sidebar conversation about finding books on Christian sexual ethics, but we talked a lot about bridging the liberal-conservative divide, especially within the church, and I talked about my experience having gone to the Baptist church down the street last Sunday and wanting to talk further with the young adult minister there and I was just so excited to be talking to another liberal church person who really wants to break down walls and heal the wounded body of Christ that is the "lacerated" (her word) church.
Joy said that in Night, Elie Weisel says, We are lifted up to God by the questions we ask. [Google tells me, "We raise ourselves towards God by the questions we ask God."]