This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, November 12, 2021
This week I’ve been trying to reconcile two rather different images of our place in the world. By our, I mean humanity in general, and followers of Jesus in particular; and by image, I mean those offered in various forms, from language to graphics, but simultaneously planted with hopes of collective buy-in.
Here’s what I’m holding in my head and heart: the first is a car ad, of all things. Those who know me well are aware that I’m grateful for four-wheeled transportation, but I don’t look for or care about anything fancy. I definitely reject all implications that vehicles bestow status. I worry about pervasive societal perceptions of that but that’s another musing for another day. All that is to say I can’t help but roll my eyes, even when the ad is for a fully electric vehicle, at language trying to equate choice of car with single-handedly saving the world. I drive a hybrid and hope to do more than that soon, but I don’t presume that I’m sweeping away every other problem with one choice. Most critically, I don’t believe God’s estimation of me has altered because of a car.
The competing image in my head this week is from an online summit by a group called ‘Convergence’. Council leadership will hear much more about this at our next meeting, and some committees are already witness to my enthusiasm and learning, with and from Cameron Trimble’s latest offering. In short, Convergence (and their most recent course on Economy and Ministry) is working to reframe how we practice and understand ourselves, as Christians. One of their catch-phrases is to move the understanding from ‘organized religion’ to ‘organizing religion’. It’s a shift in our self-view, and a reclaiming of our local and global place, as disciples. Convergence makes no claim to have the recipe for saving ‘the church’ or the world, but it does bring together a collective of committed thought and action… a beautiful collective of belief that God values all people, and so there follows a profound need to restructure institutionally. Convergence is led by folks self-described as serial entrepreneurs, seeking new models of ministry for this moment. How extraordinary and full of potential is that?
So there you have it: a peek inside my whirling thoughts, and a glimpse of my steady prayers. I hope, I pray, somehow they’re going to land me in the same sort of place – where God’s Love is heard, proclaiming above and through it all, that all and each are precious, of infinite worth, and unconditionally loved. May our lives be a living ad for what God needs to say most. May we hear that love-filled language for ourselves, too.
With love to you all,
“We are securely protected through love, in joy and sorrow, by the goodness of God…
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
(Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, 15th Century)