I hope you’ve experienced your faith community as a holy space where the most difficult experiences of life can be held lovingly in community and transformed by the healing love of God. For all the other sometimes mundane reasons we make the countercultural choice to belong to a church, many of us practice membership in a faith community precisely because of the ways we have found healing and transformation and even growth there, among friends, through loss, grief, trauma, and change. The experience of beloved community in a faith community is a safe harbor from the brokenness in the rest of our lives. And because we long so much for God, for healing, for love, it is tempting to stop there, finding our church to be a refuge from the world.
Our baptismal theology invites us to go further, though — responding to God’s grace and love by offering our own selves, unfinished, transforming, and yet somehow already whole, for the life of the world. This is what we hear at the presentation of the transformed bread and wine, where the priest says, “Behold what you are.” And the people say, “May we become what we receive.” Our faith communities are refuges, yes, but also base camps: waystations that offer us rest, renewal, and wisdom to return to the greater adventure beckoning beyond their doors.
Wherever you are in your own journey of healing and transformation, you are invited to join with others in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, offering your self — your gifts and flaws and skills and delight — in harmony with the Holy Spirit’s work in the world. The School for Formation wants to support all the baptized in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota on that adventure with learning experiences that help you connect more deeply to your faith and leadership. If you’re looking for ways to do that, check out the upcoming one-day workshops, the courses starting soon, and the resources we share.
Onward and upward,