I spent the week listening and talking with friends about my experience during the Walk About. Because people who attend the Walk About are in one room the whole time they only heard one set of questions.
So, one of the things I got asked this week was, "What was the hardest question?"
To tell you the truth I didn't feel as though I got a really hard question. I guess after doing 10 pre-council meetings every year for the last five years (pre-council meetings are meetings with the delegates of council in each convocation throughout the diocese) I am pretty used to receiving questions and having to think on my feet.
There was an interesting question though: "Tell us your theology of the Trinity and how you would articulate it to today's culture."
One response to the question could be to dismiss it as irrelevant. One response would be to make fun of the question because it is disconnected from the work of the church. One response could be to think this was just an intellectual exercise with no place in our bishop election discernment.
The truth is that the question is exactly what the election is about!
How will you interpret for the people of the church and for the people of the culture the most ancient teachings of the church.
If we are not discussing the way in which our deepest and most treasured beliefs impact an individual's life then we are not proclaiming the Gospel.
We have to be able to speak to people about how one of the central works of a christian is to seek as intimate relationship with God as Jesus had, so intimate that he called him Abba (Father). That God, our Abba/Father, created everything, everything that I have, all that I am....I am God's. That Jesus makes a different in our lives. That by knowing Jesus I understand and can discover a better way to live my life. That the Holy Spirit makes God present, in discernment, prayer, conversations with God, times of loneliness. God is my comforter.
God, the trinity, the father, the son, the Holy Spirit -- these are words with deep meaning, ancient meaning. People outside our communities are hungering for this wisdom. They are hungering for the transformative power this wisdom holds for their lives.
I thought the question was great. I was glad it got asked.
- "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
- "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
- "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
- "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
- "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
- "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
- "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball