In This Issue
- Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Weekly Facebook Video
- Announcements & Upcoming Events
- Outreach Opportunities & Updates
message from rev. whitt
Dear St. Luke family,
Our Homecoming Sunday was a zestful celebration! We’ll be back on Zoom this Sunday, as well as in person in the sanctuary, to consider doubt as an element of faith.
When you were a child or teenager, did you have questions about faith or beliefs? Was there anyone to whom you could turn with those questions? Were your questions encouraged, or discouraged?
My uncle was a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He was a wonderful man, and I have a lot of respect and affection for him. However, when I approached him with my questions about the traditional beliefs with which I’d been raised, he didn’t help. I was in my late teens, and I wrote him a long letter that raised many questions. In a nutshell, I asked, “Can I still be a faithful Christian if I don’t believe these things?” He never answered my letter. My mother, who had suggested that I write to him, was as disappointed as I was.
After that, I left the Christian church for about 16 years, returning only after I had two toddlers, and my older daughter expressed a desire to go to Sunday school (she always was both curious and precocious). So, you can see why it’s important to me that a church not only tolerates but welcomes and even encourages questions. But this isn’t just a personal agenda. Author Brian D. McLaren reports that we actually have a good bit of survey data that shows that one of the real issues that keeps people from giving church a try is “real struggles with professed Christian beliefs.” Many Christians in our country tend to define faith as an adherence to a set of beliefs instead of a commitment to a way of life that’s centered on faith, hope and love. A commitment, as St. Luke’s mission statement puts it, “To practice love by following Jesus.”
As Anne Lamott put it, “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with, the sense, for example, to go for a walk.”
Join us this Sunday as we explore the adventure of faith that wrestles with hard questions.
As this Sunday is the third Sunday of the month, we’ll hear from the choir, which is preparing a toe-tapping anthem. Normally, we’ll be hearing Rebecca Viebrock and the choir with traditional church music on first and third Sundays, and from Beth and Erich with alternative music on second and fourth Sundays. Luckily, our church musicians are flexible enough that when Beth has a commitment on a fourth Sunday, and Becky has a wedding on a first Sunday, they can switch. I am very grateful for their gifts, their flexibility, and for the variety of worship music that enriches our worship.
Grace and peace,