Volume 36, No. 3
Becoming Salt and Light
Many years ago I heard Peggy Way address a luncheon of ministers and church leaders. She told a story about meeting two members of her church examining together a bolt of material. She asked if they were working on a project. They replied, “No, we’re just feeling the fabric and imagining all that it might become!” Dr. Way then challenged us to consider viewing our congregations in a different way; feeling the fabric and imagining just what they as a people were ready to become.
After the luncheon, I asked her who was writing about discerning congregational aptitude. She suggested I read James Hopewell’s book, “Congregation: Stories and Structures.” These experiences have continued to be my teacher.
A congregation must believe in itself. It is important for us to hear this word during this time of transition. Let me share again this word from Hopewell that I offered in the sermon on Sunday.
“The local church suffers when it does not take its idiom seriously. If the congregation views itself as merely the repository of meanings better expressed elsewhere, it fails to appreciate its genius, its microcosmic capacity to reflect in uniquely lived form the sociality of humankind, when a congregation considers its own language neither interesting nor important it devalues its identity and thus its names for and before God.”
I have a deep appreciation for our beloved community. I pray daily for the unfolding chapter of Royal Lane’s community as a new pastor and people become salt and light in this time and place.