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Saying Good-Bye
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Four the last 6 months we've had a guest minister, since our settled minister has been on sabbatical. She returns to the pulpit in a couple of weeks.

I will miss the interim minister. Our settled minister is very social action oriented and her sermons come very close to being homilies on social justice and right political action. She never addresses spiritual issues, except to quote the poetry of nature poets who exclaim at the beauty and joy of gossamer wings and declaim on the necessity of protecting the web of life (you get the idea).

The interim minister's months here at our church have been memorable, insightful, and inspiring. He has balanced service-oriented services/sermons with spiritual, inspirational meditative ones. It has seemed to me that the spiritual part of our worship has been starved for nourishment and his time here has gone a long way towards new growth.

Justice work without the light of inspiration is sterile; just as worship without the follow through of social action is fallow navel-gazing. I wish he could stay here.

Our Third Principle is "acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth in or congregations and in society at large." Under our current minister, we have not evinced much in this area. We are not accepting of other ways of belief (though we do give lip service to the concept), and we do not encourage spiritual growth. We don't even mention it.

I had been ready to leave Emerson and look for another church until the interim minister joined us and reminded me of what I have been seeking. Now that the settled minister is returning...well, I'll just wait and see.

I'm not alone in my desire for more spiritual insight and thoughtful inquiry into the nature of belief and faith. Perhaps we can talk to our settled minister, though I don't hold out much hope. The response I've received so far is that we should start an Adult RE class.

I'm not looking for religious education or intellectual research into other faith traditions. I'm looking for insight and inspiration.

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