From: Marilynn Parker
In order that readers of the Faith section do not despair at the dogmatic tone and content that seem to dominate the Letters to the Editor, I feel obligated to give voice to my statement of faith. Actually, it is not only mine, but has been formally affirmed by all the members of the congregation to which I belong. On February 12, 2006 we adopted a Vision Statement, which is: WE AGREE TO DIFFER. WE RESOLVE TO LOVE. WE UNITE TO SERVE.
We also adopted a Mission Statement which enlarges on this, stating that our church "is dedicated to the freedom and responsibility of the individual soul. We welcome all. We nurture spiritual growth. We encourage personal inquiry. Our faith in the love of God and the compassion of Jesus inspires us to serve and CARE for others, pursue justice, and promote peace."We do not claim to have the only true understanding of the word of God. In fact, we have been emphasizing the ongoing revelation of God in the words printed on the banners that can be seen outside our church. GOD IS STILL SPEAKING. DO NOT PUT A PERIOD WHERE GOD HAS PUT A COMMA. Surely such is the direction the apostle Paul would have us take as he expressed in his exhortation in Philippians 2:12: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do."
As a member of this church, I add my own thoughts. We are of the Christian faith, expressed in the line: "our faith in the love of God and the compassion of Jesus inspires us to serve and care for others, pursue justice, and promote peace." We may often fail in this resolve, but our hope as a gathered people is to support and encourage each other in our faith journey.
We use the Bible as our book of wisdom, revealed by God through its writers, but we feel no one has the last word of interpretation of this often cryptic work. We emphasize the God of love and the compassionate Jesus, since we feel they express the Good News of the Gospel much more fully than do the violent, vengeful, esoteric and divisive passage such as the book of Revelation.
I believe God is the source and ground of all Being and that God is revealed in all things. All we learn through science, poetry, philosophy, psychology etc. reflects the Being of God. The nature of God is revealed to me in the phrase used by the psychologist Carl Rogers: "The truth is friendly." By this I mean that God loves the creation, including (but not limited to) ALL of humanity. We need not fear God, for we are always in God's loving hands, who understands all and therefore forgives all.
Thank you for allowing me to express my faith. I would hope that others, who may or may not agree with me or with others who write for these pages, would share their faith with us as well.