Yes, the week on the island is over. The week of being thrown together with what appeared to the naked eye to be an utterly random gathering of 15 pastors (Baptist, Assembly of God, Reformed Church, United Church of Canada, Presbyterians, and a mutt like me) is over. The profound face to face conversations with this group, in class settings and while feasting on organic, lovingly prepared meals and fine wine, is over. Waking to sunrises that painted the islands a million hues of green is over. Profound in-person lectures with some of the finest theologians I’ve ever had the privilege of sitting under, and one of the best scientists in North America are over.
But science camp has just begun because flames (plural) were lit in our hearts that will, if properly fanned, grow into blazes which, I pray, will change the lives and ministries of we who were privileged to participate. I’ll be able share much more later (since it appears that the rapture isn’t happening today after all ) but for now I wanted to quickly highlight some of the small flames that have been ignited:
1. Holistic Faith. The sensual feast that was our time together was intended to remind each of us that our calling is to all of life. Food preaches. So does hiking. So does doing medical research, or making music, or praying, or taking out the garbage and learning to make less of it. Many of us knew this already, but none of us know it well enough, because we’ve been trained to think of our faith as imparting information, and developing private practices of prayer, Bible reading, and avoiding ‘big sins’. Whoa! That’s so far from reality that’s it not just tragic; it’s scary. Christ is misrepresented every time we divide reality into sacred and secular.
I’d said yes to this invitation, and then some time later received the binder in the mail. Since my blog is titled Fibonacci Faith: Changing Everything, you can imagine my giddy joy when the binder for the week arrived in the mail! Fibonacci indeed! We’re called to embody the gospel in everything we do.
2. Genesis is telling us great stuff. It’s just that the age of the earth isn’t the point of Genesis at all. I’ve much more to say on this, and you can expect a sermon series in January on the topic. Between now and then, how about starting with this read.
3. Stewardship of the earth is a big deal. Again, much more to say about our care for the environment as it relates to worship, justice, joy, the feeding of our own souls, and our callings, but let’s just say, for now, that this flame, already burning in me, has been fed and is growing.
Those are just three quick notes about flames that are burning. Our cohort will continue collaborating in the days and months ahead, with each of us developing clear deliverable projects for our congregations and beyond. I’ll be sharing about some of them here. Expect a fire.
Thanks are due to the faculty of Regent who taught us through both words, service, meals, availability, and rich, rich fellowship. Thanks are due to the Templeton Foundation for their generous investment in us. And of course, thanks is due to the Godhead, who created it all, and is not only involved in redeeming it, but inviting us to give expression to that redemption. Talk about gratitude…. there are no words!
Why, in your opinion, has science and faith been so often at odds? What we can do to heal the wound? I welcome your thoughts.
Blog Tour Update
I was privileged to write this week on the Mustard Seed blog about how painting the colors of hope on the canvas of our world is more important than guessing rapture dates. You can find that here. And look for a review of Colors of Hope on RelevantMagazine.com this coming Monday. Finally, GOOD NEWS! The study guide is finished and awaiting your use!
Enjoy the weekend…