I think many churches are antiquated and irrelevant. They are attached to old language, old rituals and unimaginative ways of being a person of faith. In many conservative churches, doctrine takes precedence over practice. But in many progressive churches, faith is no more embodied than in the conservative churches.
Ideas are important. Thinking is important. I believe God expects us to use our minds. But when faith is merely an idea, it is has NO impact. It has no power. Faith cries out to be a living entity. Faith must have imagination. Faith must have heart. Faith must have commitment. In other words, faith needs to be embodied.
What does an embodied faith look like? What does it look like in the church? I like what Douglas John Hall says,
“People of faith believe deeply in the unmasking of talent and heart - both their own and that of others. This is a message for parents, for spouses, for teachers, for preachers, for politicians and for friends. Each of us must come to believe that the world needs our talent. Each of us must also work to help others identify and gather confidence in theirs. Imagine that kind of world - a place in which everyone worked diligently to bring out the best in others.”
I imagine Talmadge Hill in this way. It’s Rob finding and shepherding our singers. It’s the preachers in our midst like Katherine Silvan, Miles Wallace and Jon Morgan. It’s Patrice leading the Board. It’s Bill Durkin overseeing the finances. It’s Jim Moltz managing the endowment. It’s Jim, Chris, Barry, Peter, Mary, Tim, Regina, Kate, Bonnie, Lisa, Scott, Linda, Betsy, Russ, Paule, Pat, Noelle and so many more. It’s all of you who sing, speak, organize, visit, and just plain show up when asked or needed.
We've got talent. We share it. We look to unmask more of it. In that way, our faith is embodied. Sunday is Commitment Sunday. PLEASE COME, and make your commitment for another year!! Talmadge Hill needs you, and the world needs Talmadge Hill.