Last Sunday I spoke about the importance of committing ourselves to a spiritual practice. I said that the only way we really deepen our spiritual life is to hone in on one or two spiritual disciplines, such as walking in nature, meditation or music. As the Buddhist scholar Jack Kornfield put it: “better to dig one hole fifty feet deep than to dig fifty holes one foot deep.”
One of the most lasting practices is being a lasting part of our congregation. It turns out that showing up week after week, year after year, actually makes you a more generous and reflective person.
As I have reflected further on this with some of you, it occurred to me that there is a deeper level this practice of community-building uncovers, and that is trust. When we trust one another — whether it is building a church or building a family — we open ourselves to deeper understandings about who we are and what it means to be a person.
Trust, as the researcher Brené Brown has shown, is created in a thousand small and consistent ways: keeping your promises to loved ones, donating money to a good cause year after year, attending Memorial services even if we barely knew the person, making soup, leading stewardship, teaching a class — to name a few. If we act in good faith within a community such as ours, we are creating trust and, in so doing, practicing our faith.
Trusting also entails a certain vulnerability. To be a leader in our congregation — to practice trust — means you may be criticized. While that criticism has more to do with the critic, it can still be painful. Still, leaders come forward to lead because it is part of their spiritual practice, and we would do well to trust them in return.
See you in church, Rev. John