This is a five minute audio clip of Bruce Sanguin narrating his loss of faith as a minister, and then how he regained an understanding of his place in the universe during a retreat, and how that changed everything for him.
The conversation continues this Sunday!
A Conversation Celebrating Science, Religion, and an Evolving Faith
Sundays @ 10:00am
September 8th through October 27th
The theologian Bruce Sanguin has said that, “Any credible spiritual path must be in honest conversation with science if it is to be relevant in the 21st Century.” Celebrating the communion of science and faith, Painting the Stars will explore the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality. Featuring the work of over a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers, this eight-week series will be in conversation with the traditions of our faith, with scripture, and with science each Sunday morning beginning September 8th, both at 9:00am in the Parlor and at our 10:00am Worship Service.
September 8th An Introduction to Painting the Stars
September 15th Toward Healing the Rift
September 22nd A Renaissance of Wonder
September 29th Getting Genesis Wrong
October 6th An Evolving Faith
October 13th Evolutionary Christianity
October 20th Imagining a Future
October 27th An Evolving Spirituality
Watch for dates and times for Dinner Discussions around some of the leading theologians and progressive thinkers, as well as two nights of Star-Gazing. Our Children and Youth Programs will also be centered on this theme as they explore the communion of science and faith during our fall creation emphasis.
On August 28th, 2013 we marched. We marched to celebrate and remember the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” It was so powerful to march side by side with so many people from National Avenue Christian Church who care so deeply about justice.
In the unity march, coordinated by many community leaders, we marched to remember King’s dream. Walking together created a renewed sense of King’s vision and dream in our community. After the march we gathered in downtown Springfield to celebrate, remember, listen, and dream.
Check out this video as some food for thought to chew on for Sunday, when we’ll talk about engaging our minds through adversity.
National Avenue has attracted people for a lot of different reasons. We’re accepting of all ideas, beliefs, and people. We continually have a close community, which is shown every Sunday during Passing of the Peace or in the Coffee time following services. And we continually work with a large multitude of charity organizations, making sure we not only talk about our beliefs, but act on them. All of these things put together make us a unique church by itself. But yet again, we break out of another mold through the work we have done in Hilapo Dos, Nicaragua. This time, breaking the mold of everything we have done in the past.
What we have done in Nicaragua was no small feat for us. We, as a church that has less membership compared to some, were able to raise over $100,000. And while that was a hard number to get to, we’ve changed the lives of so many people irrevocably. On my trip down to Hilapo Dos last fall, I fully understood one part of how amazing this is. Throughout the years we’ve partnered with Hilapo Dos, we’ve tried to make it clear that that’s what it is; a partnership. We understand that when we are sending money, or building houses for the people Hilapo Dos, we’re not just sending money, but we’re continuing a partnership, or in essence, a friendship. And once we understand that we’re helping people just like us, people who have just been born in a different part of the world, it opens up a new level of caring that many people, including anyone who has been down to Nicaragua understands.
For example, the fourth day of my trip to Nicaragua will always stand out to me. That afternoon we stayed in Hilapo Dos, wanting to spend some time with the people and the kids there. And with us, we brought some baseballs and kick balls. I had the time of my life playing kickball with those kids. Even though I’m terrible at kickball, and they surely enjoyed laughing at me, it was so much fun. To see them smile as they played, to hear them cheer when Neil would kick yet another home run, or to watch them all give high fives to each other and us. Later that same day, I was pushed into dancing in front of the village, with a girl around my age, Karen. And even though they enjoyed watching me struggle, it made me realize one important thing. We aren’t people that are better than them. Instead, it was our population at National Avenue helping our friends in Hilapo Dos, Nicaragua. Not because we feel like we have to, but instead because we understand that we should, and that we are simply helping human beings, who need it.
So as we look at this huge triumph our church has completed, building 25 homes for families who are used to mud floors and plastic roofs, we need to look towards the future just as much as we should celebrate. Because what we did in Nicaragua was groundbreaking and changed the lives of tons of people. But at the same time, this shows us what we’re capable of. As a congregation, as one working church body, we have the ability to instill change in the world. This amazing housing project has shown us that we have the ability to do amazing things in the world. So as we look forward, we must continue to be a church that breaks the mold, and continues to promote justice throughout the area, not because we feel like we must, but because we should.