Today, Jess Williams reflected on the themes we’ve been exploring this month, placing particular emphasis on how we get through times of struggle or growth. She invited everyone to contemplate what it feels like to be in the middle of a struggle, and the time of sharing that followed was a gift to experience. Then, using some insights from Rilke and others, she explored what it’s like to treat our questions as guides, and to live our way into the answers.
Peter Fitch continues his questions about Proverbs 3 (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”), asking how this famous passage has changed in people’s belief systems over time. Some were negatively affected by this passage when they were young; others loved it then and now. Various perspectives were given by people in the room. Peter’s main point was shared by some others: for him, it was learning to trust that God was not like the worst things that others taught, or even that the Bible showed in some places, but that God was good beyond all goodness. “Trust in the Lord” changed from “trust every word in a magical Bible” to a genuine trust in a more positive view of God.
Ok, ok. This talk, following last week, is all about changing perceptions of Scripture over a lifetime. Peter Fitch asks people what Proverbs 3:1-12 meant to them when they first got interested in faith and what it means to them now. The title is meant as a bit of a joke because Peter feels that some of his early understanding was well-intentioned but that did not stop it from being moronic.
Today, Jessica Williams spoke about hope and defiance and shared how accessing her own defiance helped her to access hope. She pointed out some good reasons for defiance in these times — and thanked SCC for the ways they’ve defied oppressive practices in the church and allowed the presence of God in the people around them to change and propel them toward new, more loving and inclusive ways of being a community together. She thinks that this matters more than we might know, and encourages the community to keep going.