13For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me,when none of them as yet existed.
-NRSV Psalm 139:13-16
My faith is founded on the following beliefs…
- God is the starting point and source of all creation. God is in whom I locate my identity and my source of guidance and inspiration. God is the reason I do pastoral work.
- God is ever present, relational, and dynamic, and is both universal and personal.
- God acts in love with grace and provision through covenantal relationship with us.
- God works through individuals and communities across time and diverse cultures. God works in and through us, even people who we don’t understand or who view the world and God differently than we do.
- God incarnates in Jesus and reveals Godself on human terms through Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
- Jesus continues to bear the suffering of the world and his resurrection is a source of continued hope.
…about the Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit is how God moves, works, and relates in this world.
…about the Trinity
- The Trinity is a mystery that attests to God’s being.
- The distinctiveness of each figure in the Trinity is made stronger through their relationship and ability to work as one.
- God’s creation is in a constant creative process of change that results in diversity.
- God made people good and gave them agency. Humans do not always make choices in line with God’s love and provision. Humans’ choices contribute to suffering or to hope, but God’s love is supreme and God’s grace salvific.
- Humans are called to promote the dignity, worth, and agency of each person in ways that foster life-giving relationships with others while preserving the earth’s ecosystems.
- There are often a diversity of faithful responses in a given situation which can contribute to the well-being of all of creation.
…about Faith in Practice
- The Word is the foundation upon which faith and Christian life is built. The Bible speaks across time, to multiple people. Its narratives about human life and God’s work in the world are the building blocks upon which an understanding of self and God is built. The Bible is the authoritative source for Christian guidance and is enlivened by the Holy Spirit.
- Faith is a response to God. Our faith practices reciprocate God’s provision by reflecting it into the world. Faith practices draw us closer to the mystery who is God, even though God is beyond our total comprehension. Faith practices help people attend to and discern God’s movement in our lives and the world.
- Baptism is an outward sign of God claiming an individual as part of God’s kin-dom and affirms communal participation in one’s life of faith.
- The Eucharist is a sacred practice of communion that draws the past, present, and future into a dynamic celebration of Thanksgiving for and remembrance and anticipation of God’s saving work in the world through Jesus Christ. Communion is central to Christian worship.
- God calls us to be together, to worship together, to share life together, to be in relationship with God and others, and to serve and love each other. This begins at the levels of our most basic relationships and continues into the broader community, including church.
- Faith and worship is fostered by the Church, but God is not limited to or by church institutions or buildings.
…about my vocational call:
- My identity as a pastor takes shape at the intersection of despair and hope. I am present with and support individuals and communities in suffering and joy, and bear witness to and facilitate, their transformation.
- Family systems theory shapes my understanding of responsible pastoral care practices.
- Helping others identify, name, and frame (or re-frame) their desires to imagine and pursue new realities congruent with God’s loving desires for creation drives my caregiving and connects me with promise of the Cross.
- In life, despair and hope intersect. Each moment brings the possibility of moving towards suffering or greater hope. As a pastor, I must be in tune with and manage my self in order to manage the dynamics of relationships with others in healthy ways.
- Prayer, writing, attention to the Biblical narrative, and interdenominational, interfaith and intercultural devotions and interactions are key components of my personal faith practices.