“Who am I? How do I know?” These were two questions that were given to the youth at the recent Winter Youth Event by the speaker, Robyn Henderson Espinoza. I have been pondering them and realizing that sometimes I probably define myself in ways that are not evident in my behavior. The questions also seem valuable for a congregation to consider: “who are you? How do you know?” – and to add to that – “how do other people know?” We can say that we are a friendly church, or that we welcome everyone, or that we are concerned about social justice. But how do we know that we are those things? What do we say or do that witnesses to that? Can others see that in our attitudes, responses, and actions, etc.
So, of course, the next questions are: “Who is the Southeast Conference? How do we know?” The Conference is not ultimately an organization or structure (although those things assist the Conference in being who it is). Given that our connections as local churches and authorized ministers are based on covenant, who are we? How do we know?
Another thought that I have been pondering since the Winter Youth Event is the role of imagination in our lives. It is imagination and vision that open our thoughts to possibility and provide the basis for change. Who is the Southeast Conference? And what is our vision for what we might become? When we can answer those questions clearly, we have the basis for creating possibilities of how to get there.
I invite you to ponder and reflect. I also invite you to send me your thoughts ([email protected])!