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A woman that I respect deeply used to describe our faith to me as a buffet. This used to drive me nuts! She would say that we could pick from whatever beliefs and religions we wished.  She often told visitors at our church that “here, you can believe whatever you want.” I was often frustrated because her presumption ignores the depth and heritage of our great faith.

 Our church, which is the product of generations of hard work and risk taking, and its roots are all too often ignored or unnecessarily simplified. I have a similar frustration with the over simplification and superficiality of our political and social discourse: separating “us” from “those people”, declaring some people as right and others as wrong, implying that there isn’t room for nuance and contradiction in our lives. Our world is complex, it is deep, and that is where I see the beauty.

 This August launches the year long theme: “Going Deeper: Acting, Reflecting, Being” All of us on the ministry staff hope that this year will bring you depth and a better way to know yourself.


The Reverend Nathan A. Ryan