By Pastor Paula Burchill

More and more I find myself feeling open about faith.  This feels like a contrast for me, because in my training to be a pastor, there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on right doctrine.   I loved my seminary education, and learning bible and Lutheran theology.  But all of that training was done where all you have to do it throw and rock and likely you will hit a Lutheran.

So when I moved out here, almost 19 years ago, and found most people don’t even really know what a Lutheran is, I started to wonder how much anyone really cares about right doctrine or what denomination you are.

We are saved by the grace of God and there is nothing we can or ever will do to deserve that, because it is a free gift.  That core of Lutheran theology I will always fight for because it is so true and we all so need to hear that.  But how that is communicated—through holy yoga, a worship band, screens up in front, a tiny church, a mega church, I guess I just feel open.

And I like it.  Way too often, my first reaction to something new or different is to judge it.  Or at least to try and decide if I think it is right or not.   But when I decide to be open instead, I find God talks to me in some pretty surprising and amazing ways.

It guess it is just that I’m trying to have my first reaction to a way of following Jesus that is different to what I’m used to be openness.  Don’t usually worship with a rock band, hey I’ll give it a try.  Have never meditated, I’m open to it.  A new blog on faith by someone who struggles with the church, I will read it because I might learn something.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing out Christianity or Jesus and I still love being a Lutheran, I’m just saying that the older I get, the more I realize how many unique and wonderful ways there are to get to know Jesus.  And when my first assumption is:  that won’t work—more and more I realize I’m missing out.  And that makes me a lot less joyful.

After all, the Holy Spirit has always been about surprising us.  Why not be open?


2 responses to “Open

  1. Thank you Pr. Paula, Sometimes being “open” to a new way of worshipping and/or experiencing our Heavenly Father is one of the hardest things for me to do. When confronted with something new, I have to try to remember to:
    I. Pray for God’s Wisdom and Discernment
    and then
    2. Dig down deep to allow myself to “open” up and experience it.

    One positive example for me has been the wonderful way our Pastors and Music Ministry have “opened” so many of the various liturgies to our SLC congregation. I love visiting other ELCA churches and being able to sing whatever Liturgical setting they are using because we’ve sung it here at SLC.

    Last but not least, I am so very thankful for God’s Grace. Without it, I would be lost.

    Terri Randolph

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