Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.
Margaret J. Wheatley
The past weekend the cathedral community met to reflect. We gathered more than a quarter of our attending congregation and we reflected together. We listened to our stories.
For years, more than a decade even, the cathedral was a well-oiled machine. We were told what to do and we did it. Liturgies were finely crafted and then set in stone. Systems were developed so that everything ran on a precise Prussian schedule.
But these days we are hosting new conversations. Nobody is insecure about new voices being heard. No one is silenced. No one is blocked from expressing their opinion. No one threatened. We are living together, kindly. And we are reflecting.
Our reflecting is a mission. We believe that God speaks, even now. And we believe that God speaks not just through the rich or the brilliant or the highly educated. We believe that God speaks through people who disagree with us. We believe that God speaks through the Quiet Ones. We believe that there is an organic collective quality to the chaordic mess we create when different people get together and tell their story. And nobody shuts them down.
We are going to achieve something useful. Together. By looking hard at how we live out our mission. By looking hard and speaking honestly about what has happened over the past 13 years. By telling each other, honestly, our story.
If we can gather to tell a story at the Eucharist every week, then we can tell our own story too. And our story will form our future – a good future. A liberated future. A wonderful future. A future our our collective reflections – flickering light like the candles of a Great Vigil. The great vigil of our longing for a new way forward as a church.
So we reflect. We reflect as a church. We reflect as people. When have I experienced love? When caring? Because when we can see where love and caring have been experienced, we are grateful. And gratitude is the way – the only way – we learn how to give.