Adult Forum: Fall 2014

"In my Father's house there are many rooms."

                                                               John 14:2

In one tablespoon of soil there are 50 billion microbes-living things. Over 1 million different species of plants and animals are known to inhabit the ocean. Scientists believe there may be as many as 9 million more species we haven't even discovered yet. Our world is filled with a great diversity of living things.

God certainly must love diversity!

It's funny how we human beings seem to hate diversity. If we find someone who looks, acts, or thinks differently from ourselves, we want to marginalize them or eliminate them completely. Think of what is going on in our world right now. Think of what has always gone on in our world.

Unlike God, we seem to love uniformity and hate diversity.

And yet, our understanding of God as Trinity, as a community of persons, states very clearly that God in God's self is a diversity in unity. The three persons of the Trinity are each distinct and unique, yet bound together in love. Since we were made in God's image, perhaps we need to let go of the false security of uniformity, and to step out in love to find our true unique selves as we embrace diversity in unity.

That is the direction we are taking this fall in our adult forum. We are going to spend a few sessions looking at the Christian Faith with particular attention to the Episcopal Church. Then we are going expand our understanding of the Christian Faith by looking at it at a deeper level, the level of experience. What did people experience when they experienced the person of Jesus? What did the early church experience when they received the Holy Spirit? How have people through the ages experienced Christ and the Spirit? Then we are going to look at other Faith Traditions of the world and see how their experience and understanding of God fits our experience and understanding.

We will look at the two other Abrahamic traditions of Judaism and Islam. We will look at some of the Eastern Traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Baha'i' tradition. We will have guest speakers from these traditions present their thoughts on their faith. Then we will have time to share our own thoughts with each other.
The United States has become a nation of religious traditions. Fifty years ago most of us had never met a Muslim or a Buddhist. Today they may be living next door. We can remain ignorant and afraid, or we can embrace the love of God and find connection and grace.

Jesus says, "In my Father's house there are many rooms." Is there room for people who think differently from ourselves?