(Over the next two months, many members of my home congregation have been asked to share their dream for the congregation. These dreams will be collected as part of the long-term strategic planning and thinking in which the congregation is engaged. Here is the mine, which I was asked to share this morning.)
What is my dream for this congregation? Can I squeeze in two?
My dream for this congregation is that we offer the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education not only to families inside this congregation, but outside these walls.
That we offer refuge from the oversexualization and overshamification that our society bombards us with.
That through OWL they and we be empowered in the face of bullying and coercion, in the face of sexual violence and of child abuse, in the face of so-called boys-will-be-boys and of pink-or-blue-but-nothing-inbetween, in the face of disconnect and lack of accountability and will stand on the side of love and justice.
My dream for this congregation is that we shout from the hilltops that religion need not be about shared creeds or beliefs, but can be about journeying together with common values.
That we can sit together, we who are theists, we who are non-theists, we who are atheists, we who are humanists, we who are Christians, who are Buddhists, who are Jewish, who are Muslim, who are Pagan, who are seekers, who are just trying to figure it out and that we surprise the uptight religionists, demonstrating that this can and does work.
That when one of us SAYS God or Spirit; Great Source or Ultimate Reality, we mean a whole inclusive host of ideas and concepts and when we HEAR God or Spirit; Great Source or Ultimate Reality, we understand a whole inclusive host of feelings and images.
That we need not raise our defenses, need not refuse to try it out, try it on, need not be threatened by any specific spiritual or religious words, recognizing they are just flawed approximations of that Mystery which is beyond our grasp.
Those are my dreams for this place.