In February, our worship theme will be “This I Believe.” We’ll explore ancient and contemporary statements of faith. We’ll talk about the beliefs that are timelessly true, beliefs we’ve given up along the way, new convictions we’ve learned from experience. This month, Senior Pastor Kathi McShane has an invitation: help her prepare for this series by writing a statement of your own faith—the values that rule your thought and actions. This is very much like what is asked of our eighth graders going through Confirmation.
Here are some guidelines for your statement (adapted from NPR’s “This I Believe” project):
- Write honestly and intimately—say something that no one else could write for you and in familiar words.
- Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, it might be a sermon rather than a belief. Rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one or two core beliefs.
- Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe.
- Be personal: Make this about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.”
- Be honest: Consider a belief you once held and you’ve discovered you were wrong about.
- This is not a debate. You don’t have to back up your beliefs with proof, or disprove other beliefs. This is not about your views on the American way of life, democracy, or free enterprise. I want to know what you live by.
- Think about it this way: What has faith asked you to say “yes” to? To what have you said “no”?
Give yourself time this month to settle into this invitation. Have fun with it. There’s no expectation or limit on length—it can be a sentence or an essay, whatever feels true and valuable to you. Send your statement to the communications department. Unless you tell Pastor Kathi otherwise, she’d like to share these statements. Let her know if you’d rather that be done anonymously.