Sometimes we can look around at the people sitting at the table with us, or joining us in the pews, and we can begin to think that in many significant ways, we are a lot alike. I believe that as God’s adopted children we share a very powerful bond. There is certainly more that connects us than separates us. However, I also believe that each of us plays a distinct role in the body of Christ – we are unique, differently gifted, and special in God’s eyes. Sometimes we hyperfocus on our sameness and connectedness, and we neglect the fact that God created us each beautifully and wonderfully different.

We should celebrate our diversity. God created us this way, and when we revere our distinctiveness, we honor the God who created us. We also open ourselves to the potential of seeing our world and ourselves as God sees us – each of us and all of us. Through a celebration of diversity, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the rich complexity of our human family. God guides us into understanding how our different experiences, locations, histories, relationships, and other variables contribute to the distinct ways each of us approach Scripture, theology, worship, mission, and spirituality. Hearing each other’s stories and perspectives, and appreciating that they are just as valid and valued as our own, helps us communicate better and cherish one another; not in spite of our differences, but because of our differences.

During the season of Lent, Chris Marsh and Pastor Jack will lead a series of discussions that help us identify God’s love of diversity. Believing we are created in God’s image, we will examine the distinctiveness of our physical and spiritual identities, and explore the question of what that reveals to us about God. We will consider how men and women approach spirituality differently, how our age can add depth to our perspectives on faith, how our personalities influence what we value in Scripture and religious expression, and how culture impacts our engagement with God.

Our hope is that the people who take this journey with us will grow to understand themselves better, especially as they relate to their Creator and their Savior. We also hope that we will grow to appreciate one another better, recognizing that our distinctiveness gives us greater opportunities to grow beyond our own frame of reference.

This group will meet Sunday mornings during Lent, March 5-April 2, from 9:30-10:15 a.m. in Room 208. There are also opportunities for faith formation for children and youth during this time. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.