At the end of our Christianity 101 Class, Win shared this reflection during worship:
I have lived all of my life with facts. In my early schooling, I was most comfortable with math. Then in college I majored in science and later in business. I found faith very difficult in Church School at the Congregational Church where my parents and grandmother belonged. After going through a Confirmation Class there I decided not to join the church because I believed members said the right words but lived their lives quite differently. Then I had a long talk with our Minister who convinced me that I would find it better to join because then I could influence change more effectively as a member than as an outsider. So I became a member.
My life in business was with a technical firm. Though my boss for 30 years was an evangelical Christian, we never talked about faith. I hardly ever went to church until Sarah and I were married.
Through the years Sarah and I have attended many churches and I have always had trouble with the various statements of faith that were said because they weren’t my beliefs. We have been members here at West Concord now for well over 40 years and I have admired and loved our members who could talk so easily about their faith. This past nine months we have been members of a special course called Christianity 101 led by Hannah. The concluding assignment was to write a statement of faith reflecting one’s own journey of faith and sharing it with others. It was then that I realized that I had faith, not so much in church creeds but in the way I tried to lead my life. Finally I had to write what I really believed in, even if it didn’t match the various faith statements that I could not say truthfully.
Here is the statement of my beliefs:
I believe in a Great Spirit called God who dwells with us and in us.
I believe in following the teachings of Jesus.
I believe in loving my neighbors.
I believe in justice for everyone.
I believe in working for peace.
I believe in helping those who are suffering and downtrodden.
I believe in protecting and preserving the beautiful natural world.
I believe in supporting everyone’s right to his or her own faith. Amen