Conversations about issues affecting our communities
This year we had an opportunity, in collaboration with our sister congregation Fairlawn church, to host a series of lectures we called Faith (in)forming lectures.
Our aim was to host conversations about issues affecting our communities after the pandemic. This was part of our way to acknowledge an important truth, namely, that the pandemic didn’t cause our problems so much as it revealed them.
As our congregation was emerging from the pandemic, we began to realize that, although all of us experienced the pandemic, not all of us were impacted in the same way by it. Many of the changes were already there. But we were noticing them in a new way. So we decided to host some conversations about people and issues most affected by the pandemic; bringing the resources of Christianity to bear on them for the sake of our community.
- We noticed that our elderly have become isolated from so much of life, and people doing elder care were isolated as well. So we hosted a seminar on dementia with Dr. Suzanne McDonald, professor of systematic theology, called Dealing Faithfully With Dementia.
- We saw that young adults in our world are trying to sort out their lives among the ruins of Christian hypocrisy and broken institutional promises. We hosted a conversation on faith crises and spiritual deconstruction, with East Boston church planter and pastor Rev. Justin Ruddy called Choosing Church.
- We noticed that many people are seeking escape or self medication through substance dependence. Fairlawn Church hosted a seminar called The Seed of Addiction.
- And we saw that the world we live in is getting more religious, not less. People after the pandemic are open to questions of meaning. They are curious about what matters. They are asking questions like: Who am I? Why am I here? What is worth sacrificing for? What do I do with pain and suffering? Those are the kinds of questions that our secular resources - like science, or political power - struggle to answer. They are however questions that Christianity deals with in spades. So we finished the year hosting a conversation with Dr. Rebecca McLaughlin, called The Secular Creed.
We believe that these conversations demonstrate the kinds of resources that Christianity offers to the world. We offer them as gifts from the Resurrected Jesus Christ; the one from whom all blessings flow. We hope that you find them useful whatever your faith commitments are.