Thursday, September 13, 2012

Out Loud

"You said live out loud, and die you said lightly,
and over and over again you said be."
- Rainer Marie Rilke, Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

Over the years, I've become a fan of Rainer Marie Rilke's poetry. This line from his Book of Hours, in particular, has long stuck with me as a bit of mantra for how we are to live as the church in our context today. Even here in the capital, the church no longer is the cultural influence it once was in this country. In response, we have frequently and politely relegated ourselves to the sidelines, not desiring to offend or impose ourselves on others. In such a context, we have seen the size of many churches diminish. The death of ministries can grow burdensome. In response, we strive harder and harder to "do" the right things.

Yet, in his poetry Rilke invites us into a different kind of perception of our place in the world. He invites us to "live out loud," confidently taking our faith into our everyday lives sharing the "news" that remains "good." And rather than grow worrisome over doomsday tales, we are invited to "be" rather than "do." That is to say, that we become present to the communities and neighborhoods around us. We look and listen for what God is already doing within those places. When we discover these things we celebrate them and join in, inviting others to do the same.

As your new Diocesan Young Adult Missioner, this is what I envision. I am eager to go about this ministry "out loud." I am eager to be in your neighborhoods and sacred places, listening to you and your community members. Together, we will celebrate what God is already doing and discover new opportunities yet to be uncovered. Because this is my hope, please know that I am eager to hear from you. Know that my office door is open to you. Feel free to stop by Church House and introduce yourself. As I said before, I am anxious to see what God is doing in your community-especially as it relates to young adults. Call me, e-mail me and let me know when I can visit you and others from your parish. I look forward to the opportunity and to partnering with you in our ministry to young adults.

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