On Sunday, January 26th at 9:15, Rebecca Keller Scholl and Tad Staley will host a Lane Lyceum discussion called the Language of Faith, which will be an engaging and interactive opportunity to explore how we understand and convey our sense of depth and meaning.
As containers that hold meaning, words can be oriented either horizontally or vertically; directed outward toward others, or as inward pointers to our experience. Most of our words are horizontal – directed at others as more or less polite exchanges, transactional directives, or reflections on memory or plans.
But some words can be containers of deeper meaning that can convey us vertically to a greater depth of understanding.
For some of us, there are special words that evoke a deeper sense of peace, or unity, or quiet joy.
On the other hand, some vertically-oriented words may become over-loaded with emotion, memory and negative connotation. They may have lost any ability to deepen awareness.
For some people, certain vertically-oriented words may actually have become objectionable, even hurtful.
Yet for others, perhaps the person sitting right next to you, that word that you find objectionable may be the very conveyance to a peace which passes all understanding.
Vertically-oriented words may or may not be religious words. Some were created by religions, others adopted (or co-opted) for religious purposes. Whether or not you are attracted or repelled by these words is probably related to your relationship with the religion that uses them.
The Language of Faith Lyceum is a workshop for exploring the vertically-oriented words that we use – and avoid. We will look at the words that may convey some to greater depth and meaning, while simultaneously evoking scorn or distrust in others.
This dynamic is relevant and active at First Parish, where diversity in faith orientation is not only accepted but welcomed. It is inevitable therefore that the very words that are enabling for some are triggers for others.
Perhaps the discussion will enable you to redeem certain words as conveyances to greater insight. Perhaps at a minimum, it might broaden your understanding of the language with which others engage in their search for truth and meaning.
We hope to see you on Sunday the 26th at 9:15 in the Parlor.