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Exploring Life’s Questions: Starting a Dialogue


“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

One benefit of belonging to a church community is the ability to connect by exploring life’s questions. This seems a more difficult task now that we are not gathering on Sundays—now that we are keeping a careful physical distance during the pandemic.

And so, using various electronic means to gather and share people’s thoughts, the Social Media Ministry Team is working on a project to connect us through interactive thought and dialogue.

Here’s the plan in a nutshell: We will pose an important question to get us started, and then we’ll share the responses. Over time, we will refine the question, collect and review answers, share our progress, and, where there is sufficient energy, move toward action.

We’ll use various ways to contact a wide range of church members (along with a few additional friends and colleagues), including: What’s Happening, email, the plain old telephone, this website, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe a survey. We will also look for ways to include people of different ages and life circumstances as well as those who are not connected through electronic or social media.

Project Goals

  • Encourage exploration of life’s important questions.
  • Strengthen connections throughout our Church community and with the greater community.
  • Help create shared meaning about the questions.
  • Inspire actions that are prompted by our exploration.

Here’s the First Question

To start Exploring Life’s Questions (ELQ), we have selected an important topic from one of Rev. Tom’s sermons:

What if we organized our society so that everyone had enough?

Obviously, this is a big area, so we have some slightly smaller questions to help with starting the dialogue. We also have additional questions about potential actions we could take.

What if we organized our society so that everyone has enough? Let’s start with what this question means:

  • Enough of what?
  • And who is everyone?
  • Why is this important to us?

First Interviews

We’ve tested the questions with a few people already, and the next ELQ post will include a summary of thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that people have shared with us so far.

Here are a few of those thoughts from our notes (which we hope will tempt you to read the next ELQ post).

Enough of what?

  • Basic physical needs, of course, for example: a reliable supply of food and adequate, safe housing.
  • Beyond mere subsistence, people also need, for example: education, transportation, and social connections.
  • When people don’t have enough of the basics, then it’s difficult (if not impossible) to work or to move beyond concerns about survival.

One of our first interviewees summarized an old theological debate from Pelagius and Augustine (from the early 5th century C.E.):

Sometimes, you’d think that if we knew what was the right thing to do, then we would do it. However, it turns out that this is not always the case. In addition to knowledge, one must have the will to do what is right.

As we posed our first questions, we also heard, “This project has promise.”

Jeanne Farrington
Social Media Ministry Team