Liminal Wonderings… by Nina Maples

I felt the Spirit hovering over us Sunday morning as the Word spoken and sung intertwined to form a sweet offering of praise and worship. What a gift to be present with you in this experience of communal worship.

On Saturday, I gathered with the chairs of our Ministry Groups, the Ministry Council, Deacons and staff to prepare ourselves for the ministry our church will do in the coming months. As we studied our Mission, Vision, and Core Values statements, we were reminded how blessed we are at Highland to continue in this work of Love.

One of the first experiences of the training involved tying people together in a three-by-three formation so that all were connected by a rope. The group then had to move from point A to point B and back to point A without coming detached from one another. They had to work together to get in the formation, to connect to one another, and then move in unison.

After we shared some amusing moments and got ourselves untied, we gathered to process the exercise.

We realized moving together without becoming disconnected can be difficult. We watched as some who are normally quiet in a group, emerged to lead the process. We realized there are multiple ways to achieve the same goal. We realized that turning a group of people around when they are tied to one another takes a lot of communication, coordination, and cooperation.

While we, as the church, are not literally tied together, we are bound together in our commitment to be a community of faith. At times like this past Sunday morning, it is a joy to participate as partners in our faith journey. At other times, when the path forward is not clear, or the means to move together have not yet appeared, it is more challenging to stay connected.

But I have faith in this body of believers, called Highland Baptist Church! We have walked together through some difficult times and became even more deeply connected—and we will continue to be joined together in Love and walk forward in these days ahead. I read this quote recently—“Both faith and fear require belief in something you can’t see: pick one!” May we draw on our communal strength and faith to guide us as we are “compelled by God’s love to cultivate a safe, welcoming community of faith where all are challenged to discover, grow, and serve, as together we boldly live out the worship that is our very lives.”  ~ Nina