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Yearn For the Sea - From Steven Mead

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Antoine de Saint-Exupery teaches us that “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Yearn for the sea. That’s what this Special Place is for: to cultivate our yearning. To so transform our character that we must needs transform the world. Churches are not sanctuaries—that would be a monastery. Let’s not confuse the two. Our church is not some fortress where religious liberals gather in like-minded community to protect themselves from a conservative wilderness.

We are no fortress here, but a harbor where you are refitted and restocked to go back out onto the high seas of life. That’s what boats are made for. Yes, it’s safer for boats to remain in the harbor. But that’s not what boats are for. Our harbor is full of community and friendships. And that’s a good thing. But your life wasn’t made for some placid existence, but to move over the water. Here, we must learn to yearn for the sea. Soon, youwillbechallengedtoreviewourchurch’smissionandvisionstatements - to answer the vital question of “What is this church called to do?” “Do” is an action verb. The question is not what are we called to be, but to do. And that’s the hard work of the church. To do.

In no church mission statement have I read “we are here to make one another feel good about ourselves,” or “exist to make like-minded friends.” We are here for something more: to change ourselves and then the world. Transformation not sanctuary. Action not respite. Yearning not complacency. When is it time for you to talk about mission, talk about the harbor and when about vision, express your yearning for endless immensity of the sea. It matters not if yours is the God of the Revealed Word, the Consciousness of the Divine Light, the Integration of All Things, or even the Blank God of the atheists. What matters is that you stand in the presence of your God, yearn for the sea, and move over the waters.

See you in church.

Steven Mead
Interim Director of Ministries with Children and Youth

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Come to be moved and held in mutual embrace. Come and be made whole.
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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