During the “Liberating Structures” process to re-imagine the organization of our ministries, the Council identified five “values” they believe sit at the core of our church identity, driving our understanding of the mission of the church.  This week’s devotions will focus on one of these identified values each day.  Be sure to check out the previous devotions on relationship, generosity, caring, and faith.

“Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them.” John 8:2

Of the five values we have identified, this one, learning, is perhaps the most unique identifier for our congregation.  The other four – relationship, generosity, caring, and faith – could be the values of any congregation.  Understanding this about our community of faith might just help us orient what we go about more effectively.

This is not to say that most churches don’t prioritize to some extent their educational ministries – Sunday school, confirmation, bible studies, etc.  Here again, it’s helpful to consider how Prince of Peace might be different in this regard.  In naming learning as a value, we immediately change the posture of the people relative to the subject.

A learning church is not the source of knowledge, it’s a body that seeks out the source.  We don’t hold the answers, but we have some skill in knowing where to look.  We try to ask better questions. We maintain curiosity, and approach certainty with healthy skepticism.  We know the world is an on-going creation and there is so much we still don’t know.

Creating opportunities to learn becomes central then to how we move forward as a community.  Engaging the unknown and marveling at the possibilities is an exciting prospect.  To be curious about our neighbors will move us closer to them.  To wonder about God will move us closer there too.

What are you curious about today?  What mystery is tugging at your mind or your heart?   In the new year ahead, how might this church help you better explore these unknowns?  How might we go along with you as we learn together? I’m eager to hear learn your responses and invite you to email your thoughts on this value or any of the five that have been explored this week.

May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… As Jesus invites us to sit as his feet and learn, continue teaching us.  Keep us curious, about you and about the world.  Bless our skepticism and caution us in our certainty.  Help us to wonder and enlighten us in our discoveries.  Amen.