As in a previous blog, LDI is thrilled to highlight the great work that our wonderful Formation Program participants are doing! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at "Liberation," a team from Church of Our Redeemer, Lexington. Enjoy!
What is your team's organizing sentence?
We, the members of team “Liberation,” are organizing the members of the Church of Our Redeemer, Lexington, to free them from the dominant “achievement culture,” through using our vibrant church community and our faith in a God of abundance and unconditional love to decrease member’s stress and increase their feelings of connection, resilience and inherent worth, by forming an alternative worship offering that might appeal to or allow participation by more people, to achieve an increase in the size and participation level of our parish community.
Why does your team feel called to do this work?
Our team began as an offshoot of our church’s newly formed Evangelism Committee. We feel called to reach out to our community and see what we can offer to meet what we see as a deep need for spirituality. We are inspired by Brené Brown’s insight: “Practicing spirituality brings perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives. When we allow ourselves to become culturally conditioned to believe that we are not enough and that we don’t make enough or have enough, it damages our soul” (from The Gifts of Imperfection). We see that God’s promise of unconditional love and a person’s inherent dignity mean that our lives matter more than the size of our houses or bank accounts; the number of hours we work or study each day; the prestige of our jobs or our children’s alma maters. We see stress in our community leading to depression and suicide, and we see a place we believe our church can make a difference. Again, as Brown wrote, “The heart of spirituality is connection. When we believe in that inextricable connection, we don’t feel alone.”
We are hoping to see, in the short term, an increased interest in spirituality and what the church can offer, first from people directly connected with the parish but not actively involved, and later spreading to more members of our community. We plan to take what we learn in this project and create worship services and potentially other offerings that will feed these seekers. In the long run, we hope to build on this campaign to gradually free our community from the grip of a “success” that leaves them unhappy and ultimately unsatisfied.
Fun facts about our team:
On the surface, our team looks pretty homogenous, but we bring a variety of life experiences to our work! Our team of six hails from four different towns, but we all worship at the same church—which we have collectively attended for more than 60 years! Our 13 children range in age from not-quite-born to parents themselves (10 of them are still at home—along with three dogs and six cats). Two of us have worked in publishing … three have spent time in the classroom … three have worked in churches … two in medicine and healing. We share a passion for worship and community that we realize makes us a bit eccentric, and each of us believes she talks too much (which is true … for only some of us).