Life on the Horizontal and Vertical

Why do we come to church?  Why do others seek us out?  There are many answers to those questions. I suggest two, for now.

First, for fellowship. People come here looking for authentic human connection. We come here to be with friends and family, and often those friends become family.  Rich fellowship is and should always be present to even the newest guest or member. And the longer one is in such community, the richer and deeper might be the relationships.

Second, to connect with deeper and higher values. What makes us a religious community is what could be called transcendent values.  In our diverse spiritualties these values go by many names: Love, Truth, Justice, the Sacred, God, Inclusion, Abundance, Joy, Service. And many more, so many as to be beyond being fully named.

Our relationships with each other are on the horizontal plane—envision holding hands in a group signifying solidarity in community.  Our relationships with transcendent values are on the vertical plane—envision looking up to the immensity of sky, out at the endless ocean, and down into the depths of canyon or cliff. These experiences of the vertical dimension physically symbolize the depth and height of transcendent ideas.

One dimension is grounded in human experience.  The other dimension opens us to a profound experience of life both here-and-now, and possible-but-not-yet. It takes both dimensions to be Church.

 

Rev. Samuel Schaal

Transitional Assistant Minister