This week we are talking about giving witness to our experience and vision for what Unity of Louisville has been and is becoming. Richard Rohr, a Catholic Mystic, I believe calls this yet not yet. Who we are is good and gives voice and witness to the vision and aspirations of our community. Who we have been is good and transformative for many. Yet, we are not yet finished. The vision for ourselves and the world is greater than all we have been and accomplished. My first minister used to say there is always more with God.
Preparing to speak on Sundays takes a lot of time, effort, and intention. There is a lot of pressure on the speaker, most of it internal. Ministers/speakers are expected to be prepared and knowledgeable about the topics. We are expected to entertain, inspire, and challenge the listener. Add this to the subconscious embedded theology of what it is supposed to look and sound like it is surprising anyone can get out of a chair to speak.
When ministers first begin to learn the art of homiletics, a fancy word for church speaking, we are overwhelmed with the amount of, supposed, things we are to include in a talk. When I prepare the students for their licensed and ordination interviews, they are told to have a clear topic, add a bible quote, interpret it, something from Charles or Myrtle, give a Unity perspective, make it relevant, and entertaining. All in seven minutes. Unity then sends the new ministers out to their churches and we get to learn what really works, for us, in practice.
What I have learned that the most connecting and impactful thing a speaker can do is connect through a story or personal experience. To share authentically from the heart the experience, success, and struggles as the speaker uses their own life as an example. I believe we have excellent examples of speakers in Gerry, Rev Val and myself who are willing to go into the well of their own lives to set an example. I believe, our speaker give witness each Sunday to the marvels of the Unity experience and how, when used as a spiritual tool of transformation, can guide us through even the darkest of time.
This Sunday we will continue the tradition of giving witness as three of our fellow congregants give witness to their journey, joys, and vision. Alan Scherer, who has been a member for so long I am not sure anyone even knows, will speak of the history and vision he has for our community. Kimberly Bencker, who grew up in Unity, will share her story of growing though the stages of life with the assistance of the Unity teachers and ministers. Finally, Jim Wheller, one of our newer members and new member of the Board of Trustees, will speak to his experience of moving to our community and how he envisions our community moving and expanding going forward. They will give witness to their experience and dreams for themselves and for the community. I hope you will be able to make it.