I traveled today to visit a congregation I am working with as a mentor in a District congregational health and vitality program. Although I have been working with the congregation’s health and vitality team during the previous year, I hadn’t yet been to a service at their church, yet another very historic Massachusetts congregation.
I enjoyed the service. It was difficult at times to remember to notice things to commend and critique because, well, hey I’m a minister and I enjoy church.
I also enjoyed the opportunity to do something I often don’t get to do on Sunday – listen to NPR – or as my son calls it, “the documentary station” – as in “Dad’s been in the car again, the radio’s on the documentary station.” He becoming a real riot, that tween son of mine.
On the drive down to church this morning, I caught one of NPR’s series of essays “What I Believe.” The last one of these I remember hearing was by Teller of the comedy team Penn and Teller and it remained with me because it was cogent and passionate expression and explanation of Teller’s atheism. This morning’s essay, however was a psychotherapist speaking about his belief in adaptation; 16 years of life parenting an autistic son having finally given him the courage to answer with confidence patients who said to him, “I just don’t know how I am going to cope,” with “You’ll do the best you can.” Which is all any one of us can do.
On the ride home I caught the program Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett. This morning’s program featured an interview with Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and 2004 Nobel Peace Price winner. I was hooked to hear Professor Maathai speak of the faith behind her political activism and ecological work because as a person who has run for office on a Green Party ticket, I remember that she won the Nobel, I also learned that she founded the Kenyan Green Party.