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Being A Pastor To Those With A Traditional Understanding Of God

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Bishop Spong's understanding of God as a verb and not as a noun has opened up a lot to me. I'm now 83 and trained in the 1950's at a Theological College in Manchester for the Congregational Church (Spong's cousin Bernard was a friend and fellow student). I have served the Church in Australia -now the Uniting Church all my life - and I still take an active role in a congregation and support our present pastor. He is quite traditional but accepting that within progressive understandings of Christianity is where I stand. However when I take services and have general conversations and talk with my fellow church members I can't help feeling that I should not be seeking to be so up front about how I understand faith, that I disturb and hurt my friends. I must admit we are an elderly congregation, but one that has a whole range of social outreach to the disadvantaged - including a number of people with mental disadvantages who are lovely people and who worship regularly with us. Within this sort of caring, accepting community I don't feel i can be so upfront about what i believe that I upset these who are my friends. How can I still be a pastor to them to help them to grow spiritually? Padre D

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Hi Padre,


I think actions speak louder than words. No need to push anything on others. It seems to me, If someone asks a question then it is alright to give your own experience or understanding concerning their interest without requiring acceptance. In my view, Progressive Christianity is less about a belief system and more about a way of approaching life with love and sharing. Dogma and rituals while important to some in my opinion do little compared to incorporating the fruits of the spirit into ones life. Focusing on those things naturally bring one closer to Christ and Unity.


Just some of my thoughts on your question,

Love in Christ,



PS. Welcome to the forum.

Edited by JosephM
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  • 3 weeks later...

Padre, You are a living Christian being and don't have to say a word. I am, just being is very important and most people don't know how to just be, a human being, not doing, or thinking just witnessing the spirit, thoughts and the pure consciousness of our lord. Words can't tell you how, but being around a person who is being can. We have to say I am before we can say I am a Christian so I think pure being is important and I feel you are already there and doing that for your congregation.

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