How Open Are You?

I recently facilitated a retreat for a group at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral here in Portland, Oregon. The priest I worked with, The Rev. Canon Catherine Nichols, used the following quote in our closing worship:

“In the sacred hoop, the circle is always left open so that the new may enter. Nothing is permanent, no situation is ever fixed, and no category is ever closed.” F. David Peet, “Lighting The Seventh Fire”

I was struck by this quote in part because of the open circle in my own logo (see the top of the blog page). And also, I do believe that the future is always open. Many forces are at work on us and the systems we work within. The past is powerful in both positive and negative ways. But at the same time, human beings can make choices which can lead to a different future.

2 Responses to How Open Are You?

  1. Jason, Thanks for your comments. This process of defining who we are both to ourselves and others is an ongoing one, as you point out. Perhaps one aspect of the open circle that is important is the circle itself. There is a boundary, at the same time there is an opening. So it’s not that anything goes. It’s not an amorphous blob.

  2. Jason Gamble says:

    Yeah, what parts of the self are solid and what parts of the self are negotiable?
    Since I work in a community that is ethnically diverse, it might seem that we are culturally diverse as well, but I don’t think so any more.

    We attract immigrants from many countries and continents that have something very concrete in common: they were heavily evangelized by Presbyterian missionaries. To these immigrants who chose to give up much to come to LA, giving up their religious tradition was non-negotiable.

    As I further define myself in faith and my areas of Christian ministry become more defined, I may need to serve in a different location or denomination based on who I AM. Am I open to going to Tajikistan like a Baptist friend of mine did? NO. Am I open to including Canada, where I have extended family and denominational reciprocity? Quite possibly.

    Jason

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