The responses were varied. A few said none, but more said three or more. I am reading eight. True, a few of them I am reading through the lens “I wonder if this might help _____ understand _______”, but many more are just for me.
I developed a love for reading as a youngster. Once I figured out that lines and shapes were letters, and then discovered forming the letters into patterns meant words, my world exploded. Words sparked my imagination and my dreams. I had this innate ability to enter stories in a host of roles and explore worlds unbridled by modern decorum. It also meant I questioned reality.
I would be wealthy…I mean name-on-a-building or endow-a-scholarship kind of wealthy, if I had a nickel for every time I have asked why or why not. My vivid and seemingly limitless imagination has awarded me more spankings (physical and verbal) and more letters (formal and informal) of exclusion than the average human. It has also birthed many things.
I bring my audacity to question into my spiritual life, and consequently into my life at Lynchburg College. Questions such as:
• A culturally diverse community with intentionally diverse worship leadership? Why not?
• Implementing a fusion of Protestant worship cultures? Why not?
• Using only one translation of scripture? Why?
• Excluding pop culture references from worship? Why?
• Worship must occur in one format. Why? Using technology in Sunday’s services? Why not?
If I cannot determine the theological why, I am not doing it, saying it, playing it or leading it. But once I become rooted in the why, orthodoxy and convention are mere obstacles to hurdle if they stand in opposition to the theological why (I told you I would be wealthy).
Vision and asking “why not” birthed the InFaith services held on campus. Led by students, the InFaith Community gathers on Sundays at 3 p.m. for a time of creative and intentionally designed worship which reflects a fusion of protestant church cultures. The venue moves from Sydnor to the Chapel reminding us that long before buildings people gathered in tents for times of worship.
I invite you to join us. Come and explore what it means to worship with a diverse community. Come and be amazed at how different a service can look, yet God still is present and the Spirit moves. Come and be reminded of our call as Christ followers to discipleship. Come and be reminded of our connection with one another as world citizens.
Come and dare to ask why…or why not.
Reverend Katrina Stipe Brooks, campus pastor
InFaith Community, senior pastor