Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Transitional Leader of the
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Last Sunday at Webster Groves was Youth Sunday. The entire program was given over to the young people under the age of 18. Part of the presentation was the videos which the young people had produced. The videos were filled with questions the young people answered: What is the greatest problem in the world today? What is the challenge of your generation? How will you make a difference in the world?
Watching these young people in worship raised several questions for me. First, where are the voices of our young people and young adults in the presbytery? How does the presbytery hear the voices of our young people and young adults? When and how do they have input in the way we do presbytery, the issues we focus on, and the direction we should be going?
The service also speaks to the role of questions and questioning in ministry. In the book, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger writes that questions enable us to think and act in times of uncertainty. Berger believes the type of questions we ask and even the way we ask questions can lead us forward to solutions or inhibit us from seeking a creative way out.
Berger lifts up a method of questioning called HMW- How Might We? “‘How might we’ is different from ‘How can we?’ or ‘How should we?’ Can or should implies judgment.” Regarding How Might We, Berger writes:
“How– The solutions are out there. How inspires creative confidence.
Might– We can try ideas out there that might work and might not. Either way it’s ok.
We– We’re going to do it together and build on each other’s ideas.”
At our presbytery gathering, Crossroads shared a chart showing a scale called a Continuum of Becoming an Anti-racist Multicultural Institution. The categories moved from left to right, and started with 1 as the most exclusive institution and ended with 6 as the most inclusive and multicultural institution. Most participants put our presbytery in category 2 or 3.
So, how might we move Giddings-Lovejoy from a category 2 or 3 to a category 6? What are the questions we need to ask ourselves that will encourage creativity and risk-taking? Who must we “fearlessly become” to make this journey possible?
It appears we will have to put on our explorers’ caps and be willing to feel the winds of the Spirit as we move across the waters into the future to where God is calling us.
Rev. Craig M. Howard