My Personal Credo

On Thursday, April 13, I shared with the Daytime Spirituality group, "My Personal Credo." A credo is defined as "a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone's actions." Periodically I evaluate my credo, recognizing that I am forever evolving, and God, as understood through our Quaker tradition, is ever in the process of continuing revelation. Here is a summary of the major elements of my personal credo:

First, I am an experiential theologian, believing that my experience with God is the foundation of everything else that I believe about God. As a lifelong Quaker, I believe that the Light within me, can, indeed, interact with the Living God. With every experience in my life, I try and ask, "How is God working here?" and "What spiritual lessons am I to learn?"

Second, I believe in the words of Alfred North Whitehead, that God is "a richly related being whose innermost nature is in his ceaseless participation and sharing." This is a God of process, a God who is on a journey with me. The foundational premise of process or journey theology is the belief that everything is in a state of flux, and everything is in the process toward becoming something. Evolution is an important word to the process theologian, recognizing that we are all evolving.

Third, relationship is a very important part of my theology. I see God in my relationships with others. I believe that there is that of God in every person, and as I interact with others, whether it is encouraging the discouraged, feeding the hungry, or sitting with a friend over coffee, my understanding of God is broadened and deepened, thus making me a relational theologian.

And my understanding of relational theology extends beyond the human world to the world of nature. In the miracle of the natural world and through the experience of each season, I can feel the presence of God speaking to me.

Fourth, my experience has led me to understand that God is a God of justice. Throughout the Hebrew and Christian Testaments of the Bible, justice is a recurring theme. From my earliest experiences in life, I can remember the pursuit of justice to be part of who my family was, and who I have become. We were a family who took the Quaker testimony on Equality very seriously.

A God of experience, process or journey, relationship and a God of justice are central to my credo. At the center of these core pieces of what I believe, however, is the belief that God is love. As the sacred journey continues, filled with perils from both within and without, as well as experiences of joy and love from both within and without, I will continue to write my personal credo, as we are all doing, whether consciously or unconsciously. As my understanding of God continues to unfold, I will continue to seek the God of experience, process, relationship, justice and love in all my life experiences. And I believe this God of love will continue to seek me.

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1 Comment

  1. Paulette Meier | | Reply

    I appreciate this and resonate with it a great deal! Thank you, Jim!

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