A man sits on stairs gazing up into heaven.
Photo credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov via Adobe Stock #409218396

Rev. Dixie Ford

The beginning of my faith journey was shaped, in large part, by two Baptist churches in Alabama. These were the faith communities that baptized me, helped me love Jesus, and instilled in me a passion for missions and service. They are also the churches that taught me that “Jesus is the answer” and that “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” With the best of intentions, my faith communities taught me, not that questions were necessarily wrong, but that they were largely unnecessary. It was a slippery slope to ask questions, particularly about biblical interpretation, and, most of the time, they were not willing to risk the fall.

As a result, for many years, the faith I inherited as a child remained unexamined. Not until I was an adult did I begin questioning my understanding of Scripture, of God, and of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. While I am grateful for many of the gifts my earliest communities of faith gave me, I am especially thankful that I have since been part of congregations who ask questions, study, dialogue, and even (respectfully) argue as part of a faithful, responsible Christian journey. Crosscreek is such a place.

Examining our faith is a discipline that Crosscreek values and practices together.

Examining our faith is a discipline that Crosscreek values and practices together. We encourage inquiry and dialogue, without fear or shame. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral that guides our Methodist brothers and sisters, often informs our own examination process: First and foremost, we are guided by Scripture, while also acknowledging that the Holy Spirit teaches us through tradition, reason, and experience. This work of examining our faith–and it is work–is done in community, as we help each other discern the work of God’s Spirit among and within us. From last summer’s Brave Church discussions to Deep Dive, a weekly in-depth study of Scripture, from Godly Play, the children’s curriculum that encourages curiosity, to Sunday School and Wednesday night discussion groups–faith formation at Crosscreek is built around opportunities to examine our faith and grow together in it.

May we continue to value this process! May we continue to ask questions and study.  May we continue to listen to the Holy Spirit through Scripture, as well as through tradition, reason, and experience–our own and that of those who are different from us. May we continue to seek together to discern the new things God is doing in the world, and to help each other find the courage to join in. May we refuse to label each other as anything other than siblings, making sure that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice that is heard. As we practice an examined faith together, Crosscreek will continue to be a place where we are “rooted in hope, but flexible enough to move with one another to the places God is leading” (Crosscreek Visioning Document).