1. everyday theology; thinking soul,  2. everyday practice; living body,,  3. everyday spirituality; praying heart

Thinking, Praying, and Living Our Faith in God

In November 2023, during the Moderator’s Conference of PC(USA), the Office of Theology and Worship embarked on a significant endeavor tied to our everyday responsibilities, as previously mentioned in one of our blog posts in November. At the conference, we delved into the themes of Thinking, Praying, and Living, emphasizing their profound importance in our mission and ministry.

We underscored the potency of thinking, praying, and living deliberately and loudly in seeking God’s justice, mercy, and grace. These foundational practices prepare us to engage with the world guided by the Word of God with a prayerful heart. Grounding our spirits and souls in our faith in God is essential as we navigate the complexities of human existence, especially when our faith manifests as direct activism or street protests.

Our workshop aimed to reaffirm the significance of Theology & Worship, advocating for a holistic approach encompassing thinking, praying, and living. It echoes the ethos of “lex orandi, lex credendi, and lex vivendi (the law of what is prayed [is] what is believed [is] the law of what is lived). This ethos was well presented in one of our brilliant colleague David Gambrell’s paper “Good Friday Liturgical Theology of Lament Abbreviated” presented at the American Academy of Religions in 2014. This paper could be helpful for those who prepare for the Season of Lent, Holy Week, and Good Friday in particular.

The similar ethos aligns with the vision of Everyday God-talk, where we contemplate, commune, and conduct our lives within the framework of Soul, Body, and Heart. During the workshop, I, So Jung Kim, Associate for Theology, discussed how we “think out loud our faith” in our everyday voice, emphasizing the importance of reading the Bible, writing sermons, and speaking our faith from the heart, possibly connecting the pew and the pulpit.

David Gambrell, Associate for Worship, and Sally Ann McKinsey, Editor of the journal of Call to Worship and its new webpage, highlighted the enduring traditions of Reformed worship, showcasing resources such as the Book of Common Worship and Lectionary. Their contributions enrich the work of the Office of Theology and Worship and benefit the wider denomination by providing liturgical guidance and support.

Alicia Demartra-Pressley, Associate for Mission Equipping, demonstrated how our theological reflections (thinking Soul) and prayers (praying Heart) can find tangible expression in our actions (living Body), mainly through fostering connections within emerging cohorts across our agencies and the denomination.

The success of our presentation owes much to the diligent efforts of our manager, Barry Ensign-George, and coordinator, Catherine Reuning, who are integral support staff of the Committee on Theological Education (COTE).

I am delighted to share this reflection on our work three months after the Moderator’s Conference, underscoring the interconnectedness of thinking Soul, praying Heart, and living within the Body of Christ. The ethos and frame are reflected well in our current “categories” of the Everyday God-talk blog. Through this holistic approach, we strive to advocate for God’s justice and love, even amidst the uncertainties of our time.

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