John Thomas, President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ, has this month released a pastoral letter written in consultation with the UCC Science and Technology Network entitled A New Voice Arising: A pastoral letter on faith engaging science and technology. The letter asks:
Can we dare to seek, to wonder, and if necessary to doubt until we believe anew, confident that in the end we will be filled with a fresh faith that engages the hunger in so many hearts and minds?
The letter wants us to believe, “Yes, we can! Yes, we can dare, as people of faith, to seek and wonder and doubt. Yes, we can dare believe that our seeking and wondering and doubting will lead us to a deeper and truer and more relevant faith. Yes, we can dare hope that our readiness, as people of faith, to take scientific exploration and technological innovation seriously will engage the minds and hearts of this generation of spiritual seekers.”
The letter is companion to a new website and a new internet advertising venture all intended to stimulate conversation about the intersection of faith and science, and to continue to portray the United Church of Christ as a church ready and eager and able to engage this generation on its own turf. Or to put it in a another way, the UCC is seeking again to live out the implications of its faith a God who is still speaking, a God whose voice speaks in fresh and compelling ways to our world as it is and as it is becoming, a voice that is ever new and ever relevant.
I think wise people have always known that science is not by nature anti-religious, and that religious faith is not by nature anti-science. It’s just that lots of folks have forgotten that. We have forgotten that the inquiring mind and the seeking heart are both essential elements of the human spirit, and that a keen mind makes faith deeper, and that a deep faith makes a mind keener. I am glad that the United Church of Christ is reminding us of that and I look forward to following the ongoing conversation.